Sometimes it helps people to get completely “out-of-the-box.”
For a number of years I ran a local fellowship for businessmen and women. Because they never thought of it as a “church” they didn’t come with their church straight-jackets on; consequently we had amazing results. The vision was never intended to be about getting people saved, although that did happen. It was about giving existing believers the confidence to walk in their anointing, as a normal way of everyday life.
The meetings were prophetic, and everyone participated in a body style of ministry. We met monthly around a large hotel conference table complete with note pads and coffee. We started with open fellowship, words or prophecy as the Lord led. For many who would never have ventured outside their institutional church, hearing this genuine free relationship with the Lord was a complete shock.
Being the organiser (or facilitator), to ensure that everyone participated, I would ask all present to introduce themselves in turn, and give a run down as to where they were at that moment in their business, and what their needs and desires were, and more to the point, what was God saying to them. Whilst this happened, the others were encouraged to listen to the Spirit and make any notes for prayer and ministry later on.
As we grew, the start could often be a little slow, as usually it generated further conversation and questions, particularly when someone was going through the middle of a business crisis.
Next we would ask everyone to move out of their seats and pray for each others’ situations as the Spirit led.
Giving business advice was banned. Our purpose was to eat of the Tree of Life, to pray and to give encouragement through words from God, and to deal with the work of the enemy by deliverance etc.
People were shocked when they saw the Holy Spirit at work. “Why don’t we get this sort of teaching in church?” was a regular, indignant question. What they witnessed was the practise of faith through and through.
We saw amazing things happen in businesses once God was allowed in. A lowly gardener might have a deep prophetic word or vision for an engineer or doctor which would instigate a massive change in the man’s business. A small core group of Spirit filled business men and women were able to encourage the weaker members.
We never advertised, but it just kept growing as excited newcomers would return the next month with two or three others! Word of mouth from enthusiastic believers did all the networking for us. They came because they saw that when God was active in their businesses, He brought blessing. Their lives outside church changed. Passive Christians became enthusiastic believers.
Our times together gave many believers their first experience of seeing that God could actually change things in the real world. Many Christians have never experienced anything outside of Sunday church. This meeting enabled them to grow in personal faith, especially as they watched their brothers progress through business crisis and on to victory under the power of God.
We started with about ten people at the first meeting. We kept having to ask the hotel for a bigger conference room as it rocketed to sometimes 60 people, which was a bit too big to handle. We had in all about 130 members, but thankfully they never came all at once.
When people see the reality of God, their lives will never be the same.
Francis Drake has always been passionate about letting God reign in his everyday life, not just in church. If the word of God didn’t apply successfully in his daily work, then either it, or Francis was a fake! Learning to run manufacturing businesses as a prophetic venture is an excellent way to grow in faith. The effect of God’s involvement in the various projects Francis ran enabled him to overflow into helping other businessmen. The fellowship was one of the results.