Friday, 8 October 2010

Encouraging stepping out

There are measures of gifting. It’s a bit like Romans 12 when it says, when talking about prophecy and other spiritual gifts: ‘Do it in measure of your faith.’

Most of us operate at the end of the range where ‘simple’ prophecy lies. Weighing the words and the gift of discernment become critically important. That’s why 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21 is vital: ‘Do not put out the spirit’s fire and do not treat prophecies with contempt.' If you have been in a meeting where some strange picture has been given and you’re leading the meeting - what do you do?

I normally just let things keep going unless it’s dubious. The danger is that it is very easy to get cynical about some prophecy but if you close it down too soon, people won‘t take the risk of contributing. They won’t step out in faith because they’re worried about getting ‘jumped on’ and so you have to live with that level of contribution. You live with it to have the moment when you get something that really redirects your life or the life of a community. Even a prophet starts with ‘simple’ prophecy, so there needs to be space for people to grow in bringing prophecy and as leaders we need to actively encourage prophetic contributions. But it’s important you test everything and hold on to the good.

To be continued...