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Prophetic Ministry: an interview with John Paul Jackson

 

What counsel would you give to church leaders who want to incorporate and foster the prophetic ministry in their church?

From my experience, the following eight points will greatly aid the pastor and leadership in fostering prophetic ministry. There are probably 50 other points I could add to this list; however, these will start the ball rolling.

1. No gift is born mature. Be patient, knowing that where the oxen are, there will be a mess. In a variety of ways, teach your congregation about this gift. It is important that they know what to expect and what not to expect from those learning to use their gifts.

2. Do not value gift over character. When their gifts are working, this is very hard to do. Always demand that character be displayed through the Holy Spirit’s fruit in their lives. His fruit will be easily seen in their finances, their marriage and their children.

3. Demand that those with revelatory gifts have a life in Scripture. A systematic Bible study of some type is very good. A prophetic malady seems to be that often, gifted individuals will have ADD or ADHD and will probably hate to read. So plan on having verbal as well as visual training. You may be shocked at how intelligent prophetically gifted individuals actually are.

4. Require them to study their gifts so their terminology will be consistent. For example, an angelic visitation is just that—it is not merely the feeling that an angel was in the room. In the same way, a vision is a vision, not just a person’s imagination.

5. Require them to exercise their gifts both inside and outside church walls. Otherwise, they will become spiritual mutants by the inbreeding of revelation.

6. Do not yield to their demand for the microphone or pulpit time. The prophets of old addressed the king (pastor/leadership), and the king addressed the people. Few prophets were also kings. Remember, God has called you as the pastor and leader to lead the people; He called the prophet to be the prophet. Only with your approval should they publicly prophesy.

7. Have a safe place for them to express their revelations. In this setting, allow them to be wrong without consequences—they are being trained. For the most part, they need to learn how to communicate what they see or sense. It is more than just having a revelation; in order for action to be taken on a prophetic word, there must also be interpretation, application and clear proclamation. Developing these attributes takes training and that takes time spent in a safe environment.

8. Keep track of prophecies. Let the people know when they come to pass. As the prophetic word matures, you may find it good to share the word with the people so that when it happens, faith is exponentially developed in the whole church, and they are reminded that God is with them. As you keep track of prophecies that are released to the congregation, also track error in the word. Was the error in the revelation, interpretation, and application or in how it was delivered? When you do this, you may be surprised at how much this will build the people’s faith in prophetic words, as well as their faith that the leadership can be trusted to keep them safe. I must also add that to the degree the incorrect word was released is the degree the person who prophesied needs to repent. For example, if it was spoken only in front of leadership, then the repentance or forgiveness is needed only at the leadership level.  

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Category: Fall 2007, Spirit

About the Author: John Paul Jackson went home to be with the Lord on February 18, 2015, after helping people discover and develop their spiritual gifts for more than a quarter of a century. He directly impacted the lives of millions of people around the world with his best-selling books and audio resources, public speaking engagements and television appearances. He was the founder of Streams Ministries International. Some of his books include Needless Casualties of War (Streams Publishing, 1999), Breaking Free of Rejection (Streams Publishing, 2004), and The Art of Praying Scriptures: A Fresh Look at the Lectio Divina (Streams Creative House, 2014). Daystar TV program: Dreams & Mysteries with John Paul Jackson. Twitter: @JohnPaulJackson. Facebook.

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