Ephesians 4:11-12 says God has given apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to the church “for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ…”
This suggests that a prophet might serve the church by bringing them a fresh word they might not hear otherwise, or by prophesying over church members one by one.
But another aspect of prophetic ministry is to teach the church to hear from God for themselves. In the past few years, many people with prophetic ministries have been conducting training sessions in churches or conferences.
Sometimes I’m asked to serve this way in my home church or as I travel. But I’ve also felt to prepare an online school of the Spirit. So I’ve written articles about ministry, prophetic song, and prophetic arts, and I’m now posting them on three blogs:
The Miracle Lifestyle — cultivating a lifestyle that finds ministry opportunities in daily life and makes room for a steady flow of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Prophetic Song — cultivating a flow of spontaneous prophetic song to use as an individual, or leading a whole church into it.
Culture Shapers — cultivating a flow of prophetic inspiration in the arts along with a vision to use your talents to make a kingdom impact.
But okay; there are three blogs. Is that all there is to the online school?
No. The blogs will teach and encourage you, but it doesn’t become a school of the Spirit until you position yourself to act on the word and to make room for the Holy Spirit to teach you. With that in mind, there is a basic assignment with three parts:
(1) Soaking in God’s presence 10-15 times a month. This is a listening prayer, a time of receiving your marching orders from the Holy Spirit. The blog articles in each subject will tell you more about how to do this.
(2) Edifying, exhorting, or comforting 20 people a month. This is what I Corinthians 14:3 says prophecy is meant to bring to the church. By aligning our motives with those of the Holy Spirit, we position ourselves to stumble into a flow of His gifts.
(3) Writing down a brief record of it all. Keep it brief; the first goal is simply to keep track of whether you’ve done the assignment. But your written record will also become a list of testimonies that will encourage you when you go through tough times — we all do sooner or later — and it will help you measure your progress as the Holy Spirit teaches you.
In 2008 I focused on adding new articles in each subject every week. In 2009 I’ll keep adding new articles, but the main goal will be to organize the materials into courses that will take you 2-3 months to complete, that will focus on a specific skill, and that will have a beginning and an end so you can measure your progress.
Have you surrendered your life to Jesus and asked Him to live His life through you? If so, He has given you talents and He expects you to invest them in the people all around you with woks of love, service, and encouragement. He wants to work through you with His supernatural power. As you take time to engage with Him through soaking and to engage with people by edifying, exhorting, and comforting them, you are positioning yourself to be trained and equipped by the Holy Spirit Himself. That’s what the online school is all about.