The last few posts have described some times of a group gathering together with no other purpose than listening to God and obeying what he tells us to do.
We are on mission with God. Imagine what could happen if groups like this multiplied—each one being sent out on assignments for the Kingdom. Each one swearing allegiance to the King and to each other. Like in a regular army, we would not necessarily see the whole of the big picture, but under the command of the Lord, we would each be responsible for our part.
Here are some of the principles we have learned:
Principles/Guidelines for Listening Gatherings:
- Surrender the need for any agenda or any preconceived reason for gathering.
- Don’t bring your “name,” network, ministry or position to the gathering.
- Purify yourselves in preparation—Ps. 24: 3-4
- It is all an exercise in willingness, and don’t be surprised if there is a thinning down of people from your first gathering to your subsequent ones.
- Expect God to speak.
- Listen and then listen again. Wait on God. There will be rabbit trails, but just come back to listening.
- Resist the urge to strategize when listening to God. Save that for a later time. Direction is different than strategy. God will direct the time and purpose of the gathering.
- Sometimes God will create an opportunity for you to immediately act on this prophetic intelligence. Other times there may be several tasks that you must fulfill either individually or corporately as a result of your listening. Either way, God is very interested in your obedience.
- The key balance: everyone participating but no one dominating.
- God’s message will usually come from the sum of individual “hearings.” Most people will feel like what they are hearing is just for themselves and not the group. It may be for them, but it is most likely also for the group.
- Valuing everyone’s contribution is essential. Corporate listening relies on the principle that God will share something to the community that He would not share to just an individual. The reasons for this are that (1) it would be too much for one person or one like-minded group to hear and (2) God himself is in community.
- You may never know what are the full results of your listening and obeying as a gathering. It’s a mystery and based on faith.
- You can count on one thing though—you will be changed and become more like Christ. This is what it looks like to walk in spiritual authority—to have a pure heart, to surrender to the Lord, to listen and obey in community.