SECTION A- THE GLOBAL CHURCH
In last year’s word we declared that this year will specifically be a season of the benevolence of the Father and this will proceed. The Lord is opening a door and is speaking to the church to step out of the confinement it created for itself. There have been limitations in the minds and the way that people perceived and thought what Gods’ will is and the Lord is going to commission people in stepping into places and areas to really take them in. With the benevolence of God comes the responsibility to impact areas and regions for Christ and in this next year we will really the church stepping into that.
The church will continue to experience growth and changes which is both necessary if we are going to be effective. Change is what the Lord is actually bringing in. The way the church is equipping will continue to change so that people’s hearts broaden to be ready for the calling of the ministry. Commissioning will be happening much more often. The church often prepared people but never commissioned them, and this is the year where the Lord is commissioning people in the local congregation. After the calling and training there must happen a commissioning similar to a sending out of the tent of Abraham. The Lord is opening a door to send people out into their callings. These people are fully aware of being commissioned by God to spread His fragrance in all the places God is sending them to. We will hear many testimonies of the growth of the church, but it will not just be numerical it will be really territorial
In 2014 we will see a process of the passing of the torch from Elijah to Elisha. This will enable the Elisha’s to continue with the work and the Elijah’s will be freed up to start breaking new ground. There is a deeper level of anointing and revelation that will follow when individuals step into their own appointed place in the body.
In the next year more people will be released to start their ministries. In the past when people started a new ministry it often resulted into them being a bit cut off from the house and the fathers and even some extend of division. This will change. There will be a return of hearts to each other, as people start their own ministries the family bond to their original churches will still be in place. There will be a bigger sense of family and the global church being one. There is coming a new level of not only tolerance of one another but genuine family love.
A Change of Leadership
What we heard last year in 2012, concerns the change of leadership and the handing over of the baton in the churches. It will go very smoothly and happen for the good. Those people who are handing over the baton are actually doing it gladly and effectively. There are just a few hiccups in those to whom they are handing the baton. It is as if they are handing the baton to their favourite people, instead of hearing God and handing the baton to the one the Lord chooses. The person the Lord chooses does not always suit the current leader’s personality type; sometimes it is a sandpaper relationship. Leaders will be greatly blessed if they take out time to listen to hear the Lord before they hand over the baton. There should be a fine tuning of their spiritual ear and not allowing their own opinions to come into it. In South Africa, I especially feel there are some very old leaders who are still the head of the church. There are younger people who are doing much/most of the work and they have not handed the baton over to them. So, there is a need for a spiritual push, to get that change-over of the baton through. The young leaders are becoming discouraged. The baton change is between the older and the younger leaders and many ministers are not able to come to grips with this change.
The resistance of the older leader in handing over the baton is because they can see the ineptitude and inadequacies in the next generation and they are holding onto the baton as a protection. It is not protecting the work, it is stalling the work. They have to hand over and let the next generation make their own mistakes. They may not be the same mistakes; they are going to be different mistakes.
Much has been said over the years about the fathering role in the church. The fathering role is more about letting go than getting control. There needs to be positional changes that still host fathering on a free and liberal basis. Younger people need the freedom to choose and also be afforded the opportunity to learn through their own mistakes. Some of their wisdom will only come through their experiential knowledge and there needs to be enough space for that to be able to happen. In this handing over process there are too many people with their hands too close to the panic button. It is true that some of the ministries will look as if they are deteriorating by growing smaller. The Lord is intensifying certain aspects of that ministry because the ministry needs the specific flavor that the younger leader carries. There are a younger generation people who are far less interested in the numbers and more interested in effectively seeing people practically living out what the Kingdom of God is all about.
The older generation will step out of execution and administration, more into fathering and mentoring roles. They will take up places of counsel, observing more than having control. It is time for the younger generation to take up leadership positions. God wants the younger generation to learn integrity from the older generation, but not the old way of doing things. God is instilling new understanding and wisdom in the younger generation to bring in changes in programs. These programs will be inclusive of all generations although the balance of influence will move to the younger generation.
A new younger generation will rise through the ranks. They will not be interested in money, power or fame but in making a difference and effecting change. Those who still want to built their own kingdoms and ministries will built their own fall. The new type of leader will blend areas of ministry, business and politics. Many of them will become effective councilors for people in influential positions. They will sit on the back of the stage supporting others instead of standing in front. God is bringing the entrepreneurial spirit into the church.
