This post is actually an unpublished series that I wrote a few years ago to accompany a sermon series and ended up not using. A recent conversation with a friend brought it back to the forefront so I thought it might be worthy sharing with you all.
Does your church emphasize a prophetic culture?
Creating a prophetic culture is one of the more challenging things a church can do in our society, simply because there are so many voices about what ‘prophetic’ means and how it should be (or if it should be) valued.
First off I will address the “if it should be” crowd. If you would like further discussion on this issue, please take it to the comments or contact me privately and I will gladly have an open dialogue with you.
Concerning the prophetic, it is my position that all believers possess the call to prophesy on the basis of Peter’s sermon in Acts 2. So long as it can be said, “all who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved,” the whole church is commissioned with the prophetic to declare Jesus’ testimony (Rev 19:10). In this sense, all Christians are called to prophesy.
Creating a prophetic culture in our churches, homes, and places of work simply comes down to what I call “pulling out the gold” from our personal and public times of worship, prayer, and fellowship. If we read the Bible and spend time with the Holy Spirit, it is likely we’re often prophesying without even knowing we are doing so. How much greater will it be if we are aware and cooperative with the Lord in His desire to speak to us and through us to others? Creating an open and safe environment for the prophetic to grow in our churches will be much more effective long term for establishing a healthy, honorable, and biblically mature prophetic culture.
Prophecy is given to build up the Church, (Ephesians 4:11-16), by encouraging, comforting, and exhorting its members (1 Corinthians 14).
Prophecy is a gift of the Holy Spirit given in a moment from one believer to another (1 Corinthians 12:1-11). It is also a gift to reveal Jesus’ hear to the unbeliever and believer alike (1 Corinthians 14:24-25), and finally, it can also be a specific function (or “office”) of ministry (Ephesians 4:11).
Each of the above examples of prophetic ministry serve a different and valuable purpose in the church, and all should be eagerly sought after (1 Corinthians 14:1).
Please continue with me in this series as I explore Different Types of Prophecy, and prophets, and also Prophets. In these articles to follow I will share what I believe to be very basic steps that will aid anyone who desires to prophesy.
-J. S. Marek