Why Prophetic Ministry Matters in the Church

“Be eager to prophesy.” That’s what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 14:39 (NLT). So why do so many churches avoid prophetic ministry? Pastors Tom Lane and Wayne Drain have spent their ministry careers immersed in prophetic ministry in the local church, and their new book, He Still Speaks To Kids (a followup to their book He Still Speaks) covers this topic in great detail. In this episode of the Church InTension podcast, Dr. Jon Chasteen talks with Wayne and Tom about the nuance and importance of prophetic ministry.

Dr. Jon Chasteen: Okay, so before I jump into this, let me just introduce them to you. So, Wayne Drain, if you don’t know who Wayne Drain is, Wayne Drain is the founding pastor, senior pastor of City Church, formerly known as Fellowship of Christians in Russellville, Arkansas. His call is to pastor and to prophesy to the nations, and he has ministered in 48 states, 39 nations. A local pastor, here it is, 45 plus years. Now this may be an old bio. Is this an old bio, Wayne?

Wayne Drain: Yeah.

Jon: So, how many years is it now?

Wayne: Well, I actually pastored the church for 45 years, and then I turned it off to a young guy, so I’ve not been pastoring these last few years. 2017, so…

Jon: Wow. So, over 45 years. Wayne is also ministered nationally, internationally, speaking, worship leading, consulting, participating in prophetic presbyteries.

Tom Lane is an apostolic senior pastor at Gateway Church. Prior to his current position, he served as Gateway Church’s executive senior pastor for 12 years, and he was a campus pastor for two years. Tom served before that at Trinity Church in Amarillo. Tom has experience in a variety of church leadership roles, including business administration, administrative pastor, executive pastor, and senior pastor. And before we go any further, Tom, we might as well say your newest role, the newest thing that Tom is stepping into. So, before I do that, let me just say, guys, welcome to the podcast. I’m really excited to have both of you on. It’s an honor.

Wayne: Thank you.

Tom Lane: Thank you, Jon.

Jon: So, before we jump into the content, Tom, let’s talk about your new role. So, Tom is stepping into a new season. So, Tom, why don’t you tell us about that?

Tom: We are launching the Tom Lane Executive Leadership Institute at Gateway. And the goal, the purpose, of what we’re doing is to try and help develop a new generation of executive leaders in the body of Christ. And the focus is church leaders. But in addition to that, it applies to business leaders as well. Leaders that have a heart for God, and God has placed in an area of ministry service. And we’re going to do our best to impart what we’ve experienced and what we’ve learned over these 40 years of ministry in a way that helps them become effective in their seasons ahead.

Jon: It’s really great, and I’m excited for you, but I’m also excited about just the pastors who will learn from your experience and glean from that. So, you guys have written a couple of books together, and really the topic of this podcast, depending on where we take it, but really where we’re going to start, anyways, is in prophetic ministry. Both of you carry this gift of prophetic ministry in your ministry, but also you’ve written books about it. You’re hosting and doing presbyteries all over the country.

So, why don’t we start with… There’s a lot of places I want to go. I have a lot of notes here, but I really want to just start by when did you guys start realizing… Wayne, maybe you go first. When did you start realizing that you had a prophetic gift? Was it as a child, when did you begin to realize that, and when did it really start to come out in you?

Wayne: Well, I knew something was going on when I was about eight or nine years old, and my mother was very prophetic, as was my grandmother. And so, I was in a context where that wasn’t a weird thing for me, but I started to just know some things. And I’d talked to my mom about it, so I had that context with her.

And then later on I traveled with a man named Laddy McDonough, who was in the Latter Rain movement, who became a mentor to me, and I led worship for him, and he discipled me in the prophetic for about three years. And so, it’s unfolded, although I’ve known I had something in there when I was back in grade school. Sometimes I would just know stuff. And I didn’t know what to do with it, didn’t know where it’s coming from, but, but I loved Jesus since I was five years old, so I’ve always known it was about Him.

Jon: That’s great. What about you, Tom? When did you start sensing that? Did it come later in life or was it early on?

Tom: Well, it was later in life. It was into my maybe early thirties. I got saved at 16, but I’d come out of a Presbyterian background, and so, I was more in my head than I was in my heart. When I thought about spiritual gifts, I had to understand them. So, I would look at the gifts of the Spirit and I’d say, “Well, I know wisdom and knowledge and healings, but I don’t know about this prophecy stuff.” It seems a little more subjective than it is objective. And actually, I started to develop a hunger when we were in a Spirit-filled church. And back in the seventies, the pattern was, you would worship until sort of the Lord’s presence settled in, and then there would be a hush that settled over the congregation. Somebody would have a tongue, an interpretation, or a prophetic word. And for me, I always thought that was really cool. But the way it settled out was there was always one or two of the same people that were always the prophetic people.