There will be many volunteers; ready to be trained and ready to help. It is like God is saturating the church with volunteers in this season. Congregations need to be ready to channel people into various projects and areas of influence (which God has shown them to be their inheritance.)
Churches will help start up new ventures and creating jobs. Churches’ will work with their hand in the ground sowing, harvesting and feeding the people, not just spiritually but in other ways also.
In this new season it is especially important for the younger generation to be exposed to the importance and significance of volunteering. This will open their eyes to new ways of functioning in their calling through ministry, business and community development. Out of this many new ventures and businesses will be birthed and started out of the church. In the same way that many of the greatest popular singers had their start in church choirs or worship teams, God will cause big businesses to be birthed out of churches and church activities that will grow and become well known organizations or businesses that will become very effective and famous. I see business courses been given by congregations.
The river of finance will have a steady flow through 2014. There won’t be abundance or lack but enough. It is time for the church leaders to show wisdom in how they spend money. Things that seemed important in the past will take the lowest rank. Spending will sometimes shift dramatically or cause some departments to close down, or be incorporated into other departments. Although this will happen there won’t be a lot of lay-offs, but a refocusing on how money is spent and why.
The financial supply that is available in the church environment will be available for everybody (those with good intentions and those with bad). Only when the seeds have grown and fully matured will the discernment come to see what is from God and what is not. Don’t be discouraged when you see both those with good intentions and bad intentions flourishing in the church environment because God will deal with each in the end.
God is bestowing generosity on generosity; where generous hearts are found, God is bringing the resources about to be generous through these channels. Many people will be picking up a spirit-attitude of philanthropy. Some people will be willing to give their lives to protect their God given areas of responsibility.
Many wealthier churches that used to start new churches in other affluent areas will start planting churches in poorer areas, and bring training and resources into these areas that have not been available before. There will be cross pollination between the richer and poorer parts of society, bringing their best to one another and bring Christ’s humanity out of each other. Many first world churches will feel the call to plant projects and churches in other less fortunate countries.
There is a method change that is very closely linked to church planting. There will be a metamorphosis in the way church and church planting is done. It is not going to be in the usual way, like getting a building and starting a church. There is a new method of church planting. The old method of cell growth which then evolves into a church is going to change. Groups of people who are called will rather go and live in the community. They will get to know the community, before they try and draw them into Christ. This is important because usually the communities’ view the new church opening with suspicion. They first need to know the people coming into their community, before they accept them and the gospel they bring. Those who are sent first have to know the community before they can plant a church.
Church planting will start to take place more in rural communities. Primitive churches being planted in small communities will bring the community together. Through the church they will create other ministries for the people and teach them to serve and be creative. A vision was seen of massive waterfalls coming down. This speaks of the Lords’ provision in all areas from finance to various methods for whatever is needed.
Traveling ministries will increase a lot in the next five years so much so that it will be common to meet ministry teams on flights. Airliners and travel research will find that the Christian or ministry market will become significant and worthwhile to specifically market towards.
Reclaiming our city
Anger and frustration in many cities will cause people to search for answers at Gods’ feet for how they should respond. This will be a great season for planting of new seeds from God in the hearts of His children, because as they spent time to seek and get answers from God, God will start to plant seeds in their hearts. These germinating seeds will cause many Christians to become active in their communities in various ways. Many will join political parties to affect their influence on society. In Europe a great increase of Christians actively involved in politics and political parties will occur.
Although we might have already grown weary of reclaiming our city we need to start doing it again. Every city, every village must be claimed for Christ. We cannot be passively waiting for God to take the city, but we ourselves need to go back to basics claiming our cities. This practically means to continue once again to intensely intercede for our cities, as we drive past places, we need to claim the place in the city for God. It is not just going to happen because we but we have to put effort into it. God is looking to us as prophets and prophetic people first. We each need to begin where we are, Middelburg, Midland, Louis Trichardt and Val de Grace and Muckleneuk and Garsfontein, Moreleta and Faerie Glen; we need to start where we live, as a prophetic action. Each of us needs to plant a scripture in our own city. God will give us a scripture, and we need to plant that scripture in the ground in our suburb as a remembrance. The Holy Spirit is prompting us to pray. We have to relearn and re-teach prayer. We have fallen away from the old ways.
Churches and congregations (even poor congregations) will start taking responsibility for their area in cleaning up their parks and even beautifying areas. God will use this to impart His presence and His sense of love into these places. This change will be the mark that is left behind as a commemoration that the place has been claimed back for God. It will have multiple effects: practical help in communities will be intercession in action, the painting of an ugly wall or fixing a children’s playground in a park will be a prophetic action that will impart the presence of God into places. For example: By fixing up a children’s playground in a crime ridden park, crime will stop because of the spirit that has been left in that area. Reason cannot explain the change as it will be a spiritual influence that caused the change.
