as Craig and Dan and I discussed our “Leadership” “Prayer” Retreats at Wellspring at the Cross and what exactly they were and what they were not. The “retreats” began as a time away from the regular hustle and bustle of church ministry set aside to seriously focus on what God had been revealing through the giftings in the Body and praying about and searching for more revelation on those specific things. In the first few meetings we received so much revelation that came to pass and really helped develop the structure of our church. As people were added to our leadership team the meetings morphed from a sort of seeking God through the gifts retreat to a Prayer/Leadership/Staff bonding weekend that left us dry and uncomfortable and with very little revelation.
The past two weeks the Lord had been speaking to me again about not allowing the ministries that He gives to me morph into something others feel it should be. I keep doing that. I have been doing that for years. I always saw myself as a team player and had been taught by previous Pastors that the gift of prophecy was to be submitted to the Pastor and the Elders and used according to their discretion. I was all for it. But through the recent years the Lord was rebuking me for bringing something to the Body, doing it, watching the people be blessed by it and then allowing others to make changes that quite frankly killed it. The prophecies that He gave to me were to be “stewarded” by me with input from others but I was the one responsible to be true to what I was being told regardless of what others responses were.
So here I was again trying to refigure what our “Leadership” meetings should be. I was wondering how they should be structured and who should be invited, all while pulling away from the original design of these get a ways. They originally were supposed to be simply seeking through the gifts, revelation about what the Lord had been telling the Body. We actually started calling them “Leadership Retreats” to explain who we were inviting and then started to call them “Prayer Retreats” because we knew the Lord wanted folks who were not in formal leadership to attend. So when the new leaders at Wellspring attended they wondered why there weren’t any leadership training or prayer times that included different issues in the church. Which was a good question.
We really thought through the legitimacy of what other leaders were saying about these meetings and how they had become something unproductive and seemed to at least need some structure. We agreed because as we strayed from the original plan of the Lord the productivity waned. Something was missing.
Pray about it
That’s when I thought that we should stop thinking and pray about it. Almost instantly as Craig and I prayed the reason the retreats first were held came to mind in complete clarity. We met to seek God, to listen, to go after Him, until He gave us revelation both new and also pulling previous things together that He had been telling us bit prophetically and through the other gifts. It was in those first moments of prayer that I realized that I was doing it again. I was letting this ministry of seeking God prophetically morph into something else. So I repented and asked the Lord what it should be, what it should be called, and who should attend.
Immediately I heard from the Lord that our answer was in the Bible. We would find our answers there. Both Craig and I who were praying as we drove home started to think out loud of any situation in the Bible where Prophets got together and sought the Lord together about anything. He was saying maybe in the Old Testament and as He said that I heard the Lord say no it’s in the New. So I said that to Craig and we grabbed our phones and started searching. The first link that came up was 1 Pete 1:10-12
1 Peter 1:10
Concerning this salvation, the prophets who predicted the grace that would come to you searched and investigated carefully. 11 They probed into what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating when he testified beforehand about the sufferings appointed for Christ and his subsequent glory. 12 They were shown that they were serving not themselves but you, in regard to the things now announced to you through those who proclaimed the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things angels long to catch a glimpse of.
So we had our example in the New Testament of prophets going into a time of serious searching and investigating but I wanted to do some exegesis on the text to be sure what the actual context was all about. What I found was fascinating because it was exactly what we had been doing at our first few meetings.
“The First Epistle of Peter: An Introduction and Commentary”
By Wayne A. Grudem it states, “The Prophets searched and inquired about this salvation. Neither term means that they merely pondered or wondered~ the words both imply active effort in looking to find something. The first word, searched (ekzeteo), (or zeteo) implies diligent searching or seeking for something, and is often used of seeking for God or searching scripture.
“The second word, Inquired (exeraunao), only occurs here in the New Testament, but thirty-two other occurrences are found in the LXX, Josephus, and Philo. Most often it refers to searching through something like a house, a tent, a city, or a country in order to find some person or thing, or else it refers to searching through Scripture.”
“They Inquired does not necessarily mean that they asked questions, but that they were ‘searching to find out’, trying to find out.”
I was amazed and really excited because that was exactly what we were doing in the first few meetings like this. We started to name the meetings as the church grew and we felt that we needed to sort of organize and structure them, but that was our Citadel thinking.
Doing ministry and “church” this way is so exciting. Simply following Jesus as our head. He really cares about what we are doing and how we are doing it and the tough part is to strip away the way that we have learned to do ministry and allow Him to be the head and direct us. It is our job to ask and to listen and then to obey. And then to keep obeying.
So here launches the Zeteo Ministry at Wellspring at the Cross-where those who are called and gifted to seek the Lord through their gifts can come together and seriously search for what He has for us. So many awesome revelations have come from these meetings that I will post some of those here. But we will continue to meet together, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life with the focus of getting ahold of the Lord and what he is trying to reveal to His people.