According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, a protocol is a code prescribing strict adherence to correct etiquette and precedence. We experience protocols in every aspect of life, yet when it comes to church life, as pentecostal charismatic believers, we at times want to throw process, common sense and honor out the window.
Let me redefine a protocol as it pertains to our church. A protocol is a process put in place to strategically allow our pastoral staff to discern and facilitate the functioning of the gifts of the Holy Spirit as it pertains to our public services. Some feel as though that means we want to be in control, yet that couldn’t be the farthest thing from the truth. Our hearts desire is an expression of the Apostle Paul‘s desire for the Corinthian church in 1 Corinthians 14:1-
Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.
As a pastoral team, it is and has been our desire to lean into the move of the Spirit. When you lean into something you it will always require you to learn something. We are in a learning process as a staff and church. Learning requires a yearning for the things of God. Everyone is at a different place, yet the temptation is to feel that everyone should be at the same place that I am currently at. As a staff and church we are simply trying to find our groove for the gifts together.
Pastoring the spiritual gifts is challenging and it was even a challenge for the Apostle, but just as Paul encouraged the Corinthians to earnestly desire the best gifts I believe that in the coming weeks and months God is going to be revealing to us and releasing through us a greater manifestation of His presence, a fresh move of the Holy Spirit. So what is the protocol for the prophetic statement I’m making in this post?
- Prayerfully consider what God is saying. Yesterday, I mentioned in our service that you don’t have to say, “Thus saith the Lord” for something to be prophetic. Preaching by it’s very nature is prophetic. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.(Revelation 2:7). Our guest speaker, Eddie Rentz mentioned our Revive Conference several times over the weekend and how important it was going to be in the life of our church. I personally believe that God will be lifting our lid for spiritual things during this year’s conference. I also sense that God is speaking to my heart about circling this event in prayer. I am convinced if this conference is going to produce something in us we have to praying something into it!
- Submit my Promptings to My Pastor - The things I’m writing now I have and will submit to my Pastor. He is my authority and though I feel led by the Holy Spirit he is leading our church and out of honor and respect I will yield ultimately to what he is sensing that God is saying and the right direction to move in. Just because I feel led doesn’t give me a license to lead out. I could be off on my timing or mistakenly perceive that what God is speaking to me is for everyone. When I submit God’s promptings to my Pastor it protects me and my church. This expresses that I trust the leadership that God has placed me under.
- Proof and Proven - If something is from God, He will prove it. God puts His signature on things with the supernatural. Things that we can’t explain or sometimes even understand. Confirmation and confidence comes with peace and a promise that has come to pass. Whether it’s the written word that God illuminated to you or a personal promise that was spoken over you it is God, not us, who brings it to pass. It’s my responsibility to contend for those promises in prayer, it’s God’s to prove it!
What is God speaking to you? Do you follow a personal or public protocol?