The church must not lose the prophetic power God has endowed us

The church must not lose the prophetic power God has endowed us with, like the black movement lost it. Ellis wrote, “ In the historic African-American indifference toward God and the loss of the prophetic power we had discovered in the Civil Rights Movement.” [1]

The indifference of a church rises from many factors, but the primary one above all, is the loss of knowing and experiencing the conviction of who God is. Calvin talks about the piety each one needs with God in our walk on this earth. Bible also says, without holiness no one can see God. Indifference in church can also be a result of church leadership lameness, doing nothing much. A vacuum leadership atmosphere is punching a big hole to an otherwise potentially a blooming flourishing church. When leadership fails, everything else fails in a local church. I agree that church must have proper good eldership structure to nourish that kind of growth and shalom everyone desires, and also called by our God. Christ has given everything to the church, his body, and we are to love the church as He loves her.

The prophetic power in the Civil Rights movement of Martin Luther King Jr is not what is perceived and understood among the charismatic’s prophecy in a local church. But this is a macro scale of a cry for God’s heart’s passion desire, in the Civil rights movement’s day, it’s a cry to achieve all men are created equal by God. In fact we are all created in the image of God. So King’s rally and speeches is a strong prophetic voice for America to reform. That’s the prophetic power. King harnessed the power of prophetic voice from scriptures, and the church community that he’s with. He was doing it in the unction of the divine God.

In todays’ culture, we need more prophetic voices in that kind of mettle to shake people free from their bondages. Christians are powered by the Holy Spirit through the spiritual gifts to execute the callings of God. We are not doing alone with our strength, in fact, if we did, it will just be humanism that are doomed from day one, just like the black movement in Ellis’s book. What we should be is seeing leaders raised in our local churches to carry that burden, passion from the Word of God to preach it from the pulpit, and sprinkler them down the aisles. Let people be moved, fired up, for the restoration and renewal by God, or simply put, a revival. All these are tied very close together. If we lose that cutting edge, church will just be mundane, and dry. Pulpits are devoid of that sharpness that God has endowed his servants. Remember, the most important task of a pastor, is the preaching of the Word of God.

Acts 6:3–4 3 Instead, brothers and sisters, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task. 4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”

Peter facing the church unhappiness from certain demographics (a big church of 3000+), called the church to set apart the church deacons, but for the apostles, they will devote themselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word. Ministry of the word is preaching which is the spiritual highlight once a week together with worship on Sunday mornings. If pastors miss that, he’s missed the whole week.

The second thing emphasized by Peter is prayer. Pastor, elders, deacons, leaders, must pray diligently with the flock. Prayer is touching the supernatural power. Prayer is communion with the divine God, our God and Christ Jesus. The whole book of Psalms is worship and Prayers! There is nothing more important than prayers. If a church doesn’t pray together, the church will not flourish. Leadership must lead by example in prayers, primarily that’s the job order laid down by Peter in Acts 6.

That’s the birthing place of deacons.

Acts 6:1–7

Now at this time, as the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint developed on the part of the Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food. 2 So the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables. 3 Instead, brothers and sisters, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task.

You can see that deacons are set apart to serve tables, and the economics needs of the church. They are to help out in looking after the practical side’s chores of the church. A healthy church must have in place, the deacons, elders, and pastor. Without which, it’s just not going to flourish.

The result of a structured church with deacons, elders, and apostles/pastors in function

4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” 5 The announcement found approval with the whole congregation; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch. 6 And they brought these men before the apostles; and after praying, they laid their hands on them.

The word of God kept spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith.

The quick answer is that the word of God kept spreading. How do you love that? The Word of God kept spreading. Don’t you love to see that in your city, your country? How? Because the church has full functions operating in all horsepower. Without anyone of those, we are shortchanging the church, becoming a bottleneck in the move of the Spirit of God.

And the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem! That’s what we want to see, not only Sunday attendance, but actual disciples. What’s the difference? Attendees on Sunday service is not enough, about a personal walk with Christ daily, and becoming folks who pray, read bible, join small group bible discussion groups, fellowship like in Acts 3 onwards. They meet together daily:

Acts 2:38–47 (NASB 2020)

38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far away, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” 40 And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on urging them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!”

Peter preached a powerful sermon on the day of Pentecost! They get baptized in the name of Jesus, and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Result?

41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. 42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

3000 souls were added to church, and were baptized! Now this is the powerful one:

They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles teaching and to fellowship. To braking of bread (fellowship and communion) and prayer.

Many churches have visitors on Sundays, but they don’t stay. But in Acts 2, this is different, whoever comes, joins the church, and become devoted to the apostles teaching, fellowship, communion and prayer.

Please start enlarging your heart and vision to what God is going to do! Amen!

A sense of awe—signs and wonders happening

43 Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. 44 And all the believers were together and had all things in common; 45 and they would sell their property and possessions and share them with all, to the extent that anyone had need.

Meeting day by day!

46 Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.


[1] Carl F Ellis Jr, Free at Last, p 135

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