ConnectPoint has been blessed during the month of may to have quite a few guest speakers minister to our congregation. Guest speakers offer many things: freshness, new perspective, and an un-biased word.
I emailed a thought to ConnectPoint a couple of years ago, directly related to guest ministers, that I would like to share with you today.
Having a guest minister at our church, reminded me of a few things I saw in the bible concerning guest ministry. The main principles I want to share are found in II Kings 4:8-16. The great woman of Shunem is receiving Elisha the great prophet into her home. There are some things she provides that produce a lasting ministry in her house.
I. Bed – She makes Elisha comfortable. The first step to receiving guest ministers correctly is to make them comfortable. How this translates in a church service: everybody be kind with handshakes and smiles, but do not linger. Generally the minister has his mind on the service and doesn’t need to hear about everything that happened in our day.
So to create a bed environment – show yourself friendly but don’t linger. As many ladies as possible introduce yourself to the preachers wife and ask if there is anything she needs, ensuring her comfort as well. Always bring the preacher to the pulpit with noise, clapping your hands and lifting your voice. Most preachers get uncomfortable in a new place when they take the pulpit with a quiet congregation looking on.
II. Table – Secondly, set the table for the preacher. As we flow into the different realms of worship; realize we are setting the table for the word of God to go forth correctly. Genesis 1:2-3 records that the move of God went first and then the creative word of God came second. Our job is to prepare an atmosphere so that the preachers word comes forth with power.
In my travels for 10 years I found churches that didn’t obey this law, and generally nothing happened before or after the preaching simply because the Word was meant to follow the Spirit. See what God will do through preachers when you set the table with worship and an atmosphere of faith that continues into their preaching. (e.g., amen the word.)
III. Stool – The literal hebrew definition for this word is a throne. The principle here is that we are to empower or give the man authority to speak into our lives. An empowered preacher is a powerful tool in the hands of God.
You can be anointed by God but not anointed by the people and have a ministry lose its effectiveness. (e.g., I Samuel 16 David was anointed by God, but Israel didn’t anoint him until II Samuel 5.) Allow these preachers to speak into your life.
IV. Candlestick – Fourthly, we need two way illumination. We can’t understand the scriptures from a natural perspective, thus we need Spirit illumination. Pray this before and during the service that God would allow you to grasp exactly what He is saying through His messenger (I John 2:27, Jeremiah 33:3, Psalms 119:18, Job 34:32).
Also pray in advance that God would reveal to His messenger the exact message for your church. I make it a practice of never talking to guest preachers about the condition or situations of ConnectPoint. If there is marriage trouble, rebellion, etc. they will never know about it. Therefore, when they do speak to our issues we know its directly from God.
In conclusion I want you to remember the ending of this story. Elisha calls for the barren woman and speaks a word into her life that doesn’t come to manifestation for 9 months. Every word that is preached to us isn’t meant for that moment, sometimes God will use ministers to speak to our future.