Should I? Shouldn’t I? Can I CHANGE the church…thru my prayers?”
By Pam Sheppard
When I left the church in 2004, I did not know that it was a permanent move. I expected that the Lord would lead me to another church affiliation. I had my eye on Rev. Paul Morton’s organization, the full gospel Baptist. It seemed a great choice for me because I had been ordained and served in a denominational church very compatible with the Baptists, yet I was also a Pentecostal in orientation, belief and practice.
So when 3 years passed and I did not have a leading to join another church, I wondered why. It didn’t take long for me to be answered once I sought the Lord in prayer. In less than a week, a kind of telepathic communication took place to let me know that I was not to join any organized church.
I was spoken to in a kind of parable. I was asked, “Pam, would you put curtains up at the windows of a condemned building.” I thought of all of the condemned buildings I had seen growing up in the inner city. I answered in my mind. “No, I would not.”
Then came a kind of speech that went something like this.
“A homeless person will make a home in a condemned building. To escape the elements of the weather on the outside, he will satisfy himself and “make do” with no heat, no running water, no lights, and he will share his dwelling with its occupants: the rats and the roaches.”
Then I was hit in the face with the next outrageous statement.
“If you try to edify the organized church with seminars and conferences, you will be putting up curtains at the windows of a condemned building.”
Wow. I was stunned. I had already begun to conduct deliverance seminars with the first one in Bermuda and the second one in Lawrenceville Ga. I was planning the third when this spiritual conversation transpired. Metaphorically speaking, it was clear to me that the condemned building was a symbol of the entire organized church. If this “strange conversation” was from the Holy Spirit—then the metaphor clearly suggested that the organized church is condemned, in other words, judged already.
In keeping with this parable of sorts, sheep who attend church regularly are those who are afraid of the outside elements of a dangerous and sinful world—and rightly so. Therefore, it makes sense to run inside of church walls for protection. Yet in keeping with the symbols, when churchgoers run inside, what they find is no light. God is light. In Him there is no darkness at all. No light–No “God!!! The “voice” went on to say that the rats were the pastors and church leaders and the roaches were those who sat on the pews.
No running water in the condemned building means no rivers of living water, No Holy Spirit. No heat. No fires of the Holy Spirit. This parable was clearly saying that the Holy Spirit has left the organized church.
I didn’t want to believe that I had heard from God about this. I was pastoring a church that I myself had founded in 1996 and I did not want to close it down. However, I knew that if this was God speaking to me, I MUST close it down.
Are you a minister or minister-to-be and you believe God has called you OUT of the church? Sheppard Counseling Center would be blessed to coach and mentor you in ministry. We don’t believe in the spiritual covering practice or in authoritarian oversight. We will simply help, edify and support you so call 518-477-5759“