It always bothered me that people ran off to various places to go get blessed. In medieval times, it was Jerusalem. Go on Crusade, come home with a piece of the Cross or a bit of dirt from Golgotha in the toes of your sandal. Your life will never be the same. Or, you’ll die in the process, which, considering what it’s like to be a serf, might not matter much. Who wants to be a serf when it just means grubbing for a living:
DENNIS: Oh king, eh, very nice. An’ how’d you get that, eh? By
exploitin’ the workers — by ‘angin’ on to outdated imperialist dogma
which perpetuates the economic an’ social differences in our society!
If there’s ever going to be any progress–
WOMAN: Dennis, there’s some lovely filth down here. Oh — how d’you do?
ARTHUR: How do you do, good lady. I am Arthur, King of the Britons.
Who’s castle is that?
WOMAN: King of the who?
ARTHUR: The Britons.
WOMAN: Who are the Britons?
ARTHUR: Well, we all are. we’re all Britons and I am your king.
WOMAN: I didn’t know we had a king. I thought we were an autonomous
In the 1990s it was Toronto Airport, or Pensacola, FL. A Holy Spirit Vacation (HSV) is like Short Term Mission Tourism. And if you got blessed or your life was significantly changed at one of these, that’s great. I want to be clear to acknowledge some of the values of such trips though this post may be pretty anti-HSV.
HSVs are okay, I guess. I’m not saying we should never attend them. But there is a little bit of entertainment value and not always a lot of long-term raising up of leadership inherent in such activities. Consider, first, that usually you’re going somewhere else. (I love to go somewhere else. I would almost always prefer to be somewhere else. I almost have a problem with wanting to be somewhere else, and when other people get to go somewhere else, I feel jealous.) When you go somewhere else, you’re out of context, unless you stay for seven years. YEARS. By then, you’re not somewhere else, you’re just there.
Real leadership happens here. Or there, after seven years.
I got shook up about always wanting to be somewhere else by reading the Tao Te Ching. “Heaviness is the root of lightness. Serenity is the master of restlessness. Therefore, the Sage, travelling all day, does not part with the baggage-wagon; Though there may be gorgeous sights to see, He stays at ease in his own home.” Tao 26
These scenarios — either visiting a church or conference to hear anointed speakers, etc. or going on short term missions … they all happen somewhere else. Or they’re highly sought after imports. And that’s very attractive. It truly does alter your world view to travel, and that has a LOT of value. So I’m not trying to say we should never go do anything or hear someone speak.
Perhaps the biggest concern I have about HSVs is that we might become a bourgeoisie Kingdom of God from waiting for the handout of bread and circuses from a Mighty Throne.
I think the key to being an Anointed Listener is that we offer the opportunity for regular people, right here (or there) to be the salt and light right now, without them having to go somewhere else. This moves us from a lazy bourgeois mentality where we wait for things to come to us in the form of “anointed” entertainment or travel somewhere to get excited, into a mobilized proletariat (the root of the word propetariat is ‘proles’ meaning child-bearing. A mobilized proletariat is a group of common workers who intentionally and frequently bear children). Bearing children is what we really want the common person in the Kingdom to be about. Anointed speakers are a rarity, a luxury, a bath in rhetorical salts and oils, a balm, a cool breeze, and something we (those who attend) don’t have to work very hard for. And they’re usually somewhere else. (As the adage goes, an expert is someone who’s more than fifty miles away). Anointed listeners should be here, there, and everywhere, but never somewhere else. Marxist language aside, the point is that anointed listening mobilizes a work force, while anointed speaking can breed complacency. Anointed listening creates an atmosphere where the proletariat of the Kingdom is empowered to BIRTH CHILDREN into the Kingdom, and anointed speaking has a the side-danger of causing me, of inviting us to expect that you (or the Holy Spirit) would do it for us, turn us on, entertain us. Smells like Teen Spirit?
So as I’m training people in the future, my prayer will always be that they’ll become anointed listeners. The world doesn’t really need so many more anointed speakers. They are everywhere (else). The world does need more anointed listeners. People have jokingly accused me that the coaching world is just a big MLM scam; you get training so you can train others so they can train others to listen, but nobody ever makes a career out of it. YES. YES it is. Because we need good listeners, anointed listeners, here, there and everywhere. And no, not many people can make a career out of it. I’m starting to realize that though that’s what I want, it’s not really the point to make a career out of it. The point is to mobilize a Kingdom proletariat and birth new Children into the Kingdom.