I don’t think a stranger tradition exists in evangelical churches than the use of spiritual gift inventories. Churches hand constituents a booklet on the gifts of the Spirit and task them with selecting (based on a set of questions in the booklet linked to specific personality traits) the spiritual gifts they possess. The only thing stranger is letting people self-identify their personal spiritual gifts WITHOUT a booklet.
So much for leaders mentoring their charges in a way that helps them discover their gifts.
What mystifies me is that all of the popular spiritual gift inventories that I have encountered in my life include the charismatic gifts that bother a large number of Christians. I wonder what happens when Joe Average, a relatively new believer and new member of the church, fills out his spiritual gift inventory and discovers that his gifts are as a prophet and a healer.
I know what happens in most churches: Joe’s prophetic gift is treated by leaders as “well, Joe, about that gift…,” while the healing gift relegates Joe to visitation ministries, where he’s supposed to make chit-chat with shut-ins and the “lightly” hospitalized.
What pastor really wants any of his people to score that spiritual gift inventory and come up with a prophetic gift high on the results? Prophetic gifts in most churches get forced into being considered good for one of the following three uses: only preaching, only nice “crystal ball readings” to reassure people, or for no good use at all.
Does Pastor Bob want Joe Average to use his prophetic gift to supplant him in the pulpit? Must I even ask that question?
Does Pastor Bob want Joe Average doing anything “weird,” like forecasting people’s futures or warning the church of its errors? (Even if the forecasts are for sunshine and blue skies only? Even if the warnings are more like Hallmark greeting card text? Or especially because of those possible outcomes?)
And then there are words of knowledge and words of wisdom. Even the gift of faith gives some leaders the willies when they think how their people might consider its use.
It seems like half the list of spiritual gifts is a minefield, and it may be why some church leaders look at spiritual gift inventories as a necessary evil. (Unless, of course, everyone has the pastor’s favorite gift: administration.)
Given how poorly we deal with spiritual gifts, if we deal with them at all, is it any wonder the typical modern evangelical church shambles along in its mission like some B-movie monster?
Want a church that uses spiritual gifts properly?
1. Everyone, stop with the fear—and the discrediting of the Lord. When churches and their leaders descend into fear over gifts, they discredit the Lord. Who is the giver of gifts? How can we NOT believe The Lord knows best what our church needs? If Joe Average has a prophetic gift or a healing gift, consider yourselves blessed, and let Joe—with wise counsel—use his gift! If you do, it’s guaranteed that God will do more in your church, and not less, because of Joe’s Spirit-endowed contribution. Trust God, folks!
2. Leaders, stop the vanity. If you don’t see yourselves as replaceable, then you’ve made yourselves royalty, and that’s not how the Bible teaches you should lead. Enable the gifts in your people; don’t stymie them because they seem a threat to the perfect church kingdom you’ve erected. “He must increase and I must decrease” may apply not only to your relationship with Christ, but also to your standing among your brothers and sisters in Christ in your church. Don’t be the cork in the bottle of what God wants to do in your midst because you lack the humility to let others do what God can do through them. As someone wise once noted in Acts, when you constantly rein-in your people, you just may find yourself opposing the work of God.
3. Nonleaders, stop the vanity. Nothing ruins a church faster than people who desperately want to be seen as possessing a particular gift yet who in no way offer evidence of its God-driven operation in their lives. The number of unqualified—yet self-proclaimed—teachers I’ve witnessed “teaching” in churches could fill a stadium. And no one does more damage than a proud, deluded dispenser of words of knowledge or prophecy. Leaders are partially responsible for creating these disastrous disciples, which means they need to reboot their gift ID process, so…
4. Leaders, get rid of the spiritual gift inventories and identify gifts God’s way. Paul drew alongside Timothy and helped his charge grow into his giftings. He didn’t hand Timothy a spiritual gift inventory booklet and tell him, “Have at it!” No, Paul worked with the young man and mentored him in such a way that Timothy knew what his gifts were because Paul affirmed them. Leaders, I believe your number one task is to personally commit to helping each person in your church not only identify his or her spiritual gifts, but also…
5. Leaders, fan the flames of your people’s gifts. Read #2 above. Once you’ve gotten out of the way and done your own personal gut check about your motivations, enable the gifts in your people. There NEVER should be an environment in a church where there is no room for this gift or that. Don’t step on the embers, leaders, but do all you can to make them into a roaring fire.
