RE-deployment. We live now in a window of relative grace and ease in the United States under an administration that favors the church, but the time is limited and the clock is ticking. Increased pressures and uncertainties are coming when certain models of watered-down church life and faith will not be enough to sustain people in the face of trial and turmoil. God will be redeploying His people to ministries where depths of worship, meaty teaching and effective ministries for helping and healing the strengths needed for perseverance in love, power and joy.
Where doctrinal drift has happened and foundational truths have been compromised, and where sin in leadership has been exposed, increasing numbers of people will find themselves shaken by the resulting instability. Again I say that we will see a population shift in the church, not to places where doctrine has become an idol or where the religious spirit has suppressed or destroyed the spirit of love and freedom, but to places of firm foundation in the eternal revelation of who God is and what He calls us to be.
RE-formation. Church leaders, from pastors to prophets, apostles and lay leaders, will be – and are being – reshaped and remolded to conform to the image of the Son for the building up of the body of Christ. God will be diminishing the profiles of those who have built ministries around exaltation of their own names and ambitions. Cults of personality, as well as ministries built on forms of domination and control, will be dismantled as the hand of the Lord brings humility, and the true heart of the Father’s love, to His anointed ones. For some in leadership, this will mean being installed in different or altered positions, which points back to RE-deployment.
Prophetic ministry will undergo a radical purge, a purifying and a cleansing. Among some, this is already underway. Where we have practiced an unbalanced emphasis on personal prophecy, true prophetic voices will increasingly emerge to separate the precious from the vile, calling for repentance and holiness in the tradition of the prophets of old. Where prediction is part of this, the purpose will be preparation of the body of Christ for things to come. We will therefore see a blending of the functions of the Old Testament prophets with that of New Testament prophets like Agabus.
Changes will come about in the way church is done, if not in outward form, then in orientation of the heart. Forms of church government are not the issue. A wise seminary professor once said to me, “No structure of church government is any better than the people involved.” These changes are therefore matters of the heart that will affect the way ministries relate to people, no matter how those ministries are organizationally structured. Church leadership worthy of receiving the redeployed saints will be moving into a deeper understanding of what God has truly designed their roles to be in releasing a kingdom culture of honor and love, equipping the saints and freeing them to realize the dreams and purposes God has placed in their hearts.
Repentance. Increasingly, God will be exposing that which fails to reflect the nature of Jesus and does not spring from a hunger for holiness in His image. This has been true in national and international leadership for some time now, but conviction is yet to come in fullness upon the wider people of God. Increasingly, the Holy Spirit will be turning willing hearts away from living life according to the flesh and to life lived by the Holy Spirit who puts to death the deeds of the flesh and brings real life.
Release. Freedom is coming for God’s people to walk in their gifts without the pressure of domination or control, freed from leadership that feels threatened when the saints walk freely in the fullness of their anointing. We in leadership must carry the heart of the Father for His people. Every real father wants his children to do better and more than he did. Jesus said in John 14 that because He was going to the Father, we who believe would do even greater works than He did in His earthly walk. In that spirit, we in leadership must lift our people in the gifts God has given them higher than we ourselves have risen. This does not mean there will be no leadership. It means, rather, that church leadership will increasingly come to understand the meaning of their task. The saints will walk in freedom, even while respecting the authority and guidance of those God has placed in authority.
So, I call upon believers to renew their hope where hope has faltered. Jesus remains Lord, and He will accomplish His purposes through those who are willing.