And as the church grew, the bigger the church grew, the more we felt like we need to know the people that are sort of ministering among us. And we didn’t. And then if you have a public word, and it’s not a good word, then you have to have a public correction. And that didn’t work too well. And so, I was trying to figure out how do you make this all work in a personal context, but inside the church and so, on.

Jon: Interesting.

Tom: He said, “Hey, you know what you ought to do is you got to do presbytery.” And I said, “What? No, what?” He said, “Yeah, come on, just see how it’s done.” That was my history and introduction into prophetic ministry.

Jon: I really want to get into the presbyteries because I think for those that don’t know what that is, it’s a really great way to lead their church towards more prophetic ministry. And I’ll pause for just a second and give even a personal story. So, I grew up in a very Spirit-full church, and when I began to pastor larger churches, I had a hunger and a thirst for those kind of movements to happen. But I’m like you, Tom, when you get thousands of people in a room, it becomes very difficult. And you don’t have to have thousands of people in the room. It can be difficult with 100 people in the room or 50 people in the room. So, I came to you, I don’t know if you remember this, Tom, it was a couple years ago. I came to you because I had started getting the conviction as a pastor because I believe in the gifts and fruit of the Spirit, but I didn’t see them manifesting in my church or even in my leadership.

And so, I had came across Ephesians, in Ephesians 2, where it’s kind of talking about the church and it says that it’s built on the foundation of the apostle and the prophet as the foundation with Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. And it really stuck out to me, okay. Hopefully every church has the cornerstone of Jesus. Most churches get that right. At least I hope they do. And I think most churches, and it was the story from my church. I carry more of an apostolic gift. And what I’ve realized that most of my leadership carried more of an apostolic gift. I didn’t have hardly any, if any, really, really strong, prophetic, gifted people on my staff. And I didn’t see it being cultivated in the congregation. And there certainly wasn’t an avenue for that. So, I came to you and began to talk to you about that.

And that’s when, I knew about presbytery. But that’s when you said you, “Your church needs to do a presbytery.” And so, we ended up doing it in November. And I want to, here in a minute, Wayne, I’m going to have you kind of unpack presbytery for our listeners, for a listener that has no idea what we’re even talking about. But I can say that it transformed my church. It introduced people. We saw testimony after testimony. There was one particular lady who came to the presbytery who grew up, I think it was Seventh Day Adventist or something. And she had been coming to our church for a couple weeks and we said, “Presbytery.” And she said, “Honestly, I just came to see how weird it was going to be.” And she ended up getting healed from a crazy back injury she had, getting filled with the Holy Spirit, just having a radical encounter with the Lord. So, let me pause there, Wayne. Will you just unpack what presbytery is? What is presbytery?

Wayne: Well, most people, when they hear presbytery, they think it’s leaders of the Presbyterian church. But a prophetic presbytery is just a prophetic gathering with some specific focus. And the focus is on worship. It’s on prayer, but it’s on prophesying over leaders and potential leaders to help them see themselves as God sees them and not just through their own desires or their own hopes. So, a presbytery is when the local pastors ask some outside ministers who have prophetic gifts to come in and they will come in and before they get there, the local pastors will identify what we call candidates, nothing political about it. We identify what we call candidates, and that was folks that they want to go sit under the prophets and to hear what might be spoken over them. And the difference in a presbytery and a word in season, they’re all about edification, exhortation, and comfort.

But in words in season, it’s more about that. But in a prophetic presbytery, we’re pressing in for gifts, we’re pressing in for callings, and we move in the ministry of importation. So, say if you’re sitting in a presbytery, which you’ve seen, those that are candidates have already prepared themselves. They’ve been fasting and praying. They have the assurance that the local pastors feel like this is… They’re not only to be the candidate, but it’s the right timing for them. So, they come, and if it’s the first time, they’re all like deer in the headlights. And so, we realize that. So, we just try to calm it down a little bit. And we always promise up front, usually Tom says, “We promise this will be a weird-free zone.” That’s what we try to do. And both being pastors, we know what it is to have renegade prophetic ministries blow in and blow it up and then blow out, and we have to clean it up.

So, our hope for presbytery is that people would not only feel maybe a call to ministry internally, but it could be affirmed or confirmed by the prophets giving that word. And maybe you sort of feel, maybe I’m apostolic, maybe I’m a pastor, maybe I’m evangelist. And you’re trying to figure it out. But when someone doesn’t know you at all and hasn’t been given any information, then when they come in and say, “I see an evangelistic gift in you.” There’s usually an affirmation within them, but often it’s like an activation from that point. Their gift gets activated. And then maybe Tom can talk about what we do to prepare before a presbytery, and then what we encourage people to do afterwards. But that’s essentially what a presbytery is.