6. Everyone, use the gifts or lose them. I can’t point to a verse that claims specifically that unused spiritual gifts will vanish, but the parable of the talents sure seems to validate that idea. Wonder why your church limps along? Perhaps you’ve squandered your gifts. Perhaps repentance and wailing before the throne will get them back. Or perhaps not. The warning is not to diss those gifts in the first place. Just don’t go there.
7. Everyone, rejoice. The gifts are given for the edification of the Church and for the completion of the mission tasked to us by the Lord. Eagerly pursue the gifts and rejoice in their use. Or to quote a song, “Forget your troubles, come on get happy.” Nothing beats a smiling, grateful countenance on someone employing a spiritual gift for the benefit of the Body of Christ. That’s real church, and it’s exactly how each of us should function as part of that Body.
49 thoughts on “No Room for Prophets: When Your Church Rejects Your Spiritual Gift”
I saw this so strongly last fall when I published my book. I talked to about 20 pastors about how they were supporting the work of writers, musicians and artists in their congregations. With few exceptions the pastors said that they didn’t “endorse” any member’s work. Nor publicize it. Nor help to make it available to those members of the church or community who might be interested in it. They were all afraid of endorsing something that didn’t meet their standards or hew exactly to their beliefs. They just refused to offer any support to member’s work across the board. One church I went to did have a ministry program for artistic types to meet and share. But even that church wouldn’t consider using any of the material created by their members.
I was so appalled. God put people with gifts to create like that into the body so the body could benefit from it! The people who write and think and create art and music have been scattered in congregations everywhere so that their gifts can be used there. I totally agree with what you’re saying here. It’s a sin against God not to accept the gifts that have been provisioned to the body because of fear.
Yes, evangelical Christianity does not do a good job dealing with creative types. Administrators, bureaucrats, lapdogs, psychophants—always seems to be a place for them. Longhairs, dreamers, iconoclasts, and such? Nope.
Here’s a link that contains even more links to what I’ve said about the subject you raise of creatives in the Church:
I learned the hard way the difference in “permission” and “support.”
Bible says if they don’t receive you, shake the dust off and move on. That church is not worthy because they walk in fear which is Satans turf. What else are they doing wrong you didn’t know about? Stop your tithe into bad soil, tithe into soil that accepts your seed and gifts! They will suffer for it albeit unknowingly. These churches need to dry up. Develop the gifts on your own. There are Christian publishers and other Christian means for musicians.
I’ve actually been Joe Average before. True Story. I filled out one of those spiritual gift inventories at a Church before and it came up prophet. The Pastor literally said, “Ewww…That’s a tough one.” Then he asked me if I would like to run the sound board for the youth group. I don’t remember that one even being on the spiritual gift inventory.
Yep, Kevin. I hear you. Sadly, you story is far from unique.
As I heard once, their pastor was of the school that held that in each new believer was a small spark…and his job was to water it.
Aren’t we supposed to extinguish the smoldering flax? After all, we aren’t Jesus!
Loved this. I couldn’t believe it the first time a friend showed me one of these inventories from her church. I am not sure it is what Tozer had in mind when he penned, Tragedy in the church, the missing gifts. It all smacks of Uzza trying to steady the Arc of the Covenant as the ox cart shook. In so many ways we try to help God out rather than trust Him to do the work within and through us.
Nee pointed out that, theologically ,we have little difficulty with “From Him and to Him,” but we stumble over the “through Him” part of that verse.
Blessings in Jesus!
I took a spiritual inventory once at my old church (which shut down). I scored high in the gift of prophecy, but zero (0!) in prayer. Ha, I said to myself, no wonder I never know what’s going on.
