THE AGE OF COLONISATION IS OVER!
by Lyn Packer
This prophetic word was shared at the NZ Prophetic Council in Christchurch on 21st Feb 2019.
The colonisation of the New Zealand Church by anything that is not of the Kingdom of God is coming to an end.
There is a two-fold ending happening to colonisation in our land – on both a political level and in the church. I want to address the church level of this in this word.
God is causing the church in New Zealand, and the people in it, to rise up in a strong indigenous identity. (In saying that I am not referring to either the identity of Maori or Pakeha. What God is doing in that arena is a precious, and needed, work that will affect the nations of the world, but I’m referring to something different.)
It is time for the church in NZ to come out from under the colonising influence and authority of other entities, nations, and peoples and be established in its own identity!
What is Colonisation?
To understand what I mean by that we must understand what colonisation is and what it does. Colonisation is the often, but not always, deliberate influence of one group over another; that influence seeks to take root, settle amongst, inform and influence a group or nation, both politically and culturally. It seeks to reform a nation into its own image.
Colonisation can happen several ways – intentionally, politically, by cultural example, or by peer influence. All can be equally effective and some more so than others. Subtle influencing often has a better effect than bully tactics and, in the case of the church, that is how its colonisation has taken place.
The colonisation of the church has been a strategic plan of the enemy for many years. He does not want the fullness of who God is to be seen; he wants a narrowed down, watered down version to be what people see. He wants a church formed in any other image except God’s!
And unwittingly we have fallen into line with the enemy’s plan of colonisation by allowing the ideas and ideologies that are not in line with the Kingdom of God to shape our identity and our expression. Because of this we’ve created an identity crisis, and in taking on ideas and ideologies that are not ours to carry we have, in many and often subtle ways, been reformed into something we were never meant to be.
How has it happened?
One way this has happened is that the church in New Zealand has, in the past, willingly submitted itself to having its identity formed strongly by overseas influences. While those overseas churches no doubt had good ideas and good intentions, nevertheless, in many cases, we did not use the necessary discernment and wisdom to see whether we should adopt their ideas as our own. As a result, because we didn’t understand who we are in Christ, the church of New Zealand has had its DNA, identity, and expression formed in ways that do not truly express who it is in Christ, and do not reflect the realities of the Kingdom of God.
It’s time for the uniqueness of the national identity and expression of the church in New Zealand to be established. It’s time for the bondage of colonisation, through the enemy’s agenda of using other nations to shape us, to be broken and for our nation to be released to stand in its own identity!
We can, and should, learn from others, but we cannot be them! While we understand that others can have a good influence on us, we cannot base ourselves, and our lives, on who they are. We cannot wear their clothes, take on their mannerisms, copy their speech and still say that we are being true to ourselves! That is allowing ourselves to be colonised! Uniformity of identity and expression was never God’s heart. God has never wanted a church that is a cookie cutter, cloned church, in either identity or expression; He celebrates uniqueness and diversity, and we are going to see a wider expression of both in the years ahead, both in New Zealand and globally.
A uniquely New Zealand Church
What will it look like, this uniquely New Zealand church? It will be an outworking of the Kingdom of heaven on earth, following God’s plans, modelled on the divine family. It will be highly relational, love-filled, servant hearted, and full of bold audacious dreamers who take God at His word. It will be creatively innovative, pioneering, prophetic, strong, raw, authentic, worshipping, missional, and more.
It will have its own sound, its own expression, and that doesn’t just mean its own musical sound. There is a sound, a frequency, that will arise out of this reformation of the New Zealand church in the Spirit realm that will resonate outward and call to others. That frequency will shift and displace things by the Spirit of God and it will cause a release for other nations. It will call others to come into their unique indigenous identities and expressions.
The church in NZ is in transition; it is coming into its own identity in a way that it never has before. God has been shifting mindsets, challenging theologies, and reforming and establishing identities on both a personal and national level. He is being intentional, and relentless, in doing so because He is bringing us back to who we really are.
Each tribe in Israel had its own identity as a tribe, yet together they made a nation. They were many, yet one! So, too, the church in New Zealand will be many, yet one; different, diverse, with unique expressions, yet at the same time uniquely and authentically Kiwi, and uniquely and authentically an expression of the Kingdom of Heaven!
How do we become this unique authentic expression of God?
We start by examining ourselves. We need to recognise that we may have unwittingly allowed ourselves to be colonised – influenced and shaped by the enemy, or by others. We must ask, “Are we allowing the Kingdom of Heaven to shape our culture and expression, or are we allowing something else to shape us?”
We need to understand the culture of heaven and of the Kingdom of God.
Ask, “Where have we adopted the practices and expressions of other church cultures without really checking if those things should be part of ours?” We must ask, “Do their cultural expressions translate well to ours?” and, “What can we learn from what they do without necessarily copying what they do? Where have we tried to wear other people’s clothes, so to speak?”
We need to ask ourselves, “Who are we? What are our unique strengths, gifts, talents, expression, etc? Who are we as our authentic self?”
Allow yourself to experiment and find out who you are. Find out the unique giftings, skills and talents that God has placed in your congregation and allow those to find a place of expression.
Don’t compare your church to other churches; you cannot be them. It’s a trap and a waste of time and energy. You have unique people and resources that are different to theirs; that will mean that your expression and outworking of who you are will be different, and that’s not only okay, it’s what God wants, and what He needs of you!
Celebrate who you are. Express who you are, and have fun doing so! You are a unique expression of God! Allow yourself to be that!
Lyn is recognised as a Prophet within New Zealand and other nations she’s ministered in. Her ministry is revelatory and catalytic, propelling people into encounter with God. The governmental prophetic gift she carries is expressed through prophetic, revelatory insight and strategy, prophetic words (personal, corporate and national), teaching, art, and writing. Click here for more info...