Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Apostles and Prophets - Dedication Weekend

Family Life Church had its dedication services for our new church building this weekend. We had an amazing time – incredible worship, powerful messages, prophetic words, great celebration, laughter and fellowship. It was a weekend to remember. We had the honor of having Pastor Jack Louman and Pastor Frank Damazio both speak to our church on Sunday (one in the morning and one at night). I’ve been meditating on this verse of scripture in light of their visit.

Ephesians 2:19-22 - Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Doctrinally, I believe this scripture means that the church is built upon the writings of the apostles and prophets – meaning the Old Testament Prophets and New Testament Apostles (i.e. the scriptures). In addition, Pastor Steve consistently applies this scripture to how we are building Family Life Church upon the ministries of modern apostles and prophets that God has given to our church body. It’s been so enlightening for me. I’ve been absolutely amazed at how healthy it is for our church to consistently receive from true prophetic and apostolic ministry.

Pastor Frank Damazio functions in the ministry of an apostle over Family Life Church. He brings a fathers heart, encouragement, correction, vision and impartation through the Word of God into our church. The things he has spoken into the heart of FLC have changed the whole church, because we receive him as an apostle and a father. Our church received an impartation to be a “yes church” that goes strongly after the youth culture including our college campus – Boise State University.

Pastor Jack functions in the ministry of the prophet. He’s definitely one of the most prophetic people I’ve ever been around. He can see where God is taking our church and comes with the Word of the Lord to challenge us to rise to the next place that God has for us. Our church is literally in a different place after this weekend. Jack’s prophetic words to the whole church and over the worship department have shifted the attention and focus of our church body.

Literally, my job is going to be different in the next 6 months because of this weekend. Jack brought a word about the sphere of our ministry expanding and growing. He said God was calling for an increase in responsibility and that God was bringing an ability to match the responsibility. Today I met with Pastor Steve about how to practically apply the word. My schedule is going to change, my focus is changing and expanding. Most of all my capacity must increase to take on all that God is calling me to do. I need more grace for the coming season. Also, I need the leaders I am training up to take the upgrade as well and step into pulling more weight in the youth ministry.

The thing that comforts me most about the ministry that took place this weekend is that it’s in the flow of what God has already been speaking. God has been speaking to leaders and they have been stepping up. God has been stirring our heart to really press forward in the worship ministry. God has been stirring up a passion to go after youth on the school campuses in the Treasure Valley. The prophetic direction wasn’t completely new – it came to confirm what God has been speaking to our senior pastor and his leadership team.

I feel refreshed and invigorated. I’m seeing the building plan for the next 12-24 months in great clarity. This morning I realized there are some things that God has been asking me to do for 5 years, but I haven’t really responded to Him. I wasn’t in rebellion and resisting the Holy Spirit. I just didn’t fully believe that it was Him. Maybe my circumstances quenched my faith. Maybe my passion to do other things kept me distracted. Whatever the case, something in the prophetic ministry that took place this weekend brought a clarity about the will of God that I hadn’t seen yet. My life is changed.

And I can’t help but have the thought – How many churches are wandering without the ministry of apostles and prophets? How foolish it is to embrace a doctrine that doesn’t believe in these biblical ministries. Pastors don’t understand how bad they are ripping off their churches. How horrible it is to succumb to the fear of false ministries and decide to stick with merely relating to pastors and teachers. The ministry of the apostle and the prophet are so critical to healthy growth and forward movement, I now can’t imagine leading or growing a church without their ministry. Yet most churches in America are struggling by on their own. My understanding of a New Testament church continues to be refined and clarified. The Bible does have a plan for us to build by.

Lord, help us to raise up the next generation of leaders that will function as 5 fold ministers. Help us grow young men and women who will function as apostles and prophets in your last days church. They are needed in these important times.

Let’s open up some discussion on this one -

What is your experience with prophetic and apostolic ministry?


Beth said...

Wasn't it awesome?! I got goosebumps when that word came over you and the music ministry. WOW! God is so amazing! But then, why am I surprised that he knows our hearts...HE made them! HE put those talents in us. So it is up to us to say, "Where you lead, I will follow." Because it really, really is: "In HIM is fullness of joy!" Why would we choose anything different?
I LOVE prophetic Words and seeing the amazing impact God's Word has on people's lives.
We are SOOOO blessed!!
People, do we recognize how blessed we are?
I can't wait to see what God's up to next....

Randy and Danielle said...

We both just sat here and read this together and are thankful that this is CHURCH as we know it. Praise God we have been planted in a healthy church for such a time as this. We can't help but say amen to this post! Thanks for the great leadership and many Kingdom driven years to come!

Jess said...

This whole thing has been really encouraging and exciting! I can't wait to see how our church will have expanded within the next 25 years! It was funny when he asked about what our church would look like then--I wasn't thinking about how old i would be (45 WOW) but I was thinking about how our sphere will have expanded.
It's a really exciting thought to imagine how God will impact this valley through FLC and the rest of the local churches. Shoot, just writing about it gets me pumped!!!