The Yelp Review Every Church Should Covet

In a previous post, “The Power of Prophetic Communities,” I looked at how God uses prophetic communities, not just prophetic individuals, to bring “outsiders” into encounters with Him.   We can see examples of this in both the Old Testament (1 Samuel 10 & 19) and the New (Acts 2).

To whet our appetites even further, let’s look at a passage where the Apostle Paul writes to the Corinthian church about the impact a prophetic community can have on an unbeliever.

In the fourteenth chapter of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he gives them some practical instruction regarding their gatherings.  Specifically, he instructs them on how best to cultivate and operate within a prophetic environment.

Following the bulk of his instructions, Paul introduces a hypothetical scenario in verse 24 in which the community is assembled, worshiping and prophesying, and an outsider, or unbeliever, enters.  Being familiar with King Saul’s encounters with Samuel’s company of prophets (1 Samuel 10 & 19), and what occurred on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2), it shouldn’t surprise us what happens next.

In the midst of Paul’s hypothetical prophetic environment, he describes the unbeliever as being, similar to Saul’s experience in 1 Samuel 10 & 19, ambushed by the Holy Spirit.  Responding to the revelation of their sin from the Holy Spirit they end up on their face worshipping and giving one of their very first prophetic words, “God is really among you!”

Do you realize that the day you turned to follow Jesus you gave your first prophetic word?  All prophecy is, is speaking to others what God has shown you by His Spirit (i.e. revelation).  For most of us, our first revelation was the Holy Spirit showing us our sin and our need for forgiveness.  Our first prophetic word was probably something like, “Jesus, You are Lord.”

Back to “God is really among you.”  Can you imagine better feedback from an unbelieving guest regarding your church or small group?  I simply cannot.

May your church’s comment cards and Yelp page be filled with such statements.  May your church be known by believers and unbelievers alike as “a place where God dwells.”

God’s people are a prophetic community.  When we function in the way He created us to function we create prophetic environments.  This doesn’t just happen at “church.”  These anointed atmospheres can be created in the corner of a Starbucks, on a dormitory floor, in an office break room, and any other place where two or more friends come together to share what God is doing in their lives and give Him glory.

Are we willing to expect this whenever we come together?  I say yes!


2 thoughts on “The Yelp Review Every Church Should Covet

  1. “God is really among you!” That little phrase has always struck me, so potent and powerful, and I long to hear it more as we gather to worship Jesus, that His presence would be so “thick,” the world would take notice. Thanks for painting this picture for us and giving us the challenge to dare to expect it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is really great, and you’re saying something bigger even than maybe it sounds. All across the fruited plain of North America in churches there has been a movement to take this part out as if “people won’t really get it when we get weird like this”. Newsflash: we’re weird… uh “peculiar” anyway. What’s really happening is that the supernatural is being taken out of the gathering because of concern that people will be put off by it. That may be true sometimes. Christ said it would be, but some of those places exist because the supernatural part was there when it couldn’t be found in other gatherings or bodies of believers. But, bam! it’s right there with Scriptural precedent all the way back to the early church and before.

    So here’s a follow-up question and partial answer. If this is so good for unbelievers, what happens to a believer’s life when they get into “prophetic environments” and get into them on a consistent basis? One thing that happens is that God’s words become so fresh in a person’s life that they can’t help but become doers of what He has said, and those times when it has become fresh build up in person’s life so much that, as Colossians 3 says, the word of Christ will dwell richly inside even becoming and taking over the conversations and themes between us. That’s good stuff! It sure beats talking about the news.


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