Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What Foundation? Pastoral or Prophetic?

I have greatly been enjoying Terry Virgo's new book; "The Spirit-Filled Church" and have almost finished it. One of his greatest giftings is presenting a sound theological apologetic for Ephesians 4 Ministries - all of them! While speaking at Brighton 2002 on Ephesians 2 - Terry made the point that the church hasn't finished being built and so continues to need apostles and prophets to lay a foundation! The issue is not even about the sufficiency of Scripture. It is about the church being properly built in regions beyond such as China or the Middle East!

In "The Spirit-Filled Church" Terry compared a church built on a pastoral foundation to a church built on prophetic foundations;

"Churches are sometimes built on a predominantly pastoral gift. When this is the case, they run the risk of concentrating on the needs of the flock rather than on the purpose of God. The flock can come to see pastoral care as the key factor of church life. The church can be constantly evaluated on the basis of whether their church can be constantly evaluated on the basis of whether their personal needs are being met rather than whether God's purpose is being fulfilled".

What about churches led by strong teachers (such as Westminster Chapel when Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones or Dr R T Kendall led it or indeed New Covenant Church in Dunstable when Stanley Jebb led us)? Terry wrote;

"If the church is built essentially and exclusively on a teaching gift it will tend to produce a preaching centre that gathers a crowd but does not build a body".

It is the desperate need of churches in the UK I believe that God raises up prophets and churches who happily welcome such prophets so these foundations can be re-laid. We have a far-too great majority of churches led exclusively with pastor/teacher foundations. I can only think of a few churches that could claim and show a true apostolic/prophetic gifting.

1 comment:

Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

This morning I have watched Bill Johnson on Youtube (700 Club) and noted again how it is important to be around those who impart. Dave Aston on FB is actually taking Bill's advice here and going on a missions trip to Brazil with Randy Clark to be around thousands getting healed.
Ern said there was a Ziclag anointing.There would be a Hebron anointing, and a Zion anointing.He probably meant this in illustrative terms, but it seems really real to me.
There is an anointing for laying a foundation of Christ in you as you in a person, group or church.
The strength of a chain is in the weakest link. The strength of a church is to the extent that church believe they are Christ going on. This is not teaching. This is impartation. You go into a church, sniff the air, and sense the death and resurrection of Christ in the believers. As Paul said, I go in to find Christ crucified among you. Not teaching.Not concepts.But authority in the Spirit that comes from a rightly imparted apostolic Word....up until now...only one apostle per movement...but later as people get to recognise Christ content and not leftbrain content...we will have many apostles per movement, and they won't be chained together as now, but like Watchman Nee described The Church in many geographical locations and manners of meeting. And it won't matter , because everyone will sense Christ in each other, rather than how they are joined to Terry Virgo.