Jon: That’s great, Tom, go ahead.

Tom: Yeah. Well, maybe if I take a step back and say the listeners on this podcast or YouTube video, if they know about prophetic ministry, they have probably a wide array of experiences.

Jon: Good and bad.

Tom: Yeah. Everything from what Wayne was describing in healthy way to the weirdest stuff. And then oftentimes, people come into the prophetic with an Old Testament view of prophecy. The prophets in the Old Testament were God’s mouthpiece to people. And so, they would expose sin, call out sin, call people to repentance. They lived outside of the community of the church, and they would lob their accusations into the church. They weren’t well received. And from a pastoral standpoint, I’ve had a few of those prophets involved in ministries that I was involved in, and they really aren’t welcome. It’s like, no, you don’t have any relationship here, and you’re coming in and throwing accusations that are hurtful, and nobody can question you because God said.

And when I first got saved at 16, the church that I got saved in, the pastor was prophetic. And the way he would exercise his prophetic gift was as he received a person into church membership, he would… So, let’s say on any given Sunday morning, 15 people are joining the church and he would start, he would shake your hand, and he would call your name. So, Tom, the Lord bless you and keep you the Lord, lift up his countenance upon you. And the Lord was saying to you, and then he would speak prophetically. And I never saw it in a sort of an Old Testament model where it was embarrassing, where it was calling out sin issues. Always, as Wayne described it, it was always edifying. It was already comforting in its words. But I didn’t join the church for two years because I knew I was going to be the first one that was completely embarrassed.

Jon: The Lord says, “Tom, that I saw what you did last night and…”

Tom: Exactly. So, finally, I just decided, it is what it is. I want to hear what God wants to say to me. So, the morning I joined, there was about 15 or 20 of us that joined. Three or four ahead of me. And he followed the routine, called their name, the Lord bless you and keep you and gave them a word. When he got to me, he shakes my hand, he says, “Tom, the Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord, lift up His countenance upon you.” And he paused and I thought, “Oh dear God…”

Jon: Here it comes.

Tom: There’s something in there. And he says, “The Lord gives me nothing for you, Tom.”

Jon: Wow.

Tom: And I went, “What? I’ve been waiting two years, and I’m not going to get one word?” And every person.

Jon: Interesting.

Tom: That day received a word except for me.

Jon: Wow.

Tom: So, that afternoon, the pastor called me and he said, “Tom, I don’t know how to explain this. This has never happened to me before. I don’t sense that there, there’s any blockage of sin or anything that like that.” And just like that, the Lord said, “If you don’t want Me to speak to you, I won’t.” I went, “Oh.” I said, “Pastor, I think I know why the Lord didn’t give you anything is because I didn’t want to receive a word.” I was fearful of what it might be. That day I changed and said, “Lord, I am so sorry. I want to receive Your words.”

So, just to pivot or to add to what Wayne was saying there, some people think if you’re prophetic that you walk down the street and you go, “Oh, I know about you and oh, watch out for you. I saw that.” And the truth is, if I don’t ask the Lord for a word, I don’t get it. And if I ask the Lord, and He gives me something, I don’t always deliver the words that I get. Sometimes the Lord will show me something about somebody in my church and it’s not the right time. And He shows it to me so I can pray for them or pray about them.

But when we identify candidates for a presbytery, and we have prophetic people come in, our current… When I first started doing this, we would give the presbyters the candidate’s name, and that’s it. Not whether they were on staff or not on staff, not what they did in leadership, just their name. Well, then as the internet began to develop and you could actually Google somebody’s name and get information for them, we wanted to be pure, we wanted it to be from God.

So, we just give them, “We’re going to have four sessions. Sunday night, Monday morning, Monday night, Tuesday morning session. And we’re going to do three candidates in each session. And in the Sunday night, it’s going to be two couples and a single female. Monday morning it’s going to be three couples. Monday night it’s going to be a single male and two couples.” That’s all we get in advance until the day of the meeting.

Well, everything is recorded. Every word that’s delivered is recorded. We minister there under the authority of the house and the pastor of the house. And so, we give our words. And we don’t know, as Wayne was saying, we deliver them in faith. We don’t know. And sometimes, I’ll speak from a presbyter’s standpoint, sometimes you get a word and then the people show up and it’s like, “I don’t think this word fits them.” And you want to change your word.

And what you have to know as a presbyter is you can’t do this with your eyes. If you’re not willing to be embarrassed, you won’t minister prophetically because you have to trust that what you’re receiving is from God and let God interpret it to the people. And I might toss this back to Wayne because all of us have several examples of this, but I remember one simple word, we wrote a presbytery together, but Wayne got, and the Lord tells him to tell this gal, “I love you.” So, take it from there, Wayne.

