Thinking about the prophetic calling of the church (people not a building or service or denomination). The church should shape culture not culture shape the church (The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church... Ephesians 1:23).
When we set up Street Angels it became a vehicle to change the binge-drink, violence, sexual assault culture of a town centre at night - a vehicle to demonstrate the Kingdom of God as a reality and bring about radical and lasting change. Prophecy in action!
The church needs to speak its prophetic voice - a voice that speaks out fairness and justice - a voice that leads to action that changes culture for the better. A grassroots up voice not vice-versa. A voice that recognises every person is a person of value and worth and is important within the here and now. A voice with action that changes communities.
I found this on the USPG website:
The prophetic voice arises in the heart of God and flows out into all of Creation, urging us to become all we can be.
The prophetic voice calls us to change for the better – to change our attitudes, our lifestyle, even our beliefs – and this can feel scary because change brings with it uncertainty and the unknown.
The Old Testament prophets were often unpopular because they challenged people to step outside their comfort zones.
They challenged the people to remember justice and mercy and walk humbly with God.
Sometimes the prophets were ‘foretelling’ in the sense of predicting the future. However, at other times they were ‘telling forth’, which means challenging injustice and standing up for the poor, the widow, the orphan and the alien (eg Amos 5:21-24).
The ultimate expression of this prophetic voice is found in Jesus, who reveals to us the heart of God. And it is the Holy Spirit who enables us to tune into the prophetic heart of God.
Today, many prophets can be found throughout the world church. These voices are challenging because they alert us to issues we might want to ignore. But these voices cannot be silenced – they call us to be like Jesus, who stood on the margins, comforting the oppressed and challenging those who are comfortable.