In our last blog we discussed four of the eight essential parts that make up the essence of a prophetic church. Essence is the core—the spirit—the heart—the lifeblood of what something is. God created his people to be prophetic and to establish powerful prophetic churches. But if these things are missing we are not not prophetic, powerful, or in reality, his church.
A prophetic church demonstrates the power of God. This essential element is missing in most churches—there is little or no power present. I know all the excuses couched as arguments. Those arguments go something like this: we don’t need the miraculous, we have the Word of God, or if we had miracles all the time people would get bored or stop seeking after God. Those are nothing more than the excuses of unbelief. One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is working of miracles. It seems quite biblical for that gift to be present in every church.
God’s power manifested in a person or group of people is a demonstration of the in-breaking of the kingdom of God. When we proclaim Jesus according to his word powerful demonstration will follow. Miracles are valuable because they are proof that God is present. Where God’s presence rests—his power is demonstrated. No power—no presence. Check out the Scriptures if you don’t believe it and see what it teaches.
We need a renewed awareness of God’s presence and power or churches tend to become museums that memorialize a Jesus who died on the cross 2,000 years ago, instead of a resurrected Jesus who is alive and working among his people at this very moment. The power of God simply proves that the God of the Word is still working in an active, intimate, and tangible way.
A prophetic church nurtures prophetic dreams and visions. Jesus designed the church to be a birthing room, a nursery, and a training school for prophetic people. God continues to raise up people with gifts to see and hear what others cannot. They need a safe place to learn, to experiment, to fail, to find correction, and to succeed in the practice of their gift. All spiritual gifts increase in power and precision as they are practiced.
Most churches are fearful of prophetic people. They are either told they have an over-active imagination or that they are just plain crazy. They are asked to keep silent or told to go somewhere else. These gifted individuals need a refuge to mature in their gifting and we need their gifts to comprehend what God is doing now—in the present! Or, we miss it and we lose something that cannot be recaptured.
A prophetic church is a voice crying out against social injustice. The church is to be the conscience of a nation and a voice for those who have no voice. Presently, the church has gotten amazingly silent. Who will stand for the rights of the unborn if the church keeps silent? Who will stand against the slavery and debauchery of the sex-traffic trade if the church turns her head? Who will stand against poverty and help the impoverished step out of its ravenous jaws if the church does nothing? Who will be the champion of the abused if the church closes her eyes? The answer…no one! Many people wonder why God does not act to stop these things. He did—he created us!
Finally, a prophetic church will cry out for personal holiness and repentance. Sadly, many Christians believe our nation is sliding down the slippery slope to ruin due to the politicians, Hollywood, the music industry, and the special interest groups. They blame “them.” It’s “their” fault. That is a tragedy because as the church goes, so goes the nation. We are responsible—not “them.” As Christians, we have not portrayed a credible image of our Savior. Instead of showing life-changing love of Jesus—we have buried our heads in the sand. Or worse—we have allowed culture to erode biblical values rather than using those values to change culture. A prophetic church calls believers back to repentance and with repentance comes revival. Biblical revival is not a series of evangelistic meetings. Revival is the people of God humble and broken over their own sins and the sins of the nation, crying out for God’s forgiveness and mercy. Revival will happen when we stop blaming “them” and start repenting of our own sins. We must take responsibility for our sin and then awakening will come and change will take place in our government, our entertainment industries, and in our nation.
These eight things are the essential essence of a prophetic church. Check each of them out and evaluate yourself and the church you attend, and you decide whether or not you are a part of a prophetic church…or if you want to be.
A prophetic church:
- Constantly reveals the heart of God.
- Continually fulfills biblical prophecy.
- Consciously provides a prophetic standard from the Scriptures.
- Consistently moves when the presence of God moves.
- Celebrates by demonstrating the power of God.
- Carefully nurtures prophetic dreams and visions.
- Cries out against social injustice.
- Calls the church back to personal holiness and repentance.