In both Hebrew and Greek (the primary languages in which the Old and New Testaments were written) the vocabulary for breath / wind / spirit is somewhat fluid. In Hebrew the word is ruach; in Greek the world is pneuma. This fluidity invites us to imagine the paradoxical ways in which God is present to us and all creation, giving life, inspiration and vitality to all things.
This image from the animated feature film Up may also be a provocative illustration of how many Spirit/Wind/Breath of God filled individuals and groups might come together to lift the whole church, bringing inspiration and vitality to the whole, and to each part of which it is made (Eph 4:16)
These next images illustrate how paragliding and kite surfing work, and how multiple smaller kites or glider wings may be tethered together to join their lift power for greater effect. This becomes important as we think about how various organizations, institutions, and individuals might work together to more efficiently and effectively meet the challenges of the work that the Spirit is seeking to do in, among, around and through us.
Think about the impact of joining your thoughts, passion, energy and resources together with those of others who are similarly inclined. What could you accomplish in your own life, with your family, for your community, if you were working together with others in this way. Think now about the organizations to which you belong – businesses, clubs, associations, congregations – and the good they are seeking to bring about in the world. How often do you do less because you lack resources or energy? How often do multiple contributors duplicate work for lack of cooperative hubs and webs to facilitate collaboration?
This is the idea and philosophy behind the Institute for Vital Ministry. We’re better together.