Investment into Churches
There is going to be investment into churches from the business sector. God is going to allow it so that the leaders can focus on what they have to do, and take their focus off raising funds for church activities. God is going to provide through other means, which will produce less pressure.
A Voice to the Government
The church will again be a voice to the politicians in their various nations. The voice of the church will be heard and respected. There will be a closer connection between government and church leaders. Government will turn to the church leaders for direction and advice. God will even move church leaders into their local government.
There is a worldwide expansion coming for the prophetic ministry. Prophetic people are needed to kick-start people into having a relationship with the Lord. Bigger teams will be trained and equipped than we envision, especially in the prophetic and functioning in the gifts of the spirit. A worldwide eloquence in moving in the gifts of the spirit will occur because scripture teaches us that we must be led by the Spirit of God. God is going to use people trained and equipped in the prophetic as initiators in this process of getting people comfortable in the spirit realm. Across the world people are not comfortable moving in the gifts of the spirit, and the Lord wants people to be at ease in the spiritual realm so that they can do on earth what they see in heaven.
A lot of young people will get involved in worship even as young as high school students. The Lord is bringing newness in worship and newness in expression. For a lot of people worship has become very boring and they just get through it. God is really going to meet people in worship. The intensity in worship is going to change, specifically for South Africa but also in the global church. Worship has become a marketable expression of the church and it is going to change again to an experiential time with God.
There is a new David generation of worshippers coming up in the church and they will be reaching out into the schools. They will influence the schools even through arts and dance. God will release a lot of dancers to go and minister at schools.
There is coming a unity between the Christian media and the church causing them to work together. More and more opportunities for Christian organizations will come up. The Christian market will become more important.
God’s blessing will be on the Christian market, bringing in more finances. It is a new way through which God is going to bless us so that, even by spending, the Christian market becomes important. The industry will start to turn to the Christian market and get more information from them. There will be a cross pollination between the Christian market and business. There are countries, including specifically South Africa, where there will be certain themes popping up in churches that will flow over into the Christian media. There will be issues God wants to speak to the nations about and many of these themes will originate from the prophetic voice in the church.
The Ministry of the Evangelist
Resurgence of the ministry of the evangelist will occur. There will be an increase in street evangelism and people are going to be passionate about it. Powerful street evangelism is not about distributing flyers: there will be healings, blind people will see, the poor will get a job and things will start working out for them. The Lord wants to remind us that we should pray for evangelists to come and reignite the cities for God and bring the masses to the Lord. I sense there will be unique forms of evangelism too, but they will be a display of God’s love, His power and His care for people. I also feel the church needs to be supportive of these evangelists by training and releasing them. I sense many places want to hold them back until they are trained or have their degree as they feel they are not adequately equipped enough. It is in their immaturity and enthusiasm that miracles will be released on the street, such as the church has not seen in a long time.
Previously the “flock” was the focus in congregations but God is stirring and bringing focus on community. Many churches that have not been involved in community projects before will come out of hiding and will start such projects. Some ministries will be un-teachable and not open for input and thus will make the same mistakes others have made before them. But there will be churches connecting with other churches to inquire and ask for wisdom. The body of Christ will experience a comradeship between congregations.
Matthew 9:37-38:” Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
SOUTH AFRICAN CHURCH
The South African church is on a good course and is moving ahead. There is a heart for missions in South Africa, which has always been good, growing to an even greater extent. There is a lot of supportiveness within the South African church at large, whether they are formal or informal groups. Churches will grow in swells and leaps and bounds. They endeavor to stay true to what the Lord has put in their heart and what their mission is. There must, however, be a warning about letting narrow-mindedness creep back in again, especially intellectualism. We have been through that phase and don’t need to go back to it. The Lord wants South Africa to carry on with the opening up to new things (relationship, doctrines, experiences, revelation). At times the church feels that they have to open up to such a degree that they are in danger of being violated. This is not always a violation; it is good growth and is really good for the maturing of the church. This can provide an example for the world-wide church to look to and to grow by.
The church it is entering a new flow, similar to the faith flow. There is a new belief coming into the church to get the church excited and motivated to serve the Lord again. It is not a new direction but the Lord is saying push through to the direction that I have shown you, do not be discouraged. Especially the young leaders should not be discouraged but receive what God has given them: Step out and receive the baton and carry it forth. As you step out you will experience grace multiplying into the field you are focusing on.
