Friday, October 24, 2008

Prophecy to a Church (2)

A problem occurs when a person who is fluent with the gift of prophecy and experienced with personal prophecy moves up to the role of bringing prophecy to a church. If a church is growing in the obedience to the Holy Spirit, it will be filled with such a buzz that it does need much encouragement. If a church is wandering away from the path, it will need correction. An example of this is the seven letters to the churches in Revelation 2,3.

I remember one incident when a prophetic word was spoken during the meeting of a church and all who were present fell on their knees and wept. This was a long time ago, but I believe that we need to see this more often.

The problem is that most prophecies to churches are brought pastoral people who are skilled in bringing encouragement to people through personal prophecy (I am ignoring the people who have fallen out with the church leaders, because their words are not usually heard). These pastoral people carry over the same method and standard and proclaim encouragement to the church, so they struggle to bring a word of correction.

The other problem is vagueness. This is also a crossover from personal prophecy, where spontaneity is the standard. There is nothing in the scriptures that says that that a spontaneous prophecy is superior to one that is pondered over time and edited to sharpen the delivery of the message.

I expect that many prophecies to churches would be clearer, if they were reviewed and edited by the prophet and other prophetic people. I have heard many prophecies that were spot on for the first few sentences, but then the speaker lost the plot towards the end. The speaker should probably have put the editors pencil through the last few sentences.

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