When was the last time you heard the voice of God? When was the last time you told a perfect stranger what God thinks about his or her situation? When was the last time a prophet spoke in your church?
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. The entire Body of Christ has been given a mantle of prophethood so that we express the prophetic community God designed us to be. We all need to accept this prophetic role, which means training and equipping the entire Body to prophesy. The gift of prophecy in the Church is no mere desirable option; it represents the very essence of the New Covenant that Jesus inaugurated. As Peter indicated on the Day of Pentecost, this pouring out of the Spirit on all flesh is that gift of prophecy that creates prophetic community.
All God’s people are called to be prophetic and to participate in prophetic community. I use the term “prophetic” to describe the generalized function of the people of God in whom is resting the Holy Spirit and who are continuing the works of Jesus, including the practice of prophecy. (This is not to say that all God’s people are anointed for and called to the office of prophet. Prophecy is a gift freely given but the leadership role of prophet is uniquely given to those distinguished by the specific divine calling in Ephesians 4:11.) The Bible describes the New Covenant community as a prophetic community filled with and led by the Spirit who continue to do and teach what Jesus did. They do it as Spirit-anointed witnesses. They do it like prophets!
This is the essence of prophetic community: God’s call to all to minister in His gifts, especially prophecy. We are to demonstrate the Kingdom of God in normal, everyday life inside and outside the walls of the church. We all have been given grace so that we are all empowered to minister in His gifts in every place and to every person we are sent to. This is how we all participate in the mission of Christ, who taught us to pray, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” and then commanded us to “go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation,” with signs and wonders following.
Do I really mean all of us? Yes. Not just the super gifted, the leaders, the professional pastors with lofty titles? No. All of us. As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 12:4-6, we all have the same Spirit of God, the Spirit of power and prophecy, who empowers the various gifts, services and activity in each of us.
I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in Him in all speech and all knowledge…so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift. (1 Corinthians 1:4-5, 7).
Grace is the power of the Spirit by which we move in mighty word and deed, as Jesus and His disciples did. It is how God gifts us to complete the mission of Christ. It is the empowerment given at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit, promised by Father God, was poured out from heaven to fill the Body of Christ individually and corporately. We have received grace upon grace to do the book of Acts!
- How does seeing your life (every place, situation, and person who you are in contact with) as a mission field, for which you have a Kingdom purpose and empowerment, change your focus and priorities?
- What would happen if you viewed every gathering inside and outside the church as an opportunity to see God move by His gifts through you?
- How will you take advantage of the opportunity to demonstrate the Gospel this week? Consider the possibilities at your church, at the grocery store, at your workplace, at the gym, and in any of the places where you normally go in your daily life.
Take a look at the image below. It’s a painting by Christina A. Steele, but it’s more than just a painting. It’s a prophetic message meant to show Jesus, as the Lion of Judah releasing His prophetic commission over each of us. His roar over us releases the call to this prophetic inheritance that all believers share, along with His power to walk it out!
— Kim Maas
P.S. I will be leading a trip to Brazil in a few months with Blaine Cook. These trips are a great way to get activated in your Spiritual gifts, and I strongly urge any believer to travel with Global. You won’t regret it, and I’d love to see you on my March Brazil trip!
P.P.S. This article is taken from my latest book, Prophetic Community. If you’re stirred by this topic, but want more context for what this kind of community looks like, along with more Scriptural support for it, I would encourage you to check out the full book here >>