The church is as we know it is going to morf. It is about metamorphism – changing shape. We are in a similar season as when Martin Luther changed the whole way in which the church functioned – it may not be as dramatic, yet similar. It does not hinge on one man this time but on the whole Body of Christ moving into a newness. 2012 is a year for existing organizational structures – which we call “church” – to re-evaluate where they are at. The Lord will speak to the Church first as to the implementation of change as they are to lead the realms of business and government.
The issue at hand is: How are we going to equip the Church effectively? Laborers need to be sent out – it is not about warming the pew. It’ s not about getting people into the structures, it’s about getting them out and getting them out in their droves. South Africa is one of the greatest missionary nations on the face of the earth and this demand is going to increase and not decrease. There is a whole support structure that must come into place behind this. This is why the Lord is speaking to the business community in parallel – a wider concept and participation than just keeping a community afloat is at hand.
The result of participation in this process is that the local community will be in a far, far stronger position financially than they have ever been. The Lord wants them to see if they can be trusted with this outreach. Somewhere the funds have to culminate in a joint vision. The term missionary does not just refer to a full time career choice but refers more to the heart thereof. Previously a lot of time was spent on “getting people in”, whereas now the focus is the equipping of the saints to do the work of the ministry. A lot of energy was also wasted in trying to keep people “in” the church structure – this was not by design of God but carnal. What “church” may not understand is that the more they get people out functioning, the more people are going to come in. There is a huge prosperity for the church of through flow or through-put of people in 2012. For those who take God’s Word seriously and equipping the saints seriously, this will be true. God is going to nip control in the bud. We will see groups diminish where there is too much of a control factor over the people versus a releasing factor. The little church on the corner that has not been there for a long time but has the heart to equip people and send them out will suddenly explode in growth and onlookers will be amazed. This growth comes from the Lord and the key to it is the releasing factor.
The fear of man will also be addressed. 2012 is not going to be a comfortable year for the church because it was never designed to be a comfortable place. The Lord has spoken to many people over the years to start moving and they haven’t done it. Some of it may have been because the season was not right, but that season is changing very rapidly. Fear has hamstrung many people and it will remain so unless they make a decision to move. Two sides of the same coin are, on one side, hospitality at home and the other side the ability to move. We will be utterly amazed at how many people are prepared to take on the call and walk out in this vocation. We have a responsibility to encourage the weak and tottering ones in their endeavors to walk out their call. The Lord is not looking for mature believers to do this, He is looking for the willing. Maturity has nothing to do with this equation and is not an excuse for either those needing to release or those needing to move. Our natural tendencies will be to draw the immature back to first be trained whilst not realizing that they are being trained in the school of practical experience. We will have to revamp the way we judged people with regards to this previously because the Lord is training them. We should not stand aloof but be an encouragement to them and give them some of our tools that can help them along their own route of discovery.
The flip side of the uncomfortable times the church is going to go through is ENJOYMENT. The warning is against rigidity. The church has been exposed to too much rigidity throughout the years and people who think they have got systems down to a tee. The Lord wants to bring in an enjoyment factor that could almost seem unholy to us. This is the Lord’s way of rewarding the church through the uncomfortable decisions they are going to have to make. An example: People are going to feel sent to a place to minister. This is a sacrifice to them, but when they get their they are really going to enjoy it. It’s not going to be through discipline, it’s going to be through enjoyment. If we bring in the discipline factor too soon in the youth we will utterly destroy their spirit.