I woke up this morning after another dream (I am dreaming more in this season than I ever have before) and there seems to be consistent theme God is speaking to me about concerning Apostolic ministry, in particular, the 5 fold ministry and how there needs to be a shift in thinking and operation of these God given gifts to the body of Christ.
In last night’s dream, a Prophet was visiting a local church on the invitation of the church leader. The Prophet was moving around the congregation and calling people out and telling them what God was calling them to do; what gifts God had deposited in them, and what they were going to be doing in their future. The Prophet was ‘reading from Gods manuscript for each persons life‘
I think most of us have been in a meeting like that over recent years and the charismatic church is actually quite rife with this kind of ministry. There is an abundance of prophets and prophetic ministries travelling around the world and encouraging churches and church members. However, my concern is (after several dreams and words from God on this subject) that so much about how the prophetic ministry (and the other 5 fold gifts) operating today is a weaker version of God’s intended design.
As an Evangelist/Prophet I am no longer ashamed of calling myself what God has called me to be in His Kingdom. I don’t sign my emails as ‘Evangelist’ or ‘Prophet’ and I do not carry a business card declaring it. My name is Rob; however, I know what I have been given as a grace gift to invest in others’ lives and I know my function. That gives me more focus and effectiveness.
I am not a Pastor and so I do not try and step into a pastoral ministry (a mistake that very nearly destroyed me in a previous season), I am not a teacher and so I do not step into a teaching ministry. I am effective as an Evangelist because I carry that anointing on my life which is simply a grace gift and not something I have earned or deserve. When I operate in the prophetic my passion is always that it leads to a soul being saved or at least drawn much closer to knowing Jesus saves, heals, delivers, loves, and has the very best in store for that person or church’s life.
However, an Evangelist for example is not supposed to go around doing all the evangelism for everyone. I think we kind of get that, but it is worth mentioning anyway. Ephesians 4 Evangelists are supposed to equip churches, pastors etc, how to better reach their communities and teach them how to be better soul winners. Likewise, Prophets, are not supposed to just come into churches and conferences and call people out and speak encouraging words over them. They are supposed to empower people into their destiny and create opportunity for them to grow in their own calling.
New Testament prophets should operate as often as possible in a team and it is also my passion, and something I am declaring, that prophets and evangelists will also sit at the same government table as the pastors and elders, not being seen as a ministry ‘under a pastor’ but rather (where appropriate) sitting alongside the pastor as an integral part of the leadership and apostolic covering of a local community. OK, here’s what I am trying to say and what I believe God is saying through my recent dreams on this subject.
Prophets are not supposed to just read to people, they are supposed to release people. Any anointed prophet or prophetic person can see what God is revealing to a certain person, that which is written in the days of their life and numbered by the Lord, if God chooses to reveal it to them. When I receive a word of knowledge about a person’s sickness or disease, I do not just tell them what their condition is, I (in Jesus’ name) release them from its bondage.
More people are aware of their calling than I think we give them credit for. I remember saying to my wife years ago that I would scream if one more person stood me up in a conference and said the words “Evangelist or Prophet” because I know that already. It has been prophesied multiple times and the fruit is there in the area of gifting and history of fulfilled prophetic words I have given. What I needed was someone to come alongside that prophetic word given to me and say “I am going to give you opportunity to function more in that word given to you” and this is where the Apostolic and Pastoral ministry is so important.
Apostles and Pastors within the local church setting (which God is preparing to blow the roof off soon I believe) must learn to release people. Yes they must be teachable and accountable but we must activate the whole body. Don’t just read scripture to them on a Sunday morning, release them to be word and spirit in all areas of the community. Do not expect people to come to your church meeting and spend an hour listening to your latest sermon, throw some cash in the offering, attend a midweek service, throw some more cash in the offering and so on….move into the ministry of DEPLOYING people into the battlefield and train them how to charge into the darkness and be a repairer of the breach.
Pastors, if you are going to invite prophets to minister at your church or conference, please pay particular attention to the words spoken over those under your care and then dare to risk giving them opportunity to function in what God is calling them to do. Otherwise, apostles, prophets and evangelists, pastors and teachers are simply on a platform displaying their gifts rather than deploying the rest of the body to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations.
If someone receives a word about being a worship leader and you know they are musical and can see that the word sits right, then grab that person and pull them in and give them room to grow into what the prophet said they were designed to be. Wisdom is needed of course, but take a risk and give them a chance to develop and use your anointing to deploy theirs. If someone is clearly showing a passion for the streets and evangelism, do not force them to endure endless sermons on a Sunday, Wednesday and every other day; get them DEPLOYED to win souls and transform society.
We need to create space for the evangelistic people to go out on the streets and market place and affect society. Stop expecting them to be at all the church’s weekly meetings, be secure, let them loose where they are called to be, which is in the harvest field not the store house.
We must come away from this model of church/conference thinking where a few big names are stood on a platform to display their gifting and charisma. Instead we must adopt the kingdom way which is to train and equip and give opportunity to the rest of the body to function effectively in what they are called to do. Jesus modeled this so well with a few unruly men that He gave endless opportunity to and training for the harvest field.
I have been declaring this phrase for years now “The next great revival will not come through a preacher and a platform, but by the corporate body being obedient to GO”
Let’s create space, take risk, give opportunity, and release the rest of the body. Otherwise they will continue to leave our churches and set up their own ministries and be labelled ‘rebels’ and feel isolated and alone. Pastors will continue to burn out, and prophets and evangelists like me will continue to fall in all kinds of sin and moral failure because we are carrying more than we were ever designed to carry.
I am urging the UK church especially to DEPLOY, DEPLOY, DEPLOY.
This is a key to national revival and a healthy church body. Get them out of the barn and into the battlefield. NOW!!!!