Are you a prophetic people? Are you wondering how you can shape your generation? In this tiny book, Mal Fletcher, author of 'The Future is X' eplains how prophetic people shape generations to come. Mal blieves that strategic thinking is key in understanding your generation. Her is a part about "Design Thinking" from the book.
If you are going to rise to fulfil your generational destiny and be a part of the rapidly emerging Gen-X army of influence, you must learn to think strategically. Strategic thinkers adept at three things. First, they recognise the present. They work to understand the spirit of their age. They listen hard to pick up the currency cry of the human heart. You can’t challenge the status quo unless you first understand it.
Prophetic people share the present experience of their generation in order to shape the future destiny of their generation. You can’t really point people to their future unless you can make contact with their present, because today is the launching point for the journey to tomorrow.
A.W.Tozer once wrote that, ‘The prophet is one who knows his times and what God is trying to say to the people of his times... What is needed desperately today is prophetic insight. Scholars can interpret the past; it takes prophets to interpret the present. Learning will enable a man to pass judgement on our yesterdays; but it requires a gift to clear seeing to pass sentence on our won day. One hundred years from now, historians will know what was taking place religiously in this year of our Lord; but that will be too late for us. We need to know rights now.
In some sections of the Church today, we have people trying hard to become prophetic without ever learning to be contemporary. To be contemporary quite literally means ‘to exist at the same time’ as something else. What does it mean when we talk about building “contemporary Churches”’? It means we’re aiming for Churches which actually have the appearance of being rooted in the real world. In their styles and substance, they’re showing that they exist the same time as the city and the culture they’re called to serve.
Some Christians have something good to say, but they’re forever speaking where nobody listens.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr. Spoke with prophetic power into a situation in which people desperately needed a different outlook. He challenged the status quo and pointed the way to something better. Yet he was only able to address the future because he understood the present; he empathised with real people, he felt what the Germans call the ‘zeitgeist’, the spirit of his time.
King knew what the Christian worldview would demand of a society locked in a cycle of racist hatred. But this knowledge only became useful because he understood, better than most, the hopes and aspirations of both sides of the racial divide. While others in his circle were calling for violent uprising, or at least vilification of white society as a whole, King resisted. He insisted that there were as many good-hearted people among the whites as among the blacks. Gradually over time, he succeeded more than any other black leader in bringing white people with him on a journey toward lasting change. Why? Because he knew that many of them were tired of the heartache in their communities and the schism in their nation.
You can’t be truly prophetic unless you learn what it means to be contemporary. By the same token though, there’s no point working hard to be contemporary if you’re not seeking God’s help to be prophetic.
Some Christians are, at least on a surface level, in touch with the times. They know all about current affairs and the latest movements in pop-culture. They’ve seen every important movie, they’re consumers of all the latest technology and they know something about every major celebrity. Yet, as far as eternity is concerned, they have nothing of real worth to say to the world. They speak Babylonian, but unlike Daniel, they can’t decipher the writing on the wall, they can’t apply God’s truth to the situation at hand.
Being contemporary is not an end in itself. It simply provides us with the vocabulary to announce God’s prophetic agenda. Prophetic see the present in the light of God’s revealed past and God’s preferred future: they locate current situations within the big picture of God’s purpose for His world.
Our influence comes not from our ability to celebrate the past, or how well we appreciate the present. Real influence springs from our willingness to engage the future. Wisdom calls us to be in touch with the times, so that we can be ahead of the times, so that we can call people forward into God’s preferred future.
Get yourself a copy of this absolutely amazing book and start thinking strategically. This excerpt is adapted from the book by Mal Fletcher called The Future is X. You can visit Mal's website on www.malfletcher.com