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Prophetic Vision Casting Versus Practical Teaching
I've only attended two churches since 1996. But I've been exposed to dozens of ministries through conferences, mp3s, and books. And I've encountered at least two types of ministry that are both powerful yet incomplete: prophetic vision casters and practical life teachers. There's a place for both in the earth. In fact, I think there must be a place for both within each church.
Prophetic Vision Casters
It's not enough to cast vision and get people excited. Eventually, the excitement fades and the repetition of the vision only serves to taunt the people for what has not yet been fulfilled. Without vision, the people perish. But hope deferred makes the heart sick.
I've seen and experienced a culture where there was an abundance of prophetic vision being cast toward the future. Plans and purposes and amazing things. But there was almost no practical life teaching. After a while, I tuned out what was spoken because the words became a meaningless gong in my ear. I was heartbroken over what had been promised yet had not occurred.
Practical Scriptural Teachers
Then I experienced the flipside of that pendulum. I was surrounded with practical, useful life teachings. Things like what it means to walk by the Spirit, how to forgive, and what it means for the Word to live in me. These teachings are especially useful. But it was the flipside, and there was little to no prophetic vision casting for the church.
Each church has a prophetic calling and destiny. A purpose within their city and the Body of Christ. And while it's essential to witness and heal and prophesy and help, without a vision, the people flounder about. They know what they're supposed to do, but they don't have a vision for where it leads. They don't see their purpose. They don't bear a corporate identity about them day in and day out.
The church today needs to find the complimentary foundation stones of practical Scriptural teaching and powerful prophetic vision. We despise feeling empty on the inside and we can't bear to wander about without direction.
So Where's the Balance?
I've been asking the Lord what this means. Each church and ministry seems to have a focus. A strength. And it seems unfair to expect each ministry to be perfectly balanced. In other words, we operate out of our primary giftings more than our weakest giftings. So maybe each church cannot become a microcosm of balance and harmony. Maybe each local church body functions as a limb, intended to serve the purposes of the entire body when working in coordination with its connecting parts.
But if so, how are these parts connected? There must be more to "being the Body" than just saying "we're the Body"! It seems to me that there must be a strategy by which we integrate and work together with those closely connecting parts. Your thoughts are welcome. Too often we walk away from a problem with a simple statement of agreement that there's a need. Something like: "Yep, we need a balance of prophetic vision and practical Scriptural teaching. Good word!" But that solves nothing.
The time has come for the tactics of strategies long imagined to be released, enhanced, fleshed out, and put into place.
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