I’ve taken a few, Poet. Always come up with prophecy highest, followed by teaching and speaking in tongues. Not sure why that last one comes up so often and so high. I guess if you even mark once that you’ve spoken in tongues that qualifies you for the gift. Oh well.
Yep, Dan. I’ve seen one of those “inventories”. In my case, you plotted your results on a graph. I could tell from the get go that the whole exercise was a huge joke, and in a way it was comical. It amounted to a reinterpretation and psychologizing of the gifts to the lowest common denominator. Of course I didn’t say this at the time since I didn’t want to offend the people who all were really very nice.
As for your seven items of advice, you know of course they will be entirely ignored.
Today’s American church is built on Four Worldly Laws:
(1) Excellency of Intellect
(2) Ingenuity of Human Governance
(3) Celebration of Reputation
(4) Lots of Money
The only thing that varies is the relative emphasis placed on these items. Some get emphasized more than others. Indeed, much can be accomplished with these four things, especially when you have plenty of #4. Now at one time, Peter and John didn’t have “silver and gold” but Peter could say to the cripple “what I have I give to you” and have the guy start walking. Well, as the theory goes, that kind of stuff got shut off. Now we have to rely on the Four Worldly Laws to get anything done.
I haven’t given up, but I’m close. I try to be an optimist; I’m just repeatedly disappointed. 😉
Anyway, you’re right. Too much human wisdom on display in churches and not enough of the other kind, which is foolproof and always correct.
Hey, if it’s fine with you, I may riff on your four points in a future post. Let me know.
Sure, go ahead. Riff away.
Dan, I was going to sketch out some of my thoughts in the comment box, but my internet connection got dropped. So I lost it all, and I don’t want to type it all over again.
Let it suffice to say that which items get emphasized among the Four Worldly Laws depend on time and place. At differing times, the pendulum will orbit more often around one item than another. And in differing places, some groups fasten on some item or another in preference to others.
But go ahead, Dan, and riff away at it. Think about it a while, and I believe you’ll see that the Four Worldly Laws go a long way to explain a lot about what is going on nowadays.
Hey, Dan, this has absolutely nothing to do with anything you’re talking about (or anything else for that matter), but I have to say that if I hear the preacher use the word “relationships” one more time, verily I shall scream.
Some very interesting comments being made here and not to different to what has been my church expereincs her on the other side of “The Pond” in the UK.
I might take a cautious step at disagreeing with the spiritual inventory test as having no use. I would haowever agree that without the kind of nurturing of gifts that the article advocades, a sipiritual inventory is of littel use and may even be harmful. Tools are only as good as the person who usues them!
In one such test, I scored high on the discernment and the prophecy side of things. In the church i was in I was thrust into preaching that I wasn’t ready for (issues with dyslexia and confidence with public speaking). The next church I went to, I was in pastoral ministry where the nice “cyrastal ball” easy message to hear for osmeone’s comfort was welcomed but if i were to challenge then it was regarded as having “real issues with insensitivity”.
Next church I went to when having a disagreement wiht the pastor I apparently was guily of the “good old fashioned sin of pride”. A couple of churches late and a pstor in a ministry time said i have a “prophetic anointing”. I thought thank God – at last a pastor is recognising it. However left that church when the pastor siad I musunderstood him about what he had been saing about that and the ensuing conversation resulted in difficulty between us.
Currently – have forwarded the artical to the pastor in the church I go to now where my conduct has been questioned. i’m asking is it my conduct or the exercising of the prophetic and supporting thiat with sharing about previous expereinces. The reply be email I got that for hom there were “alarm betlls” and “red lights”. Pastor is out of the country for a month and has talked about a meeting with him and another leader on his return.
Part of me feels like giving up on church! Prayers appreciated!
Thanks for lisening folks.
Whenever a leader rebukes you or admonishes you the word of God says we must LISTEN! Just because he is not a perfect pastor, or maybe he is a terrible one- but that is not for you or I to judge. God put our leaders as our leaders for a reason and so as long what he tells you to do is not going against the word of God, it is your duty to be obedient. Maybe you ARE prideful and the pastor’s job is to warm you. If you want to be a godly person you would do well to listen to the advice of leaders. As Jesus said, do as they say, but not as they do.
