People talk about prophetic community but what is it? As a missionary living in a different culture, I understand that if it does not work everywhere, it is not biblical anymore. If it does not work on the coast of Fiji, it is not biblical in America, either!
A prophetic community is not just a local body in which all understand their prophetic role and are equipped to prophesy. This certainly qualifies as a prophetic community…but a church full of evangelists that identify their God-given assignment as evangelism should also recognize they are a prophetic community.
Dr. Kim Maas
Let’s start by saying something very clear: our current model of local churches is not working. Part of the reason this is that it is rooted in Reformed theology, not the Book of Acts. Our focus has been structure, elders, deacons, home groups, etc. It has not transformed nations. Stats show that people who take their faith serious has dropped because what we are doing just is not working.
What is a prophetic community?
A prophetic community is a group of people that experience life in Christ through the Spirit of God and being the people of God’s presence. The basis of fellowship is the glory or manifest presence of God. People who gather, encourage, equip, and deploy to the nations from the prophetic nature of the people of God.
…all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. -Romans 8:14
Prophetic communities are not primarily theological. The embrace of sound doctrine is critical but the community is built around the presence of God, not an academic study or New Testament Survey. The starting point of spirituality is the voice of the Lord. Scripture remains the test of any revelatory understanding but serves as the banks, not the river itself.
People who gather in prophetic communities do not build around their pet doctrines or debates with people from other “camps.” They also do not led the wisdom of the world become a guide for how faith would be walked out. They confront the worldliness in the churches in the name of “wisdom.”
…the wisdom of this world is folly with God. (1 Corinthians 3:19)
People who gather in biblical apostolic gatherings that flow from the presence of the Lord will walk in the favor of the Father. As people that are rooted in the voice of the Lord, they will not be led by the latest fad that the world has introduced into the churches. It is not of interest to have the coolest idea if the presence of God does not fall with it. The anointing becomes the test of what is from the Lord and what it is.
What about leadership?
In Apostolic terms, the concept of leadership becomes spiritual, not organizational. It is not flow charts of pastors, then elders, the deacons. It is replaced with the table of the Lord and the word of the Lord. The question is not what the plurality of elders thinks but what the Holy Spirit has said. The bottom line is always “Have you heard from the Lord or not?”
You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. (1 Corinthians 10:21)
At the table of the Lord, the opinions, egos, and desires of man do not matter. The Lord is the head of the community and His Lordship destroys every work of the flesh. People walking in the presence of the Spirit, led by the Spirit, and carrying out the move of the Spirit with the leadership of the people found in Jesus Himself.
The smell of leadership in a prophetic community is the smell of flesh dying daily. It is the death of egos and personal desires to prosper at the cost of others and the fulfillment of the Great Commission.
When the basis for fellowship becomes the leadership of Jesus and not the works of designed control, the Spirit will be poured with the congregation becoming prophetic people who have dreams, visions and encounters with the angelic armies. This is a paradigm shift for most, especially those from Calvinists backgrounds.
Towards the Great Commission
As the people of God move from man-made structures to be people of the Spirit, a renewed passion for finishing the Great Commission would become possible in our generation.
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world, in [into] witnessing to all folks; and then the end shall come. (Matthew 24:14, Wycliffe Bible)
Any community that claims Jesus is the Lord of the leadership that does not focus on taking the gospel to every person on this planet has failed to provide a biblical basis for existence. The sole purpose of any congregation is to take the gospel with miracles following to the ends of the earth. That’s what Jesus said Himself.
“Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mark 16:15-18)