Jon: I can see where that’s going.

Wayne: Well, the word was act was actually, “It’s going to be okay because I love you.” And I had no idea. And I felt surely there’s more than that. Anybody can say that. But this gal began to weep, and one of the pastors went and talked to her. And she had had various things gone on in her family that was pretty bad. And just that day she had decided to kill herself and had a plan and had it all worked out where she was going to kill herself. And then she saw a little brochure, this prophetic gathering, and she saw my name on it. And for some reason, she thought Wayne Drains seemed a little funny. I don’t know why. Maybe because it rhymes, I don’t know. But then she said she felt inside, “Well, I’m going to go and if that guy with a funny name will tell me it’s going to be okay, I won’t kill myself.”

Jon: Oh gosh. Oh my goodness.

Wayne: So, I get there, and the thing is, I was flying into Florida and actually got the word in the airplane. Said, “You’re going to see a lady, she’s going to be wearing this and sitting over here and you just need to tell her it’s going to be okay because I love her.” So, I gave that word. And she didn’t kill herself. She’s an active member of the church, last time I heard. So, here I’m thinking that’s not much of a word. And anybody could say that. And wrestling with the Lord over it and to the point that I felt Him say, “Well, do you want me to let somebody else do this?” And I said, “No, I’ll do it. I’ll do it.” So, we both had situations like that happen so many times.

John Wimber said, “Sometimes God has to offend your mind to reveal your heart. And so, we’ve had our minds offended so many times, and it doesn’t make sense. But the prophetic doesn’t always make sense. It’s not supposed to. Your job, you’re like the mailman, you deliver the mail. That’s what you do. You don’t make it happen. You don’t manipulate anything, you just get what you have.

But I wanted to say about we try really hard to pastor presbyteries. So, after we have a presbytery, the local pastors will meet with those candidates and, they’ll go over their words and help them sort of discern what hit home and maybe what they should wait on. But like I said to start with, both of us being pastors, we want this to be a great tool, a blessing for the local church. And as a pastor, I can tell you that sometimes these presbyteries save me six months of counseling. Because one word would speak into this deep situation that I couldn’t get to for six months of counseling.

Jon: Yeah, it’s good. Like I said, we did it at Victory Church. We brought in three, all of our campuses brought in three candidates, as you call them, which we call them too. Two were on staff. One was just a key volunteer in the church. Somebody that we saw has great potential. And then you move from that into what we call words in due season, where the prophetic presbyters go out into the crowd and just pick people out. And there’s a real curiosity amongst the church, whether they necessarily go to a church that believes in that or not. I think there’s a real hunger for more. I think people read about it in the Bible and maybe they’ve never seen it modeled or when they did see it modeled, it was weird.

So, Tom mentioned it earlier, but I think that idea of saying, “Hey, we want to show you how this can be done in a really healthy way. So, we want you to come to presbytery.” Maybe you know what it is, maybe you don’t, maybe you’re an atheist. I don’t know. But you come, and we were blown away at the people who responded. Our churches were packed, every one of them packed. And we were able to show prophetic ministry happen in a really healthy way, in a really fulfilling way.

So, I wanted to start with talking about presbytery and we can talk, I want to jump into your book too. But I just think there’s listeners that either they’re pastors and they themselves are like, “Man, I need to cultivate this in my church. I need to bring more prophetic ministry into my church.” In fact, it cultivated us into starting a prophetic ministry team. So, now we have a prayer team, but we were training people in our church that believe they have a prophetic gift. So, now let’s cultivate that in them and train that in them and do what Ephesians 4 says and equip the saints for the work of the ministry.

And then there’s maybe people that are listening that aren’t pastors, but they go to a church, and they want their church to do this. Well, send this podcast to your pastor, send this podcast to someone on staff because there’s really safe ways to go about this. And when we finish the podcast later on, I want both of you, if you’re willing to give a great way to contact you, whether email or whatever that is, if pastors and leaders have more questions or they want to do more of this. So, let’s talk about your book.

Tom: Hold on.

Jon: Go ahead, Tom. Yeah, go ahead.

Tom: Let me say, one of the things that we’re doing as pastors is we’re trying to model the reality that God speaks. And you don’t have to be a recognized prophet or a presbyter. You can actually, God will speak to you about your own kids, about your own family, about your business.

Jon: That’s good.

