Growing a healthy and mature prophetic culture
From a podcast from Accessible Prophecy
Cath Livesey, based in St Thomas's, Sheffield, was brought up in an Anglican church with loads of teaching on Jesus, a tiny bit of teaching on God the Father and no teaching on the Holy Spirit or spiritual gifts or the prophetic. When she got to university, she found people were talking about how it was possible to hear God's voice for today and that captured her imagination.
She's been on a long, slow journey since then of learning how to hear God's voice and she wanted to help as many other people do the same. She feels multiplication is hardwired into her. St Thomas's has been pursuing missional discipleship alongside spiritual gifts and prophecy, holding both those together. They've developed a really healthy prophetic culture.
About 10 years ago, God spoke to Cath very clearly one day and told her to start multiplying. Taking the things that He'd been teaching them in their church and going to other churches and enabling them to grow a similarly healthy prophetic culture. So that's how Accessible Prophecy started.
Working alongside other Ephesian 4 ministries, it is now a global ministry, working with many denominations, in lots of different countries around the world and the vision is twofold:
To help every follower of Jesus learn how to hear His voice. In John Chapter 10, Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice.".
To help any and every church grow that healthy, holistic, mature, Jesus shaped prophetic culture.
Cath has recently published a book, Holy Disruption: Harnessing the Prophetic to Shape a More Christlike Church. She comments:
"I hope that with this book, I've conveyed my love for the prophetic but also my love for the church. And it's an invitation for the whole church to embrace this fascinating ministry.
"The book, first of all, is a thorough explanation of the prophetic. I wanted to give the best possible overview and explanation of a ministry that is often misunderstood and misrepresented. It's a book that is designed to work in any denominational context. I recognised in writing this book that I could write about the prophetic just from the perspective of my tribe - the UK mainstream charismatic church, balancing Word and Spirit. But I wanted to write a holistic description of the prophetic that works in any stream or denomination. So with the book, I've gone beyond what narrow confines of the charismatic approach to the prophetic. One of the joys of my job is going to all these different types of churches around the world and finding the right language to make the prophetic as accessible as possible.
"Secondly, what does it actually mean to be a prophetic church? What does it mean to develop this mature, holistic culture? The book explores a multi-dimensional approach to the prophetic - personal prophecy, socially prophetic - how the prophetic speaks to our cities, to our neighbourhoods. How the prophetic offers a voice of advocacy for the marginalised, the poor and the oppressed.
"Another theme throughout the book is the sense that the prophetic is fundamentally about transformation. It's an invitation to God's transformative reality. God is very intentional about how he uses his voice. He speaks for the purpose of transfer, transformation, everything from transforming my heart, my mind, to transforming my nation and everything in between. The key theme in the book is recognising the disruptive nature of the prophetic. We can't avoid that. Too many people live the prophetic inside the Church but they never take it outside. So the book is an invitation to start thinking bigger. How do we take this ministry beyond the walls of the church and allow it to transform our neighbourhoods?
"I think a lot of people around the world are experiencing that we're living in very uncertain times. The prophetic is another way to sense the voice of Jesus just reassuring us and leading us and guiding us. So the book is timely.
"Some prophetic ministries have been disgraced in many ways. So what do we do? How do we respond to that? Do we just stay away? Do we just write off the prophetic is just too difficult to engage with? No, I think rather what we need to do is find a healthy approach. There is a huge potential for good that comes with this ministry. So I feel this book is timely because it helps us do things differently. We can take hold of an authentic, Jesus-shaped prophetic ministry. This is something for the whole church. We have to find a way for the whole church to embrace it."
Cath also has a Facebook page.
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