But when the Friend comes, the Spirit of the Truth, he will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is. He won't draw attention to himself, but will make sense out of what is about to happen and, indeed, out of all that I have done and said. He will honor me; he will take from me and deliver it to you" (Jn. 16:12-14 MSG, emphasis mine).
Did you catch it? In essence, Jesus was shining the spotlight on the Spirit, honoring him and, then telling his disciples how they will know when the Spirit arrives. Jesus says that the Spirit will not speak about himself but will remind them about Jesus and all that he has taught them. In other words, when the Spirit comes, here's how you will know it is him: He won't be talking about himself, but will be holding a big spotlight and shining on Jesus and on his words. The Spirit is another member of the Divine Team, the Ultimate Honoring Circle.
The doctrine of the Trinity, then, is not merely some transcendent and lofty truth tucked away on the top shelf of theology; it is vibrant and practical and exemplary to our experience of faith today. It reveals much about God's life with us and our lives with each other.
The Trinity is, in fact, a community or communion of Persons. The Trinity, then, is the Divine Team—the one we should seek to emulate and follow in all our faith communities, families, and teams.
Note: This column is adapted from a new book by Robert Crosby, The Teaming Church: Ministry in the Age of Collaboration (Abingdon Press). An excerpt from the book is available at the Ministry Matters site.