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Building Prophetic Community: Part Deux - The Journey Continues!
Paul David Guidry's picture

I really hesitate to do a lot of writing on the prophetic because there are many others that have written on the subject with great depth, wisdom and understanding. As pastor of The Bridge Metrowest, coming on the heels of previous pastors here like John Paul Jackson and John E. Thomas, I would much rather refer you to their material. But Holy Spirit reminds me that doing that alone may just be a tad…lazy.  <yes, insert winky emoticon thing here> My role at the Bridge and our experience with authentic, fruitful prophetic words, as well as “prophetic” moments that make you go “hmm?”, compels me to stay on this journey of understanding what we believe and why we believe it. It is also important to understand what we do and why we do it! We can contemplate these things without slipping into condemnation. And we can testify of these things without exaggeration. That is part of the function of prophetic community! We weigh and test words of revelation in love. This is the second part of an ongoing conversation. I invite you to join in!

I have come to believe that we can get confused between the role of the prophetic and the individual prophet within the context of the community of the local, regional, and greater Church which is the Body of Christ. Among those whose primary gifting is prophetic, some actually are placed in the biblical “office” of prophet by God. This office of prophet is designed to edify, encourage, and comfort but also equip the Body of Christ for ministry along with the rest of the five-fold ministry of the church. The prophet is most effective when working in concert with the five fold ministry of the church, not apart from it.

Each piece of that five-fold ministry often communicates the gospel and the nature of God in a certain way. Apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers and evangelists each see things a certain way and thus express kingdom dynamics from that viewpoint. Why? Because their primary anointing becomes the filter through which they interpret purpose. When we observe an infinite God from differing perspectives we can sometimes feel that the various expressions of the observations are in conflict with each other. I actually find that much of the time they are in concert with each other. When we decide that our perspective or expression is THE one, single, correct perspective of the infinite God we have a problem. If we fall into this category of decision, we inevitably take our gifting outside the context of Church community and either isolate ourselves or build our own little castle around our perspectives and expressions. I will get more into this in a future entry. <insert another winky emoticon thing>

But let me say this. We, who are in Christ, collectively are the temple of the Holy Spirit. We collectively are the representation of the body of Christ. We, collectively, are the representation of His nature. This is why there is a five fold ministry to equip the church. Not a one-fold. This is why there are many manifestations of the gifts of the spirit, not just one. The gifts and manifestations aren't the goal. They are designed to propel the body toward the goal! Ephesians 4:16 describes how every part and joint of the body fits together and supplies toward the goal of the body. The method of supply is not the goal. The joint itself is not the goal. All the parts work toward the common goal of the body: growing to maturity with unity in love and Christ at the head!

Ephesians 4:14-16 (New Living Translation) Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

 

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