The fact that you emailed this to the pastor in response to his admonishing you shows that you seem to have an unhealthy interest in arguing and wanting to be right. Which is, yes, pride. We all struggle with pride in one way or another. But like the Bible says, “why not rather just be wronged”? We need to worry about our own character more than we are worried about the character of other believers, God will judge our leaders. It’s our job to be obedient.
As long as the rebuke and admonishment is in love of course. You have a lot of leaders who like to put a chokehold on members because they hold a title. When a leader goes beyond rebuke and admonishment in love, now their intentions and integrity are in question. Yes, we let God deal with them, but I’ll be looking for my exit to find another ministry.
I took one of those inventories once, but it was pretty obvious that the gift they were hoping we all would discover in ourselves was that of effective committee membership. And it wasn’t even in the list.
Wow! In this area I am a neophyte — I never took one of those tests and do not care to do so. I just figure as I seek God’s face, and do His bidding, I am good to go.
I was required to take one of those test as part of a job application in a ministry/business I
was applying for. (I got the job out of 10 other people that applied). My top gifts were/are
discernment and prophesy. I’d been told by a mature prophet in my church that I had
a strong gift of discernment, which was something I’d noticed as a new christian years
ago, but didn’t quite know what to do with. I’ve been told more than once I have the gift of a seer, or one who sees things others don’t/can’t see. The church I attended was run by a pastor
who didn’t seem to appreciate the gift of prophesy, and more than once shut down others
who were moving in that gift. Eventually, no one even tried since they were likely to get
shut down. He did allow some of it for awhile, but I noticed it was mostly with those he was
in fellowship with outside of church; pool parties, barbecues, prayer groups, etc…
After I left years later, I heard the Lord say “Ichabod” when I thought of that church. They are still in existence, but Ichabod can
happen whether the church still operates or not. This is what happens when pastors
won’t allow the gifts God has given in others to operate. This pastor verbally abused me
repeatedly, even though I never had any kind of rift with him, except minor things, which
were few and far between. I had, and still have, respect for him as a pastor. I think he saw
that gift in me and resented or even feared it. Am I being ridiculous? I once asked God if
I was crazy for thinking the pastor was against me. I said it as I was walking from my car
into my house. When I opened the door, the tv had been left on, and the pastor on the
screen was saying these words, “NO, you’re NOT crazy!”. His program was almost over so
I’m not sure what he was talking about, but God used him to answer my question. I think
God has a sense of humor. Anyway, I’ve attended a couple other churches and still today,
leaders treat me differently than the others. I’m not high maintenance, and I don’t expect
special treatment. But it’s been very frustrating to not be able to use the gifts to the
extent I believe God intended. I’m tired of being shut down when I excersice the gift God put
in me. If anything, I err on the side of caution and would never say anything unless I felt
God said to. (I’m not a natural extorvert,).
Leaders fear prophets and seerers least their own agendas be exposed. Also they fear they can’t control you.
say that most in leadership don’t really want to know peoples fixings and callings due top the pride and control issues which you pointed out. Imagine if someone had more grace for leadership than the “official” leaders. Or what of a genuine prophet or apostle were to be sent into their assembly? Imagine if someone really began exercising a gift of healing. It seems to me that these sorts of things would destroy the status quo and that’s exactly what the current generation of leaders wants to maintain.
Sorry about the typos. I was posting from my phone.
totally have experienced being oppressed in churches that even say they’re spiritual. had stage 4 terminal cancer, God healed me, and even now with that testimony, and being developed in healing others, they still don’t let me speak or mature in my gifts! showing signs of prophecy too. got to keep moving forward; God’s approval, not man’s approval! thanx, this website encouraged me.
Yeah, I think we need some kind of monthly meeting where church leaders just give people who don’t ordinarily get a chance to speak time to use their gifts in the Body. How sad that such an idea is “radical.”
