This Is That: Unravelling What God is Doing for the Sake of His People
Updated: Jan 1
As priests and pastors it is so important that when anything out of the blue happens in church we note it, label it, explain it, and respond to it - right there and then, in a live streaming on time sort of way.
Last week I was guest celebrating (leading the service) when the music leader led us into a time of free-form worship. It was beautiful, sacred, and silent. After a few minutes I checked in with a man who has been known to share words from God. He happened to be looking at me at the same time. I smiled and gave him a thumbs up.
He spoke about God's faithfulness, that his people are called into a place to excursive faithfulness, and that our standard for life is faith first in all things.
Hmm, I thought to myself. I can choose to move the service along into the reading of the Word, or I could do something with what we just heard. Perhaps it's God's mind that we should respond to something having to do with faith.
I chose that. I shared with the congregation something along these lines:
"For those of you here who are visiting, what we have heard is called a 'word from God.' He often uses his people to speak to his people - and often speaks to his people about something he is wanting to accomplish in his people."
I asked the congregation, "How many here need a faith booster this morning?" About 1/3 of us raised our hands. Then I asked God to minister to us all, increasing our faith, and reminding us that we are people of faith.
It wasn't rocket science. It was simply unpacking - labeling, explaining, and responding to - something that God was doing on that particular Sunday. It's a part of what we do.
It was afterwards when it really hit the fan. I got wind of a conversation between a couple of long-time members. One of them was extremely thankful that I had done what I did. "I have always wondered what that was - when people say things 'from the Lord.'"
This was a man who had attended this church for five+ years and, in spite of hearing numerous words from God (prophecies, if you will), he had never once heard it explained.
"Now I get it," he said. "That's pretty cool."
Assuming that we are on the same page with everyone in church is something that just isn't true. Even people visiting or joining the church from other traditions need to be brought in on the loop - in real time - by us (from whom they are looking to for definition and a "green light" to calm their nerves).
This Sunday, explain to your congregation what the Spirit is doing. And if he's doing nothing, share with your folks a bit of why you're doing what you're doing at some point int he service, just to fill them in and remind them of stuff they may have forgotten. Perhaps people don't know why you light candles, raise the Bible in the sky, lift hands in worship, or sing the same song time and time again. One explanation goes light years in bringing others into the Light!