“God loves us and he invites us to partner with the Holy Spirit. Do you accept his invitation?” These words conclude the book Anointed Teaching: Partnership with the Holy Spirit that I had the privilege of coauthoring with the recognized Christian educator Robert W. Pazmiño. This book was recently published in both English and in Spanish with the title Enseñando con unción: colaborando con el Espíritu Santo and with the special partnership of the Center for the Study of the Work and Ministry of the Holy Spirit Today at Biola University. This book represents a special collaboration between two Christian educators with Hispanic roots and generational differences with the desire to propose a practical pneumatology for teaching today. However, this book is primarily an invitation to partner with the Holy Spirit who by God’s grace invites us to join the ministry of God almighty in this world.
Anointed Teaching: Partnership with the Holy Spirit explores the essential spiritual dimensions of Christian teaching by examining the person and work of the Holy Spirit. It proposes how Christian teachers can respond to their Regenerate, Communal, and Spirit-filled identity and calling by working in partnership with the Holy Spirit. The spiritual fruits of liberation (salvation), celebration (worship) and sustenance (growth and edification) are explored in relation to teaching anointed by the Spirit.
The book has three main parts: In part one, this work explores the nature of teaching in relation to liberation and the Regenerate calling for new life and transformation experienced by persons, groups and communities. In part two, this work considers the communal calling of Christians in sharing God’s blessedness and delight for all of creation that leads to thanksgiving and celebration that is symbolized in table fellowship. In part three, this work analyzes the theme of sustenance and the Spirit-filled calling of Christian teachers and learners who work in partnership with the Holy Spirit to sustain life as God intended from creation to consummation.
The Holy Spirit is essential for our lives and for Christian ministry and we need the Spirit’s direction or anointing at all times. The last chapter in the book emphasizes the importance of our spiritual life to serve the Lord with the anointing of the Holy Spirit. I want to share with you the following paragraphs from this chapter to encourage you to partner with the Holy Spirit at all times:
Our relationship with God is essential for our lives and ministries and yet it is common to become so busy working for God that we forget the God we attempt to serve. All believers, but especially leaders and Christian teachers, face the temptation to be concerned primarily about our ministry that we neglect our relationship with God and with others. Sadly, many believers proclaim that Christianity is not a religion, but a personal relationship with God, but they live following religious rules and forget the relationship once they decided to follow Christ. Jesus Christ invites us to delight in his presence and to enjoy an intimate relationship with God through the Holy Spirit.
Our God is inviting us to find delight in his presence. Our life and ministry have our relationship with the triune God as the foundation. Our teaching must flow from our lives in intimate relationship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The position and place of our ministries are completely secondary to our bond with God. Our identity in Christ and the Holy Spirit’s presence in us become the essential elements in our teaching ministry.
Jesus invites us to experience a personal and communal relationship with him. Teaching with the Holy Spirit’s anointing is a prophetic invitation to seat at the table to dine with Jesus. This offer is open and everyone is welcome. God loves us and he looks for us with open arms desiring that we run to him to find peace.
Nevertheless, we need to acknowledge and communicate that in order to enjoy a relationship with Jesus, is imperative to have a humble and simple heart that recognizes our constant need of God’s presence in our lives. Pride usually motivates those who believe that their religious activities will give them a special place at the table with God. Pride, however, is a barrier to even have a seat at the table as Christ’s guests.
As Christian educators, we are messengers who proclaim the open invitation to come to the heavenly banquet. Teaching with the Holy Spirit’s anointing proclaim that this invitation continues to be open to all. The same Holy Spirit also reminds us that we are God’s children and, therefore, his special guests at the table (Rom. 8:16). What a pleasure and privilege to enjoy God’s presence and to invite others to do the same!