Tom: And we’re modeling something that we really want people to grab hold of and then take out into their daily lives. So, even from a prophetic standpoint, I have two daughters. I have four kids, two boys and two girls. Both of my daughters are very prophetic in their own right and minister prophetically. And I mean I’ve been on a plane in route to a presbytery. My daughter’s a few rows behind me and my wife is either with me or a few rows ahead of me. And we land the plane, we’re getting off and my wife and I are standing out there and my daughter, it’s like, what is taking her so long? And that she got a word for a stewardess on the plane. And one of the things we try and model is, you don’t have to be weird about this. You don’t have change the tone of your voice. You don’t have to be all religious. You can just say, “Hey, I know you don’t know me, I really don’t know anything about you. But I really had an impression that I think is from God for you. Would it be okay?”

Jon: Yeah, ask permission. Yep.

Tom: Yeah. And never have I had somebody say, “Absolutely not. Get away from me.” Everybody wants to be, “Yeah. If you got a word from God for me and if you’ll pray for me, yes.” The answer’s yes. So, the presbytery is not an end all to anything.

Jon: That’s good. That’s really good.

Tom: It’s an introduction into a life that really launched us into the book. Our first book, He Still Speaks. Both of these books, actually, have been Wayne’s sort of brainchild, his burden. “I want to do this with you, Tom. Let’s do this together.” Well, we were talking about what are the things that we’ve learned about hearing God and how we activate it and how we would share that with other people. And then it moves its way through into, and if you’re a pastor and want to model this, here’s how you can model this in your church.

Jon: Yep. That’s so good. And I love what you said about the presbytery because that’s what it was for our church. We wanted to cultivate and introduce prophetic ministry into our church. And it really was the catalyst, that really it wasn’t the end, it was the beginning. It was the beginning of opening a door that really let it begin to cultivate, to become a part of the culture of our church. And so, I think that’s what it can be. So, Wayne, Why God Still Speaks. Tell us about the title. Tell us what prompted you to want to write it and just give us a flyover of the book.

Wayne: Well, that’s sort of been my life message, that God does speak. And there’s large segments of the church say that after the canon of scripture was completed and after the first apostles died, God didn’t speak anymore except through the Bible. And that was not what I saw in the Bible and it was not my experience. And so, I felt a mandate as a young man to just carry that banner. Jesus is alive and He walks with us and talks with us. He still speaks. So, that’s sort of been a life message. And my lanes have been the prophetic and worship and songwriting and then the pastoral. So, that’s just something that I walked with.

And then I started seeing, at one point the Lord began to shift me and say, “I want you to multiply yourself. I want you to start raising up others that move in this.” Because when we first started, there’s just a few, there’s hardly any women at all. And there’s just a few of us that was doing this. And it was such a blessing. But we wanted our sons and our daughters and our friends to come into it. So, we wrote the book, He Still Speaks. And then I don’t know if you want to talk about it now, but He Still Speaks to Kids.

Jon: I do. I want to segue right into it.

Wayne: Well, He Still Speaks to Kids. In 2012, I started to a five-year process of turning the church over to someone else. And one of the reasons I did is because I felt like the Lord spoke to me and said that there was going to be a second Jesus movement. My church was born in the Jesus movement. I was one of those Jesus freaks. And I heard there’s going to be a second Jesus movement. And then as I went along and prayed into that, and you hear it everywhere now, but I felt like the Lord started showing me that he was going to put kids, middle schoolers, 12- year-olds out in front of this movement of God.

And then Tom and I both have sons and daughters, and we have grandkids now. And we felt that one of the things that we wanted to do is to put down on paper, make the vision plain about it, so others can run with it. So, we knocked around the idea of how could we make it easy for parents, for youth workers, for pastors to create environments that their children can actually believe and experience that God still speaks, He speaks to them, He’ll speak through them. So, that’s sort of where the idea came from. And I was really drawn for a long time to stay in the Book of Samuel and look at the process, how he learned to hear from God. And then I looked again at when Jesus was 12, He already was full of scripture. He was confounding the physicians and the teachers of the day with what he understood. He was still submitted to his parents, and I just thought-

Jon: That’s really good.

Wayne: We usher our kids off somewhere where we can get on with the really good stuff.

Jon: That’s right. Yeah.

Wayne: Entertain them.

Jon: That’s so true.

Wayne: So, that’s our heart. We want it to be a normal thing for our kids to say, “We need to hear from God. Let’s pray and let’s listen and see what God might say to us.” If you want to add to that, Tom.

Jon: Yeah, you guys can get into some of the how-tos on that. But one thing that I’ll share real quick is that my son, he’s about to turn 12, but we’ve always told our kids, “Pray and listen, the Lord will speak to you,” even when they were very, very young to try to begin to cultivate that, to set an expectation, the Lord will speak to you. And it was funny, my wife was reading that story, Eli, Samuel. He kept going into Eli, “Yes, what do you need?”