They may have the ruling spirit of pride over the church or even Jezebel! A Pastor is Supposed to be administrative and looking at the over all health of the church. Pastor and teacher are two different callings as shown in the Bible. Problem is because they have the most power, they grab the position of teaching so those called can not exercise and develop their gift. You control the spiritual diet of the church, you control the church! There is safety in having teachers who aren’t pastors!
Yesterday I told a priest about my gift and he was so uncomfortable..i felt it..then he recommended I see my doctor more often and a psychiatrist..lol..
I am currently going through this right now. In at a Southern Baptist church and it’s just sad. Prayers for me and for them! Trying to find another church to go to…I’ve been denied even though God has given the gift of prophecy to me. They are even speaking of “not letting me leave”, they think I’m under the influence of the devil, etc. Crazy stuff!!
I have written a book ‘Going Astray’ (Sunpenny publishing) that deals with gifts of the spirit. I will be coming to the US next year to promote it. If you are interested in this, please let me know – Also if you would like me to send a copy of my book so that you can check it out. (Also available on Kindle)
Any help we can get to get the gifts right is helpful.
Just saw this post. Glad you’re keeping the old ones accessable.
I was in a church that recognized and encouraged the supernatural giftings. Due to a family move, our new church doesn’t.
I have a prophetic gift and now no platform for bringing a word to the church. But I believe this is where God has us for now.
So I’ve decided on two things.
1. I will keep praying for ways to prophetically encourage the body, if not via a microphone, then individually.
2. Look for contexts outside my church where I can grow in my gifts. (But still participate fully in my church.)
As for what can be done for the body at large to recognize the importance of these gifts, I’ve got nothin’.
I can only talk to those in my sphere, but with great gentleness and respect. We need to recognize what comes to mind when someone says “miraculous gifts” is the extreme wacko expression they have either seen on TV or have been exposed to.
It breaks my heart to see what many of the charismatic churches are like. It seems as if the bulk of mainstream churches have undervalued or ignored the gifts. But the charismatic churches have over-emphasized them. In my experience, they have forgotten that there are other books of the bible other than Cor. 14.
I just think that is important for us to remember when we talk with those who are uncomfortable with the gifts. They often have a good reason to be!
I think voices like yours are very important for bringing credibility back to the supernatural gifts God has given His bride.
I’ve written a ton on charismatic topics, though not as much lately. Why? I’ve got nothing to add!
Check the sidebar menu Post Categories: Both Charismatic and Supernaturalism have quite a few posts.
Meredith, What you say has some truth to it, but may I add
something? The prophetic is always perceived as suspicious,
even by those that claim to know the bible. Yet, God says
to seek the prophetic. There have been abuses in the prophetic,
but there have also been abuses behind the pulpit. Yet, how
many pastors and preachers are treated with such contempt,
even when they abuse their assignment? There have been abuses in
worship teams, and by worship leaders themselves. Yet, they are
still allowed to use those gifts. Sometimes it’s been discovered
those worship leaders were living sinful lifestyles for years and yet
were still showing up every Sunday. So why is it right or fair that
the prophetic is treated with such contempt? Why aren’t the other
gifts scrutinized as much? Pastors that have abused their people
for years are still somehow looked up to and respected. “Touch
not God’s anointed” is their favorite sermon topic. But the thing is
the prophet sitting in the congregation is also anointed and told
their gift is not needed and/or wanted. You don’t throw out the baby
with the bathwater when it comes to abuse of the gifts. Even though
we are to test the spirits, ultimately we must allow those with true gifts
to use them. I believe pastors will be held accountable for not allowing
certain gifts to be used in “his” church, just because he’s uncomfortable
with it, or thinks he might lose control of his congregation. God says He
won’t do anything on the earth without first revealing it to His
servants, the prophets.
Awesome! I plan on it! Bummer that I was late to the party 🙁
Criticism of humans trying to lead the Church are far too many to enumerate. I know. I tried it and found it very tough. As for gifts check list, remember, they as preference check lists with no diagnostic ability. They only ask what you have done. We gave everyone the MBTI and a gifts check list and told people, “Neither is a test”. They are designed to facilitate self awareness but only to be used as guides for growth in Christ with mentors and friends over time to test them out. Try and see. Try again.