The South African church is at a maturing stage. They have the ability to look at themselves in a very mature way. The same cannot be said for large portions of the rest of the world. People need to be encouraged more than to be corrected. The long and effective way is relational over time versus programs. A large proportion of ministry is based on programs acquired elsewhere instead of getting to the core of their call. What are you called for? Why this specific community? Why plant a church in this area? What is the specific call of this church in this area? There are trillions of callings on the earth and God has designed them in a very specific way. Huge frustration occurs because things are not going as we think they should. This is because of our perspective. The Lord wants to bring a word of encouragement directing His people in the direction of their true call. Contrary to what we may believe, the job is not beyond our ability and we are being effective! We must not entertain a spirit of fear. God uniquely designed us without competition to fulfill our role and core design to live out our visions and our dreams.
There will be a call for leaders, from various denominations and backgrounds, to get together and discuss various topics. These leaders will be “high caliber leaders” with much influence in their respective callings whose discussions will cause a cross-pollination to take place and an increase in anointing for each leader
Ministers who are retiring from their calling will live twin track lives. They will support and sponsor themselves financially and continue to be active in the ministry. It is a new thing for South Africa. People have a desire to be in the ministry and want the church to support them. There will be another group of people supporting themselves, having their own income and ability to support themselves. The church will lay hands on them and send them but they will finance themselves. This way there will not be any financial burden on the church. Often individual people could not be sent into independent ministries because of a lack of finance and thus some areas have not been reached with God’s gifts the way it should have happened. People need to be prepared to sponsor themselves. This will enable many more people to enter the mission field.
South Africans are not going into Africa on a level that God desires. We seem to be bored with Africa. South African missionaries want to go to other far-off nations, but not into Africa. God is going to push and urge them to go to the other African states. What we will find there will surprise us. Ministers will be well received and we will have a place to complete the ministry. South African ministers and missionaries must make a conscious choice again to take Africa for Christ and to use their expertise for that accomplishment.
Church and Business
Integration is coming between the church, business and investment, but this does not mean the church is a business. Due to the relational component that integrates these groups they are moving much, much closer together, to such a degree that you almost can’t see a difference between them. This has nothing to do with running the church as a business venture but rather the body functioning together in unity. The church will have an effect in the business and investment realm. This has already been happening in the last 8-10 years. The philosophy and underlying fear behind keeping church and state separate is failing. These realms are interwoven as is unity in the body of Christ. Fear-based ideologies should not stop these sectors moving closer to one another especially in terms of spreading the gospel to the utter most parts of the earth. This could be part of the engine and thrust to get to the utter most parts of the earth.
There is a big motor company in South Africa that is donating Minivans to churches in the rural areas. This is going to double. These Minivans will become multipurpose vehicles, for school transport and for the church. The church is going to take control of the management of these vehicles. They are going to transport school children and church people. This sponsorship is not going to come from well known Motor companies, like Mercedes and BMW but lesser known Motor companies like TATA and Daewoo. Presently they are plunging much finance into advertising. God is showing us that these companies will have strategy meetings where they are discussing how to reach more people with their product. It will no longer be costly billboard advertising but an actual Minivan or vehicle with their logo on it. As they do their routes and pick up the School children and use them for church, their advertising will become effective and twofold. This will be advertising their product as well as helping the communities.
A Vision was seen of a man running up a flight of stairs, hoping to find the top but only to find that the stairs stop at a dead end. Deflated the man walks down. Again this man runs up, hoping to get to the top and see something different – but doesn’t. God is going to show Himself as quick to answer and bring breakthrough. Where the church is constantly getting stuck with certain issues; changing the road to the solution is sometimes the answer. A season of wisdom is coming to the church and a release of great many plans will be sown into the hearts of man. Who will let their seeds grow?
There is a certain church that will be known for their effective prayers when it comes to praying for storms and tornados to subside. This church will endure much scoffing and mocking but their “power over the elements” cannot be denied. God will pour our His presence on various meetings like a soft and gentle rain; softening hardened hearts. People will attribute it to many things like their own prayer teams, or leader’s anointing but it will just be because God wants to. Like soft rains over a long period where the ground gets penetrated and permeated; so will God reach through these hardened hearts and cause a hunger in people which only He can satisfy. I see congregations that have “lost their first love” to return to Him and a new excitement rising up in the body of Christ.