Prophets – you belong in Church! AWOL Prophets are not a good thing!
I frequently get emails from people who claim to have prophetic gift or ministry but don’t belong to any Church. Many of these are angry at the way churches have treat them, but miss a major and significant fact; nothing they do exists outside of the Church.
Home is where the heart is. Such a tired cliché but so true. There’s nothing as nice as returning from a trip to the security of home, familiar settings, sounds, smells and personal comforts.
The same can be said for Church, but for many prophetic people having a ‘home to go to’ is not an aspiration or a value. God loved the Church and gave Himself for her. Many of the prophets are not prepared to make that commitment.
When the question is raised, “Which Church do you belong to?” the answer can be a telling one. To be told that someone goes to this or that church is not the same as belonging.
· Belonging implies relationship.
Belonging suggests that there are others who are involved in pastoral care and oversight, that you are not alone. It means protection, discipline, support and hugs where needed.
· Not isolation.
Remember the profound question that God asked Elijah when he was on the run from Jezebel and hid alone in the cave, “What are you doing here Elijah?” The problem with isolation is that the enemy takes advantage when we are alone by choice.
When Israel was being taunted by Goliath his call was for them to give him a man to fight. Isolated, alone and vulnerable. In contrast to this is the New Testament picture of the prophetic functioning as part of the local church, ‘there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers…’ (Acts 13).
The insinuation is that they were an integrated part of the fellowship at Antioch. It was the time when Apostolic ministry was making massive headway’s across the middle east and into Africa and progressing towards Europe but the prophets in Antioch had a home.
Prophetic folks often feel lonely and misunderstood but that was not the testimony recorded by Agabus or other prophetic ministries in the early church. There is some serious ground to be retaken here.
One of the benefits of not belonging to a church and professing that you are a prophet is that you always get your own way!
I am being harsh here, but the day of sulky prophets is over. For the sake of the gospel, work on your relationships with the God-appointed leadership of your church, serve and be an integral part of the church.