Dan, I suggest all distressed nature Believers get together and form communities of care and worship. The largest demographic of people leaving organized churches are Seasoned Believers.
Mature not Nature.
Thought this post was great. Thanks for the honesty!
There is an issue with maturity in the church in general. That is a big issue for another day. But, if you are Joe Average, and you do have a gift of the prophetic, whether it is prophecy, knowledge, discernment etc etc., there is usually noone who can disciple you and help you grow in those areas. Common issue. Because many who are in pastoral POSITIONS (but aren’t necessarily pastoral in giftings) are poor at helping people grow in their gifts. As the post says, they are usually more focused on growing a church according to their standards and their understanding. Not the holy spirit’s ways. It is a tragedy. Whats interesting, is biblically, prophetic people are “correctors” of the church. They steer it, and correct wrong doing, and provide insight where other giftings do not have the ability to do so. So why would you want a bunch of “correctors” around you when you are following your own agenda? Answer is, you wouldn’t. So the natural, HUMAN way to react is to shut down the danger. The taboo.
Those who are ACTUALLY gifted pastorally, (and are mature in it), SHOULD be able to discern gifts, and connect people with the right resources to grow. That is part of a shepherds job. But we have so few mature pastoral people also. They often end up shut down too. Because those who are in Senior pastors positions tend to be more leadership/admin personality types. Its just interesting how God is so smart, that he created this wide array of gifts, that if we ignore one gift, the whole body doesn’t work properly. If we don’t grow teachers and pastoral people the Holy Spirit’s way (which is alive and dynamic, not a formula or system to stick to), then the prophetic people really miss out. If we ignore the prophetic, the teachers, pastors, and ADMIN’s miss out on correction, building up, and fresh knowledge. Its a terrible cycle.
I see allot of immature prophetic people, and they are usually interpreted as being ‘fruit-loops’ because those who are in leadership dont get them. They dont recognise their gifts, or have any ability to provide help. Its really sad. Yes, when you are totally new in your gifting your not gonna have everything right. You are going to need your edges shaved back. But if you toss the baby out with the bath water, you are defying God. You are disrespecting his ways, and you are breaking his universal body of Christ model. The only way you can grow in your gift is having help from those who are further along in the way. NEWSFLASH, ‘Submit to your elders’ doesn’t necessarily mean those is church authority. It means those who are further along the ‘path’ than you. Those who are mautre in spirit (not necessarily age). Luke learning from Yoda. Elijah and Elisha. And if Jesus only discipled 12 men, why do we expect one pastor to disciple 500 people? Its ridiculous. Simple concept. Not done well in the church
If you find someone who is mature in similar gifts to you, get along side them and ask for help. OR, ask God to connect you with people of similar giftings if you dont know anyone. Keep pestering him about it. “Father, PLEASE put me somewhere where I can grow”. Those people who can help are rare, but they do exist. They may not advertise themselves, and you may have to go underground, and learn in hiding. I had to learn that way. I was lucky to have met some very mature prophetic people who I spent a long time learning under. I was lucky. Safe meetings where the gifts are free to be practised, and mistakes are OK to make. That is what the church needs.
Prophetic people need to learn not only how to be accurate, but how to have God’s heart in what they say. ‘If you can prophecy, but dont have love, you are nothing’. Whether it is blunt, or loving and kind type of ministry moment, it doesn’t matter. Knowing how to approach it comes with practise and help. It is not as simple as making sure your words are “accurate”. Many pieces of knowledge that the Holy spirit will give you is for YOUR KNOWLEDGE ONLY, and doesn’t need to be shared to the person you are ministering to. E.g. God may show you that a particular person has been sexually abused in their past, so you need to be gentle with how you deliver your prophecy to them. That does not mean you publicly tell them “Hey, God just told me that you’ve been sexually abused!!!”. OUCH! WRONG! But how the heck can you learn that in a generic 40 minute sermon once a week? You can’t.
