Here we go with part three of three in my blog series The Hospital Church.
Modern churches are usually historical snapshots of previous moves of God. You can usually tell where a given denomination stopped receiving fresh revelation by simply attending a modern service.
One of the most common "stops" for the Holy Spirit is the suspension or even the suppression of a present, ongoing revelation of Himself. This plays out in perhaps it's most obvious way possible when you look at Sunday Mornings from 10am to 12 noon. Your plans, programs and outreaches don't reveal your level of revelation, your Sunday morning services do.
Since I minister prophetically, I will address things from that perspective.
First lets look at God's original plan from Holy Scripture. His goal is not for us to have a plan or a pattern. We had that previously, it was called the Old Covenant. Under that covenant there was a single man who would carry a special access to God that no one else had because in part they did certain things that no one else did. They would go to the mountain of God and bring back a word from God to the people. The people would then know what God had said, not because they heard God for themselves but because of the holiness (self denial) of the anointed person that went to God in their place.
The icy cold reality is the majority of modern churches all work under that Old Covenant model. Catholics call their anointed person a "priest" while Christians call their anointed person a "pastor" and in some Christian circles they will call their anointed person an "Apostle" but the pattern of the Old Covenant remains undeniable. They all point to a single "Moses" type of leader that brings the word to God's people. This is commonly mislabeled as "feeding the sheep". I would more accurately call it "starving the sheep" or at best keeping them very immature because it never allows them to grow up and learn to hear God for themselves.
You can't have spiritual anarchy either. Someone has to be in charge of the services, correct? Well, yes and no. In matters of church business, finances, who cuts the grass and the day by day stuff, of course deacons are going to be assigned to oversee certain aspects but we're not talking about that stuff, we're talking about Sunday Mornings.
Biblically speaking you want a plurality of leaders, usually in an odd number of 3, 5, etc so that a fast decision can be made as to what they feel collectively is from the Lord and what they feel isn't. This is why Paul says in 1st Cor 14 to let two or three prophets speak and the others judge. You are never supposed to just accept what an individual says as being from God without it being tested or measured for accuracy in the Spirit. Who judges it? The other prophets there in that gathering.
Remember, Apostles plant the work and assign eldership who then assign deacons. Prophets are not assigned by men, they are identified and accepted by men. Read that again, it will help you. Prophets are not assigned by men, they are identified and accepted by men.
So what does this look like in a practical Sunday Morning service? Simple.. you still make your plans and order of service just like you always do, the difference is your plan is no longer the plan A, instead it becomes your solid plan B. The expectation is for God to show up and begin to flow in a unique way specifically designed to minister and meet the needs of the people He has sovereignly led to be with you on that day. If no one perceives or feels that God is doing something special, you fall back on the Plan B until such a time that the Holy Spirit takes things back over again. If He never does, that's fine you just stick with your plan B but i assure you, if you have an honest humility to lay down your plans and yield to Him, He will absolutely come and come in beauty and majesty.
Often He will move thru and even anoint your Plan B but that usually only happens when hearts are honestly open to having Him direct the meeting. Again, the goal is giving HIM the floor... and mature Prophets and Apostles walk in that type of yielding day in and day out with their lives so discerning that on a Sunday Morning is child's play for most of them.
Sadly, I can't count the number of Prophets I have talked with that simply refuse to go to a modern church today because for years and years they went to church and were not discerned as Prophetic or were told to submit their words in writing so other non prophetic people could use what amounted to a political filter on their words. When they reach out or speak out about their concerns they are quickly labeled as rebellious or often falsely accused of trying to take over the church by insecure leadership that were just ignorant to the scriptural stance on what church government was supposed to look like.
So what do we do with our modern "Pastors"? We need to first repent of asking people to function in a way they are not called to function. No other human on the earth is responsible before God for you hearing from God for yourself. I want to say that again... No other human on the earth is responsible before God for you hearing from God for yourself. Millions of churchgoers everywhere make little to no effort to hear Go for themselves instead wanting their personal Moses (aka Pastor) to go to the mountain weekly and bring them back a fresh word. The Holy Spirit is saying to those of you guilty of that, this is the season for you to mature in your faith a bit. Even the basic milk of the word is still ingested by the baby, not the parent. Its time to open up your heart and receive Jesus afresh for yourself and begin to interact with Him directly.
If you are currently a "Pastor", it is very likely that you have a very valid ministry and are simply operating under a mistaken identity. Much like you would sit down with a 30 year old son or daughter still mooching off of you by living at home rent free, you need to have a serious conversation with the congregation and remind them that your name is not Moses.
If you truly are a biblical Pastor, then identify the Prophets and hand them over the authority to run the services that you were never supposed to have in the first place and get a small group going where you can actually Pastor those few that God has called you to Pastor.
If you are NOT a Pastor but find yourself wearing that title, it is critical that you discover what your actual and proper calling is to the body. If you already know what that is, then get to it. If not, seek that out and move toward what God has truly called you to be and do in the earth today.
In closing, if you attend a church that is run like the military or like a police station, I would consider leaving. the church is supposed to be Jesus in the Earth today. We are supposed to be the spiritual Paramedics that arrive on the scene of the world's troubles and struggles and bring HEALING. Remember too, that doesn't mean we don't have an opinion. If someone is engaged in behaviour that is unhealthy, as a doctor you have an obligation to tell them they should stop but that is ultimately their choice. I would suggest your words will be taken far more seriously when you wear a Doctor's coat instead of a Police Officer uniform.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.