“I’ll go back and lay down. I didn’t say anything.” And finally it hits Eli, hey, it’s the Lord talking to you. Next time you hear that say, “Speak, Lord, I’m listening.” So, she had just read that story and that very night, Jace came in our room in the middle of the night and said, “Mom, somebody said my name in the middle of the night, just said, ‘Jace.'”

And I set up in bed and I was like, “Who was that?” And because of what she had just been reading, she just said, “Hey, go back, and the Lord’s talking to you. So, if that happens again…” And it just opened his eyes and now he has the faith of a child to be like, “Yeah, God speaks to me all the time.” So, there is such a key role in the parents cultivating in their children that they too can hear the Lord. So, I think it’s such an important book that you guys have written. Tom, you want to talk more about it?

Tom: Yeah. One of the things, for as long as I’ve known Wayne, that one of the ways that he’s incorporated prophetic ministry into the church is when they do child dedication. Baby dedication, the dedication involves a prophetic word that is given to the parents about this child. And I would hear Wayne talk about, and I’ve known this to be true, when we minister together, Wayne will give him… His prophetic word will be on a tablet, he’ll rip off the sheet and hand it to them, and they put it in their Bible. And if we come back the next year or two years later, they go, “Oh, yeah, I remember, I got a sheet from you. And I’ve been carrying it in my Bible right here.” Or some people say, “I’ve gotten three sheets from you.” And they all do this.

So, then you have parents who actually frame these prophetic words and put them over the bed of their child, and it unfolds over the years of their life, what’s been said by God through the prophets. And so, this isn’t just a one off, maybe we ought to focus in now on a second book. No, we’ve been doing it, Wayne especially thinking this is life-giving to children and impacts the trajectory of their life. And then my more harder focus is as a parent, I wanted to get words for my kids, and I wanted to model for them words.

So, I’ll give you one word then maybe Wayne, you could talk about prophetic words for the babies. But my oldest daughter, when she was a freshman in college, she was dating a guy that had already graduated from college, and she was away at school. And we went to visit her, and I met this guy she was dating and instantly I thought, “This is not the guy for you.” He was a believer. But this isn’t the guy that your mom and I have prayed for all of these years. But I knew I couldn’t say that to her.

Jon: You couldn’t say that.

Tom: No.

Jon: Or she would’ve married him.

Tom: Exactly. I’d drive her right into it. And so, it became a burden for me in my praying, in my prayer time. And so, one day I’m praying for Lisa, my oldest daughter, and I was praying about this guy and the relationship, and Lord, I need you to act and surely, and Lord just interrupt my thinking. And he just said to me, “Tell Lisa if she won’t compromise, I’m preparing the husband of her dreams.” And instantly I thought, “Well, I know it’s not this guy and I’ll be sure and make sure she knows it.” And no, I can only say what the Lord said. And I really did feel like the Lord said, “Don’t add to this.”

Jon: I love that.

Tom: “You just tell her what I told you to say.” And so, couple of days later, I’m talking to her and I said, “Hey, honey, I was praying for you and the Lord gave me a word for you.” And she said, “Really, dad?” Well, this wasn’t a new thing. I’d been telling her, “I’ve been praying for you since you were a little girl. I rock you when in my shoulder and I’d pray for you and I’d sing songs to you.” And so, she said, “Really, Dad? What’d He say?” I said, “He told me to tell you that if you won’t compromise, He’s preparing the husband of your dreams.” I didn’t say anything about the guy that she was with. I didn’t say anything about what they may or may not be doing or what she was thinking.

But I know when you get in college, every young girl in college is thinking, “Am I going to get married? What happens if I don’t get married?” And so, it was probably a month later, she announces that she and this guy broke up. And then for the next three years, periodically she would say, “Hey, Dad, remind me the word that the Lord gave you.” And sometimes I’d say, “Well, this is what the Lord said. If you won’t compromise, He’s preparing the husband of your dreams. I know that there’s a guy that is perfectly God built for you, honey.” I would encourage her with that. Sometimes I’d actually take her to my journal, and I say, “Here’s the day. Wow. Here’s what I wrote when I was praying for you.”

Jon: That’s powerful. T.

Tom: That’s really powerful. The finish of that is one day I’m in church, she’s home. She’s a senior in college. She’s home. And a bunch of the college kids would come over to our house, and I’m an early to bad guy. And so, about 9:30 or so I’m going, “Hey, guys, glad you’re here. See ya.” Well, my wife is the party animal, and so, she’s going to stay up and play all the games and do all the stuff with them. And so, she did that.