Which brings another issue… The “you must stay within the church walls”, and the “dont take any outside teaching” mentality is extremely limiting. When your gifting arent watered in your current church, what are you meant to do. Give up on them? Or do you follow the hunger in what God is calling you to? That is what many do, but it is interpreted as backsliding. Ultimately, from God’s perspective, your spiritual growth is more important than the unity of church under human leadership. Your spiritual growth has eternal consequences, the latter doesn’t.
Follow God, not man.
Well said. Thanks for that. I’m glad I subscribed to the comments so I could read this!
I wonder about the times I’ve seen people operating in a position in the
church simply because they are a relative of the pastor, or a close buddy,
or whatever. In the small church group I am part of, one of the pastors immediate
family members is the worship leader and she does so with gusto. She has
a decent voice but has done nothing to develop it, so she pretty much
drowns out the worship music as she sings closely into the mic. I feel like
she’s more of a hindrance to worship than a help. I don’t doubt for one second
that she loves the Lord. I feel her worship is from her heart, but it’s harder to enter
worship with her up there than the very few times she’s not. The pastor won’t
ask her to allow someone else to lead, because they are a super close family.
(I am not a singer, so I’m not saying this because I want to be worship leader) And I
don’t have anyone else in mind, because I don’t know who else would be a better
fit. I feel there is probably someone better suited to the position, and I really
don’t like feeling this way during worship time. I know that if the wrong person is
in any position it will keep the right one from fulfilling their God-given calling.
The pastor is super protective of his family and even if he sees the same thing,
he would never ask her to step down. That’s why I’ve never even mentioned it to
him before. He’d probably ask me to leave just for suggesting it, so I keep my
mouth shut. Otherwise, I enjoy the fellowship there, so don’t necessarily want
to leave unless God told me to.
I just got the results of my spiritual inventory back as part of a three-week-long series on the gifts led by our pastor. I guess the results aren’t really that surprising, looking back over the years, but the response of the pastor was. I’ve been going to this church for maybe 4 or 5 months. I’m concerned now that I must leave once again and go on somewhere else, ever seeking an opportunity to use my gifts. The pastor, who believes that several of the gifts were temporary only, glossed, almost entirely skipped over my highest scoring gift–prophecy, which is how I found this site through a Google search. I asked the pastor the first night, “What if I think I should score at a certain level, but that’s just me?” He had nothing to say of any help whatsoever. Two of my highest scoring gifts, in fact, appear to be for the past only. But he’d be happy to have more admin types.
I suffer from many problems because, as someone who has been a believer for most of my life, I’ve gone from place to place never being able to do the things that God intends I do. I didn’t always get this, and there were times I ran from it, but it’s another thing to be slapped in the face with the truth only to have others look sideways at your answers. It scares people, and for good reason. It scares me, which is why I ran.
But here’s the thing. The things I have to say to the Church haven’t been heard by many in a long time. If I was someone else, I might have a hard time hearing something I wasn’t familiar with. If I was a pastor, I might feel threatened by the prospect that some might know things I myself didn’t know. There’s no room for the prophet in the modern church. Many will suffer on account of this. Many already have.
I feel hopeless at times like this. I have things I must say or perish. That is how strong I feel about it. And yet, in order to maintain the peace on account of how my words will be heard, I quench the Spirit again and again. Where is there room for a prophet? Show me, oh Lord, where there are people who are not misled by doctrines of men and demons who are willing to hear and there I will go. Here am I. Send me.
My brother in law is the pastor and my sister is the first lady. I’ve tried to hang in there for so long but I found myself going just to keep the peace. I have been trying to bring my songs to the church for several years now only to be met with opposition and resistance. I was never chosen to be a prayer leader and always felt like I was an outsider in the church even though I’ve been a member since this church started. When others quit coming I remained faithful in attendance. I gave my tithes even when I was broke and couldnt see how to pay my bills but watched my sister and brother in law buy vehicles and take trips. I’m over it. I quit. I never fit in cliques and dont fit in the church environment. I’m an introvert with a musical gift and I dont know how God will use me but I can no longer pretend I am getting or giving what I need in this church environment.