Planning, Spontaneity, and Holy Spirit

“For no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” (2 Peter 1:21)

Some Christians I know think that it’s unspiritual to plan. They would rely on being spontaneous because, to them, this allows the Spirit to work.

For example, some worship leaders think that if you plan out every detail of how the worship set goes, you’re not leaving room for the Spirit to spontaneously lead the meeting. So they’d go up on stage without having prepared what to say. Sometimes on a whim (from the Spirit, presumably) they’d say something unexpected, do something, sing the song again in some way, etc.

In a way, I kind of admire them for wanting to submit to the Lord’s guiding. Indeed even when we call ourselves leaders, it’s God who’s the true Leader over us. He leads us to come together, to gather in His name.

On the other hand, I think that the extent to which those brothers and sisters loathe the process of planning actually limits the way the Holy Spirit moves in their lives.

I say that because they seem to think that the Holy Spirit only moves on the day of the meeting, or the Holy Spirit only moves during a worship set, etc. Why can’t the Holy Spirit do His work during the process of planning?

When people ask me how I approach preparing to lead worship on Sunday, my reply is always, “I pray a few weeks ahead of time, and then during the week before I lead worship, I pray even more.”

I’m not saying that just to sound spiritual. I’m saying that because I believe that the Spirit moves in my life not just on Sunday when I’m in front of people looking like a worship leader, but also during my everyday life. I pray for a theme for the worship set and let the Spirit guide my thoughts, my intellect, my emotions, and my daily experiences to tell me what theme my worship set should use. Sometimes it’s through something someone says to me during the week; other times a thought could come to me during my morning showers. Many times it also comes from bible reading times when I gain a special insight that I should share with the congregation.

My worship set is usually planned out in detail. But the Spirit always had a hand in my detailed planning. Sometimes on Sunday morning the Spirit may guide me to do something spontaneously or out of ordinary. But often I stuck to the plan. Because the plan is always a culmination of God’s guiding hand in my daily life.

BTW, for those of you who were there this Sunday morning, I hope you all liked the song “Consuming Fire” that I shared at the end. It was a song I only learned yesterday but God impressed upon me to share it!

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