And the next morning, Sunday morning, I’m on the platform at church and Lisa walks in with a guy that had been at the party. And as they walk down the aisle, the Lord says to me, “This is the guy I’ve been preparing for your daughter.” Well, instantly I look up, I want to know if he’s carrying a Bible. I watching him in, seeing if he’s raising his hands in worship. I want to know about this guy before I meet this guy. Because even though he’d been a part of a church, I’d never met him.

And so, then, after church that morning, I tell my wife, when we’re alone, I say, “Honey, the Lord spoke to me today. You know that guy that Lisa was with?” She said, “Yeah.” And I said, “The Lord said that’s the guy he’s been preparing for Lisa.” And she looks at me and she says, “No way.” And I said, “Yes, way.” She said, “No way.” And I said, “What do you mean, no way?” And she said, I was matched up with him in a card game last night. And I looked over at him and the Lord said, “This is Lisa’s husband.” I went, “What? Why didn’t you tell me?” She said, “I forgot.” I said, “You forgot?”

Jon: That’s kind of a big one.

Tom: Yeah. So, as a parent, God’s speaking to you about your kids, about circumstances that they’re dealing with right now.

Jon: That’s so good.

Tom: At every age, is absolutely critical.

Jon: That’s so good. Wayne, I really want you to unpack that because when Tom is describing the baby baptism thing and prophesying over these children, my mind was exploding with, why are we not doing this? Because we’re always about giving the kids in the church donuts or whatever else. But you talk about, even just with assimilation, even with keeping families in the church, even with serving the congregates in our church, you talk about a connecting point that if you can prophesy over someone’s kids, they will stay with your church because you’re speaking into their family, you’re speaking into their kids’ future, which is probably their biggest priority in life. So, how do you do this? I’m intrigued because I’m going to steal it. We’re going to do this. So, how do you do this?

Wayne: In both of our books, we do a chapter on dedicating children. And as far as the mechanics of it. And I think people can do it differently, but for me, if a parent says, “We want to dedicate our child,” and sometimes they’re infants, sometimes they’re two years old but have never been dedicated. And so, they’ll send me a picture with the baby’s name on it, and I’ll just put that up on my desk and through the week I’ll pray and they’ll find a date that they can invite all their relatives in. Becomes almost evangelistic because sometimes they’ll bring 40 people, family members. So, then we get up and we mentioned Hannah dedicating Samuel, we mention Jesus being dedicated. And in both instances there were prophetic words during that.

Jon: Wow, that’s so true.

Wayne: So obviously it was biblical. And then I’ll say, “Well, as I was considering little Johnny before the Lord, I felt the Lord speak to me about him.” And so, for that, I usually type it up because they like to put it in frames and all that stuff.

Jon: That’s so good.

Wayne: And I’ll just read it to them, and then I’ll tell the congregation, I’ll say to them, “These are people in our community, and we all want to dedicate ourselves to helping them raise their children in the fear of the Lord.” And so, it’s a real connecting point for parents. And then some of those, I’ve been doing it long enough now, like 30, 40 years, that kids have come back and said, “When you saw me in that white uniform going into a hospital, I’m a doctor.” I just wanted to call and let you know that that word was on my wall when I was growing up. And my mother always reminded me that I was going to be involved in healing. Now, pastors get under pressure because they may not be prophetic, but if you have-

Jon: Have a team.

Wayne: Give them permission.

Jon: That’s right.

Wayne: You give them permission for a prophetic team that you trust. Because you’re trusting them with your most precious thing, those babies. So, you trust them, then you talk to the parents. “We want to have a moment where we just seek the Lord for your child and see if God might give us a prophetic word.”

Jon: That’s so good.

Wayne: And like Tom said, we’ve never been turned down. In fact, people come from California and have their babies dedicated.

Jon: Absolutely.

Wayne: And the logistics of it are in both of our books that you can look at.

Jon: Okay, that’s great.

Wayne: But I think it’s one of the greatest pastoral tools that I’ve used.

Jon: I’m so inspired by that and we’re cultivating that ministry in our church. And I think that’s such a key part. And really, we’ll kind of wrap it up with this, but I just wanted people to hear the impact that prophet prophetic ministry can have in our churches. And it’s something that I don’t know that we’ve intentionally… Maybe some have intentionally cut it out. I don’t know that it’s been as much intentional as just a shift in the focus of church. And I think there’s so much ministry to be had in the prophetic ministry in our churches that are going undone or unnoticed. And I hope you’ve heard some examples today to our listeners of this. And so, just a couple of really quick parting things. I want each of you, you can give just a final thought. Our listeners or a lot of leaders, a lot of pastors, but a lot of lay people as well.

So, maybe they’re hesitant to prophetic ministry or maybe… I want to leave it open to whatever you guys sense that you may just want to say something in parting. And so, both of you go and as part of what you say, go ahead and tell people the the best way to get a hold of you. You don’t give out your cell phone number, but is it the follow you on social media? Is it email me here, or go to my church’s website? Whatever way you want to do that. So, Wayne, you want to go first or vice versa? Whichever.

