In my last ‘Prophetic Insight’ article I mentioned that … “Recently I was in a local church and received nothing ahead of time – in spite of a concentrated time (in my hotel room the night before) of focusing on the church and the ministry to happen the next morning. I received nothing in advance. Then, at the service, I received nothing. It took three days after the event before I understood why – but that is another issue I will address in another ‘Prophetic Insight.’ ”
Well, let me speak to that issue in this edition of The Apostolic Approach’s ‘Prophetic Insights.’
I believe that the reason I did not receive a prophetic word for the “local church” was simply that it was not a church. In the case of the group of people I am specifically thinking about – it was simply a collection of people who gathered together on a Sunday. This does not make such a gathering a church – it is simply a collection of people coming together.
The first question we need to answer – Did God call this local assembly into being? Stated another way: Is it God’s will that this group of people assemble in His Name in this location and become a church plant bearing His Name?
Assuming the answer to the first question is affirmative and that God does want a local church planted in this location and at this time – then the second question to be asked and answered is – Are those leading this local church plant the right people to be doing so? Are they good people doing something they felt called to do? They might have the right motive and intentions – but do they have the calling and the grace (and gifts) to actually plant a vibrant and lasting work for the Lord? Are they the right people?
Let me ask the same question a another way: Are they apostolic and prophetic? Afterall, the Bible does state in 1 Corinthians 12:28 “…first apostles and then prophets then…” So, we need to plant biblically laying the foundation for the local church through the ministry of the apostle and prophet (Ephesians 2:20).
If the lead couple is not called and anointed as an apostle and prophet – then we must ask if this church plant has regular input from a trans-local apostle and prophet. This is absolutely essential for a healthy start to a supernatural church that will impact the people in the area where they are located for the Kingdom of God. In fact, it is absolutely essential right from the praying and planning stages of the local church before it ever goes public. And, the input of apostles and prophets must continue throughout the life of the church for it to continue to be healthy, grow and reproduce first disciples and then other sister churches.
It is time to build the way God designed His Church to be built and to no longer assume we can build it whatever way we want to – doing our market analysis and implementing packaged programming adopted from some other “successful” ministry or local church. It is time to realize that this might build large crowds but this does not make a strong supernatural church. It is time to understand that the Lord is the One who builds the Church and that He has a unique and one-of-a-kind plan and design for each local expression of His body. It is time to seek Him and discover what that is in each and every situation – then to simply trust and obey – implementing what it is we have heard prophetically from the Lord under the guiding direction of seasoned apostles and prophets..
A local church built this way will be strong and healthy with good roots and a solid foundation. A local church build upon the foundation of the apostle and prophets will be strong and will take more and more territory for the Kingdom of Light and will defeat the domain of darkness in their area. A local church build His way will be one that wins the lost and disciples new converts – bringing them to maturity so that they too can begin to reproduce other disciples. A local church built this way will produce the next generation of five-fold ministers and plant other churches. They will “occupy until He comes” increasing their market share on a daily basis.
This is the true Church of Jesus Christ built His way.