Illustrators and Initiators

In charismatic (Spirit-filled/led) services, we often have opportunities to move out in the moment. Not to say that planned, choreographed pieces cannot be prophetic, for they certainly can and should be. Everything we present should be prophetic in the sense of forth-telling, that is...speaking the truths of the Kingdom. However, that can be explored in another topic.

I want to take a look here at spontaneous prophetic ministry and the way it can operate. I'm, of course, thinking of it as it relates to the visual arts, but I think there can also be broader applications. We have the ability to make powerful visual statements of truth that can elevate, expand, and extend what the Holy Spirit is already doing because it engages more of the congregations senses. We can also move in a way that distinctly changes the flow and flavor of the worship times, so it can be a grave responsibility.

I believe that as prophetic ministers, we have two main ways of operating: as illustrators (those who respond), and as initiators (those who open gates).

Illustrators As the Bride, we respond to the Bridegroom, to the anointing that we discern. For examples: the music begins to take on a "military" flavor, and we might bring out some warring flags. Or the high praises of God are being proclaimed, and we might begin to move a banner with a proclamation, or related Name of God. A song is presented that speaks of repentance, and a dancer interprets with a dance that shows how we come to the altar. All those things can lift the spirits of the congregation into more engagement with the Lord as more senses are engaged in the moment.

And then, those moments of "illustration" of what the Spirit is saying can be a launch point to go deeper or prepare people for the next thing the Lord wants to bring in the service. They do not, however, change the flow of the service, but instead, enhance what is already happening.

Initiators As the watchmen on the wall, we see and hear beyond what is in the "now" and anticipate the comings and goings of the King. We are Gate Keepers. The Lord has given us the keys of the Kingdom, and we have the power to open and close heavenly gates. Sometimes, it is our ministry to open those gates by moving out in a way that can jumpstart the praise, or change the direction of the service in a prophetic way. For instance, there might be a time of silence and we sense that it is not because we are basking in the glory, but because there are gates of praise that are closed. Out of the silence, the sound of a flag snapping, and more flags are added and build the sound. The drummer picks up the cadence, the congregation begins to add clapping and proclamations, and then the music team joins in with a song of joy and praise--and the gates have been flung wide open.

Now, what has just happened in the scenario just painted? We might not feel any release in the moment or the music, but we discern that gates must be opened, and we moved out in celebration, with flags, with tamborines and begin the stir up praise. We have initiated prophetic movement. Or another example: there has been a time of intimate worship, and we bring a dance about healing which leads into an altar time for ministry. Things could have moved in many directions after that worship time, but the healing dance became the next direction.

It takes some seasoning and maturity to come to the level of confidence you need to do this in a responsible way. And it takes a situation where the leadership trusts in your maturity and submission to allow you the authority to move out in that way. But it's a part of the ministry that can be very powerful. If the only time we move out is when we sense that the anointing has built up enough to "sustain" adding the visual/kinetic dimension, we miss an important facet of our calling. It is like losing the use of one of your arms. You will still function, but not fully.

I began to think about this divergence of application years ago, when I noticed that there were times when it was supremely easy to enter kinetically into what was happening in the worship service, and that at other times, although I would feel it was appropriate to move was very difficult to do, and I began to examine what was really happening in these instances. And I realized that there were really two different "things" going on.

I think as a woman, I might have a special challenge in being an "initiator" because my natural feminine construction is to be a responder. So, I think it might be a little easier for men to move out in this area than for women. I've had to train myself to overcome the inbuilt resistances. Conversely, I believe men have to work a little harder to understand and move in the concept of being the Bride, and being responsive to the Lord.

Agree? Disagree? Maybe you've had some thoughts or experiences that can enrich or clarify this discussion. Love to hear them! :)
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