THE CHURCH – AN EXPRESSION OF DIVINE FAMILY
by Lyn Packer
Years ago the Lord revealed to me that He was going to bring about a change in the church – from that of the church being viewed and administrated as if it were an institution, a ministry or a business, to truly being an expression of the divine family. I’ve since released that word in numerous places and ways, and have been praying for it to come to pass. As I’ve watched and prayed I’ve noticed the shifts and changes begin to take place.
Recently I have again felt constrained by the Lord to speak out this word and to encourage the church to take notice of what He is doing. I believe He is being very deliberate in this work here in New Zealand, and that we are to be heralds of this to the nations – in both word and example. The Father is calling us to walk out something that has been in His heart since the beginning of time. He is calling us to become an expression of the eternal, divine family.
God as Father
Over the past twenty to thirty years we have seen the emergence of the revelation regarding God as a Father who is loving and good. The understanding of God as a good Father has resulted in a massive shift in the church itself, and in how society is viewed and interacted with.
A natural outcome of this understanding of the Father heart of God has been an unfolding revelation of what it means to be sons and daughters of God. People are waking up to that aspect of their identity, dealing with orphan mindsets and expressions and stepping into experiential love and purpose regarding their sonship (gender inclusive not exclusive).
One of the emerging aspects of that revelation is the growing realization that if He is our Father and we are His sons and daughters then the church is a family. While we have always acknowledged that as truth, we have not always lived in the light of it and walked it out in a way that honoured the Lord and each other. That is something that is currently changing.
A Family, not a Ministry, Business or Institution
The Lord is beginning to bring into focus the need for us to begin to think and act as a family. No longer can we treat the church, the Body of Christ, as a ministry, a business or an institution. The Lord is calling us back to this reality - that the church is the family of God and we are brothers and sisters.
This revelation, as it unfolds, will have profound ramifications in every aspect of church life. Pastors as well as congregations will need to grapple with the changes it will bring and work out how we apply that in our daily lives. As a result many aspects of church life will change.
“They will know that you are my disciples by your love for one another” will not just be a nice scripture verse but a lived-out reality. No longer just words but true love and acceptance; unity despite differences, honour within diversity, recognising and releasing each other to be all God has for us to be.
I believe that this is a work He is doing in us as a nation at the moment; a deep work of changing mindsets, and as a result, attitudes and actions toward each other. More and more, denominational tags aren’t being held up as separating factors but we are seeing gatherings where no one asks, and no one cares, what church you attend. We are uniting as one family; there are many expressions within that family, but it is still one family. The decline in denominational barriers has been happening for some time, and we are now fairly comfortable with it, but now God is honing in to individual church families and bringing down dividing walls there.
The work that He is doing will result in His glory being released and acknowledged in new ways. It will result in changes that will bring an honouring of each other and recognition of gifts and abilities that releases destinies. It will cause a freedom in giving one to another of ‘such as I have”, and a laying down of lives for each other. There will be recognition of the value of each person and their contribution to the family. Mindsets that cause divisions and schisms will be worked through and laid down because of the recognition and knowledge that diversity is not wrong, it is necessary!
Divisions caused by wrong understandings regarding what ministry looks like will begin to crumble as we recognise that we are each called to different expressions of the Kingdom; some within church life, but many more outside in the community. Churches will become less about 'how you can serve our vision of building this particular local church', and more about 'how we can train you to be effective where God has placed you in the community'.
Many secondary theological differences will be seen from a more mature viewpoint - as the recognition of people being at different places in individual growth journeys, rather than an “I’m right, therefore because you disagree with me you must be wrong” mentality.
A Forerunner Nation
The Lord has been working in our nation to right wrongs caused over the years, both culturally and by religion, and in doing so He is forerunning something that will happen in other nations within their different ethnic groups. These things have had to be dealt with so that unity and love could come. The tangata whenua of this nation, the Maori people, have much to teach the family of God about living as a community and family. And while they don’t have all the answers they do have some that the Lord wants us to learn from. Within each culture there are truths implanted in their cultural DNA that He has put there to reveal things about Himself, and the way His Kingdom works. Each of these, as they are revealed and acknowledged, will compliment and encourage the others, releasing a corporate expression of truth that is greater than all the individual parts.
Yes there are other revelations of who God is and how He relates to us, but I do believe that this revelation is one that is very much on His heart at the moment. Take another look at the work He has been doing in your life, at the dissatisfaction that many have felt over the way Church is currently run, at the feeling and the longing that there is something more than what we are currently experiencing. There are many who have been feeling and voicing their need to find their tribe, their family. This is part of the work God is doing at this time. He has been birthing within each of us the need to know that we truly belong, that we are part of a family - His family.
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...