Your Pastor’s 5 Signs from God

I periodically mention, but hardly ever write about the visions and signs that God lays in front of me. Today, I feel compelled to break away from this old habit and share some of what God has recently been showing to me and saying to me as we move forward from an initial phase of Spirit-led change into the unknown next phase. 

There are 5 “strands” of new visions from God that I can decipher. These strands are still in early stages of interpretation. As before, the ultimate interpretation will rely on you – the people of God – to let the Holy Spirit bring clarity, coherence, and action to them. I will be sharing some of this at the board meeting tonight, but in case you can’t make it, or are not on the board, I thought it important for all of our church family to be hearing of these new strands and praying over them. 

The goal, of course, is for God’s will to be done. When we meditate and pray over the things that God is revealing to us, we always keep our focus on God’s will … not ours. Once our self-will enters the process, then the power of the Holy Spirit is diminished, and eventually vanquished. When that happens, then we’re back to making plans and doing things that are all about us, and not about God. And for any church with Jesus’s name on it, that is simply misguided and unworthy of Jesus’s name. 

Here are the 5 new strands that I am receiving from God:  

  • Vine Street Christian Church Today: A Vision of Who and Where We Are 
    1. Beautiful Grounds and Facility – Inside and Out
    2. Small but Stable Congregation
    3. Balance of Representation Across Generations
    4. 1 Full-Time Staff; 1 Half-Time Staff; Part-Timers
    5. “Traditional” Budget Process & Organizational Structure
    6. Consistently Falling Short of Budgeted Expenses – Borrowing from Surplus Revenues
    7. Responds Generously and with Joy to “Love Offering” Needs & Ministries 
    8. “Denominational Church” in Name Only; Minimal Interaction with Denomination
    9. Small-Town View of the World; But Strong Interest in the World and its Needs
    10. Unique Interest in Spiritual Growth & Biblical Learning (esp. with “Core Group”)
    11. Minimal Congregational Interest in Services, Classes, Events & Ministries Outside of Sunday Mornings (except for “Core Group”)
    12. Primarily a Church of Convenience; Not Sacrificial Commitment
    13. Worship Style, Order and Times Abide by Traditional Norms
  1. 2 Questions God Has for Vine Street Christian Church: Now that you have heard about those original covenants I made with Noah and his descendants through the ages (From Abraham to Jesus), here are 2 questions that you as a congregation should now be placing on your hearts:
    1. What does the covenant between your church and God consist of today moving forward?
    2. What does the covenant between you and your church consist of today moving forward?
    3. (The content of each person’s own covenant with God is left to the prerogative of each person.)
  1. Regarding your pastor: How does a mainstream denominational traditional small church respond to a “pastor” whose gifts are 1) preaching a prophetic voice to the church that is in desperate need of reformation and repair?; 2) teaching the gospel in an authentic style and manner that challenges church members who are still seeking to hear the “truth” of Bible?; 3) counseling individuals in their spiritual growth and formation in order to be transformed by the power of the Spirit of the Living God? 
  1. Another Question from God: If indeed this church has “gone deeper” and thus become in some sense a “deep church” which has been witness to the workings of God and the Holy Spirit in their midst in the past months – Then what is the response of this “deep church” to God — to “step up” and show its gratitude for what God is doing and its trust in what God will do?
  1. God has laid a scripture before us. This lesson of Jesus appears in 3 of the 4 Gospels (Matthew 9:14–17, Mark 2:21–22, and Luke 5:33–39). As we read verse 17 from the 9th chapter of Matthew, let us consider the issue Jesus is raising when a congregation brings Spirit-led “change” to a church, but does not bother to change the “container” (wineskin) that holds it all.

Matthew 9:17 — Neither is new wine put into old wineskins; otherwise, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed; but new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.”

As we ponder, and pray over, these visions from God, let us not forget this “warning” from the Book of Deuteronomy to God’s people:  

When a prophet or visionary gets up in your community and gives out a miracle-sign or wonder, and the miracle-sign or wonder that he gave out happens and he says, “Let’s follow other gods” (these are gods you know nothing about), “let’s worship them,” don’t pay any attention to what that prophet or visionary says. God, your God, is testing you to find out if you totally love him with everything you have in you. You are to follow only God, your God, hold him in deep reverence, keep his commandments, listen obediently to what he says, serve him—hold on to him for dear life! (Deuteronomy 13:4 MSG)

In the name of Jesus, our Lord, I am,

Pastor <>< Bob