Episode 012: Blending the Contemplative and Charismatic

For this episode of the Essential Church podcast, we’re joined by Pastor Rich Villodas of New Life Fellowship in Queens, NY to discuss the contemplative and charismatic traditions of the Church.

We started noticing that we had lots of gifts, but not a love of love and character… our church went in search of something more to try to balance out…

 

I think we have to root the contemplative and the charismatic streams in the ground of a robust Pneumatology… the intent of the Scriptures is the coming of God’s presence among his people…

 

If the Holy Spirit in John 3 is depicted as wind, then we have to make space for a multi-dimensional Spirit who comes to people in different ways…

 

I see the two married together – these are various, great manifestations of the grace of the Spirit, whether in power or in stillness and silence…

 

What often happens is that you have one sector of the Church that has a narrow view of how God has manifested grace through the ages, and then they get into their enclave or stream [to the neglect of others]…

 

We often don’t pause to see the myriad of ways God has come to us through the centuries…

 

When we swung the pendulum, I think we swung it too far… when you look at Corinthians 13, you don’t see Paul saying that once you get your act together, you can use your gifts again… he just says to use them with love…

 

What this is looking like for us is that I’m teaching on it more… we’re offering more trainings for people… more and more we’re creating space in our worship gatherings for moments of pause to recognize that perhaps God wants to do something right now…

 

For me it feels like I’m getting back to my roots…

 

Pursue the work of the Spirit in your life and don’t put restrictions on what shape or what narrow tradition it needs to take…

 

QUESTIONS FOR YOU AND YOUR TEAM

  • What did you think about Rich’s discussion of the charismatic and contemplative streams? Which do you most identify with?
  • Does your church have a culture that is open to the multifaceted work of the Spirit, or are your boxes narrow?
  • What can you do to expand your church’s receptivity to the full range of the Spirit’s work and power?

 

 

RESOURCES

Way of the Heart (Nouwen)

Streams of Living Water (Foster)

Emotionally Healthy Spirituality (Scazerro)

God’s Empowering Presence (Fee)

Sober Intoxication of the Spirit (Cantalamessa)

 

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