Article by Teresa Chang
As church leaders, we must recognize that prophetic vision is, first of all, about God’s presence. We are called to be people who foster the very presence of God in our congregations, learning how to favor and interact with His presence through worship, prayer, waiting on Him, soaking and biblical meditation.
Every follower of Jesus is called to be prophetic. Moses emphasized this in Numbers 11 when the Holy Spirit fell upon the 70—and then two other people as well. Joshua asked, “Should we stop them?”
“No,” Moses replied. “I would that all God’s people be prophets.”
Moses got his wish in the New Testament when the Holy Spirit was poured out on all flesh (Acts 2). The result of Pentecost was that all God’s people became prophetic.
In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit came upon only certain individuals, but in the New Covenant, if you are born again and have the Spirit of God dwelling in you, you have entered a new prophetic dimension.
How to Grow a Prophetic Vision in Your Church
1. Make the vision practical.
The vision for the presence needs to be practical, practiced and celebrated. Practical simply means that you as a church leader teach on it regularly and reinforce its different aspects within your church. Try to give your congregation a picture of what a church filled with the Spirit looks like—it is a group of people who are baptized afresh in God’s power. They interact in intimacy and love with Him and are filled with praise and joy because He is in their midst. They also interact with each other in love and honor, treasuring Christ in each person.
If you can encapsulate that vision—what a Spirit-filled church really looks like—you’re on your way to instilling this vision in your congregation.
2. Model the vision.
Preach the vision of every church member being a prophetic conduit, and as a church leader, model the vision on a daily basis. Are you walking in the prophetic? Are you cultivating and nurturing it? Are you learning to hear the voice of God better? Are you learning to host a conscious awareness of His presence throughout your day? Are you aware of the spiritual atmosphere around you? Are you learning to discern the different spirits around you? These are all elements of walking in the prophetic.
3. Make the prophetic vision a priority for your staff and church.
Be certain your staff know your vision for the prophetic, and be sure they are on the same page as you.
Also, strongly encourage everyone in your church to seek the Lord personally. Make pursuing God a priority, both individually and organizationally, and go after His presence as a group. You can do this through worship gatherings, prayer meetings and ministry to one another. Purposefully set aside time to meet with God and interact with Him, and celebrate when He shows up in powerful or unique ways. If you want more of Jesus and His presence in your midst, it is important to encourage testimonies of healings, miracles and encounters with God. Celebrate these things over and over again. People will emulate what you celebrate.
It’s easy to celebrate well-known prophets (those in the actual office of prophet), but we also need to celebrate the “regular” members of the church who are moving in the prophetic with words of knowledge, words of wisdom, discerning of spirits and prophetic utterance. Remember that even if a prophetic word is inaccurate in the moment, we can still celebrate that the person took a risk. We will never grow in accuracy without mistakes being made from time to time.
If you honor God’s presence, it will gradually increase in your midst, and the people you’re leading will have a greater and greater experience of the presence and power of God.