Article by Teresa Chang
In 2008 our church had a prophetic renewal, where prophetic words were being poured out on many members of our church. Sadly, this fizzled out a few months later, in part because we had not created a good cultural structure to house this gift and make it a lifestyle for all the members of our church. What is the true test of your effectiveness as a church leader in building a prophetic culture? It is whether or not your members are becoming more “naturally supernatural.”
As your church adopts a prophetic lifestyle, a set of practices begins to emerge that reflects the things your church does naturally. You don’t do them because you are told to do them or because you have a program set up that helps you do them. Instead, you do them because you love Jesus, His Word and His purposes, and these things are deeply entrenched in your heart as a community. The values you embraced have become a way of life for you.
How do you promote a prophetic lifestyle in your community?
1. Know your vision.
The first step in building a prophetic lifestyle is knowing your vision for the prophetic and running with it. What is your vision for the prophetic? What do you want to see happen in your church? Begin by incorporating the vision in your own life, and then move on to incorporating it in your leadership team.
Prophets are tuned in to God’s presence, strength and imminent purposes. They are especially gifted to hear His voice and to sense what the Holy Spirit is doing at any given time. Prophets are sensitive to God’s presence and are champions of His purpose. They take the word of the Lord and run with it in ways that reflect God’s presence in the body.
Prophets reveal God’s heart and mind for the benefit of the Body of Christ and the fruitfulness of the Church.
Not only can prophets discern the ways of the Lord, but they also are able to impart that ability to others, either through the laying on of hands or through their anointed teaching. Think about what that means to you on a daily basis. What do you want it to mean for your church?
2. Identify and remove challenges.
Begin to identify challenges that hinder you and your church from living a prophetic lifestyle. In part, that means examining your personal values and priorities and those of your church. What do you truly value? How do you prioritize those values? Are your values and priorities consistent with who Jesus is?
Look at how you manage your money, spend your time and allocate your talents. Are you giving your best for God’s purposes? Are you doing so in a balanced way that can be sustained over the long haul?
Does anything need to be adjusted in your life? In your church? Begin to make those adjustments.
3. Share the vision with the body.
Preach on the subject of building a prophetic lifestyle. Talk about it from the pulpit, and encourage a prophetic reality in every context, whether it is in people’s homes, church small groups, children’s church, Sunday morning services, workplaces, government spheres or even the gym.
In every context, people can cultivate the prophetic,
listen to God for others and communicate what He says.
Encourage every member of the body to seek revelation, dreams, visions and other kinds of prophetic input from the Spirit of God.
Remember, people emulate what you celebrate. Therefore, celebrate prophecy. Celebrate prophetic leaders in the Body of Christ as well as “regular” members of the church who are moving in the prophetic with words of knowledge, words of wisdom, discerning of spirits and prophetic utterance.