[size=large]Prophecy In The Local Church[/size]
1. The church is God’s idea. Matt. 16:18
A. The church is a called out group of people who are brought together through the life, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus.
B. The church is described as:
– A Body. 1 Cor. 12:12-28
– A Bride. Rev. 21
– An Army. Philippians. 2:25; 2 Tim. 2:3-4
– A Household. 1 Tim. 3:15
– A City. Rev 21:2
C. We don’t have to be part of a local church for very long to discover that there is a big gap between the ideals of scripture and what we often experience.
– A major goal of the church is to produce people of maturity, people who live in the real world but who are also reaching out with all that’s in them through desire, prayer, and practice to reach the ideal. Eph. 4:11-16
– Some people look at the gaps in frustration and walk away. The balanced disciple will role up his sleeves and press forward. Philippians 3:13-14
D. Prophecy help to lessen the gap between where the local church is and where the church can be.
– Prophecy reveals and crystallizes the mind and heart of God to the people.
– Prophecy encourages, exhorts and comforts.
– Prophecy builds up both individual members and the church as a whole.
– Prophecy helps foster a sense of closeness between God and the people.
– Prophecy encourages people to be better than they are, to keep moving upward.
– Prophecy can serve as a catalyst to get everyone moving together in the same direction.
2. Here are some thoughts for actively engaging prophecy in the context of the local church.
A. Inspirational prophecy is appropriate in corporate gatherings of worship and prayer.
– Home Fellowship Groups.
– Public Settings.
B. Those who are learning and first stepping out into inspirational prophecy should review their prophetic words with a proven leader.
C. Revelational prophecy should be offered first to leadership before being offered publicly.
– Write it down or record it.
– Allow leaders to reflect and pray and for the Lord to touch everyone’s heart.
– Stay accountable. Don’t go to friends and associates. Keep the word between you and the leadership.
-Meet with the leadership and allow them to plan the next move.
– Prophetic words that signify major changes in direction need to be more than pronounced; they must rather be woven into the fabric of church life in layers and increments.