Jennifer Thigpenn
Jennifer Thigpenn

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me” (Luke 4:18-19, NKJV).

As He spoke words of prophecy, Jesus launched His public ministry that modeled for us what healthy engagement in the world looks like. Led by the Spirit, He lived and moved about in His 1st century Judean context, intent on bringing heaven to Earth in every engagement, every conversation and every situation.

Jesus was called “to preach the gospel to the poor,” “to heal the brokenhearted,” “to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind,” and “to set at liberty those who are oppressed” (v. 18). He would “proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” (v. 19).

And He did bring the kingdom of God to the poor and the powerful, the willing and the willfully ignorant, the oppressed and the oppressor. Jesus faced issues of race, gender, socioeconomic standing, religion, politics and all manner of disease.

As leaders, the topics of the day may feel weighty, and we may often feel out of our depth as we engage in hard conversations. On the days where we feel under-equipped or overwhelmed, we can rest in the fact that the same Spirit that rested upon Jesus is available to us today.

As Spirit-formed and Spirit-filled followers of Christ, we are empowered and equipped by the Holy Spirit to bring the kingdom into our spaces as we navigate how to faithfully love God and our neighbor in the most uncertain of times.

Prayer + Reflection

  1. Thank God that we do not have to navigate the complexities of these uncertain times alone. Ask for a fresh anointing of God’s Spirit as you live, move and minister in your context.
  2. Invite the Holy Spirit into your day. Take note of the places where you’ve been trying to do things in your own strength, and invite the Holy Spirit to take control of those spaces.
  3. As you approach the difficult topics and the hard conversations, pray that God would use your witness of the kingdom to bring people to Jesus in a fresh way.
  4. As schools open, whether face-to-face or virtually, ask the Lord to bless and keep safe our children as they learn, as well as those who watch over and shepherd them. Let’s also lift up parents and guardians who are entering a new role as educator.

Share your thoughts. See comments below, and add your own.

is the multiethnic ministry coordinator of the Western District of The Foursquare Church.