Wayne: Yes, you can contact me at waynedrain.com. That’s probably the easiest way to remember. And I’ll get all that. And I’m on social media. You can find all that from there. I guess I’d just like to say that there’s nothing more precious in a Christian’s life than hearing from the Lord. And there’s so much confusion. People think only the professionals can hear or only these special people can hear. But Jesus expects everyone to hear. He said in John 10, “My sheep will hear my voice.” So, the only legitimate reason that someone can’t hear from God is if they’re not a sheep. So, if you’re a believer, then God, Jesus himself expects you to hear his voice. But unfortunately, people have been taught that only special people in special days can hear.

Jon: That’s good.

Wayne: So, Tom and I have been on a quest all these years to just tell people simply, “Hey, God not only still speaks, but he’ll speak to you if you’ll listen.”

Jon: That’s so good. That’s so good.

Wayne: So, that’s been our focus.

Jon: I’m even reminded of Paul. He’s given a list of all the gifts, and we should pursue all the gifts. But he said, “And especially prophecy.” So, he wouldn’t tell us to pursue the gift of prophecy if it’s not something that we could all hear the Lord, we could all hear that Lord’s still speaking. So, that’s so good. Wayne, Tom, how about you my friend?

Tom: Yeah, I can be contacted at tomlanebooks.com. It’ll get copies of both of our books. My direct email address is tom.lane@gatewaystaff.com. So, if they wanted to drop me a email, they can do that. And I was thinking of one of the things you were saying is it’s sort of a parting thought. You’ve mentioned a couple of times, John, that you’re activating prophetic ministry in your church, you’re doing training. And I wanted to underscore that we do not just release people willy-nilly into the prophetic.

Jon: No, no.

Tom: We are very intentional. In all of our churches, we have a training, an equipping track for prophetic ministry that qualifies them. We activate them, and we give them rails. When you do prophetic ministry, you learn there’s certain things that you venture into in a prophetic way, cautiously. You’re not going to walk up to a lady and say, “The Lord says you’ll have a baby this time next year.” You better be pretty accurate in that word.

Jon: I guarantee you.

Tom: And then if the word is somewhat corrective, you don’t point a finger and give it in a mean spirited way because we believe that it’s delivered comforting, exhorting, building up. So, you might say something like, “Hey, I feel like the Lord said He misses you. The Lord is wooing you back into his presence. And I don’t know what happened to you, but when you were younger, something happened that really took you off track of what God wants in your life. And He wants to tell you today, He loves you, He’s missed you, come back to Me.”

Jon: It’s corrective, but it’s in a measurable amount of love.

Tom: In a parental loving way, not jamming it down your throat. So, that’s right. Training people in it is so important. And as Wayne had previously said, this isn’t just for a few, this is for everybody. But we need to help prepare them, develop-

Jon: Cultivate, yeah.

Tom: them into the process. And the ones you don’t want in this ministry are the ones that aren’t submitted and aren’t correctable, and they want to do their own thing. Well, you’re not going to do your own thing under our ministry, so.

Jon: That’s right. That’s really good.

Wayne: One of the phrases we use sometimes is that real, honest, genuine, prophetic ministry will not call people out. It’ll call people up.

Jon: That’s a great way to see it. That’s really good.

Wayne: It’s always about calling people up to a destiny, rather than shoving them down to talk about the sin that they already know they have.

Jon: That’s really good. That’s a great way to put it. Well, both of you thank you so much for taking the time to be on the podcast, but beyond that, thank you for doing what you do. Thank you for doing the ministry that you have done and the faithfulness of 40 plus years of ministry from both of you. Combined, you probably got a hundred years of ministry experience between the two of you, so I hope that doesn’t make you feel old. It makes you really wise, is what it does, guys.

Tom: Thank you, John.

Jon: But no, thank you for your ministry. Thank you for what you’ve done for the body of Christ. And I can’t imagine how many people have been blessed because of your ministry. And so, thank you for modeling it so well for my generation and for generations to come. We appreciate you so much.

Tom: Our pleasure. Thank you.

Wayne: Thank you for having us.

Jon: Well, those of you watching, listening, thank you again for joining the podcast. Again, don’t hesitate to give us a like. Go to our website, churchintension.com. Until the next episode, we love you. Keep doing the calling that God has before you, and we will see you next time.

Church InTension
Church InTensionhttps://church-intension.simplecast.com
The Church InTension podcast is a place to have healthy conversations about areas of tension and the intentions of the Church. Hosted by Dr. Jon Chasteen and powered by The King's University and Gateway Church.