March 27

Meet Me (And God) At The Filling Station


minute read

Refuel, a monthly event at the Godalming Filling Station demonstrates God’s love and intentions for the whole church.

Refuel at the Filling Station

Refuel at the Filling Station is a monthly gathering of Christians from many denominations and all kinds of backgrounds.

I recently had the privilege of speaking at my local branch, where a good time was had by all.

Here I'll share what Refuel is, what I spoke about and how you can respond to that message.

Some images on this page provided courtesy of the Filling Station.

What Is Refuel And The Filling Station?

Refuel and the Filling Station is a nationwide movement in the UK. Their website proclaims they are “a new informal way of expressing the Christian faith”.

My wife and I have been attending our local branch in Godalming for the past few months and we’ve been loving it.

At these events, you’ll find many of the trappings you might expect at your local church, along with a few you may not.

Alongside excellent speakers and times of worship, you’ll also discover a relaxed environment with chairs, sofas and even bean bags, should you get the urge to lie down!

The Godalming venue is in an old barn. Despite what you might imagine from that statement, it is in fact, always warm and welcoming.

The atmosphere is relaxed, the owners are friendly and provide great free refreshments (the cheese always gets positive comments!). Worship feels intimate and God’s presence is clearly manifest.

Refuel Godalming Filling Station Barn Venue

The Barn at Godalming Filling Station

In short, we have found their monthly meetings refreshing and a haven from everything that life can throw at us! We have, most definitely, been refuelled.

Filling Station Sermon

With all that in mind, it felt like a real honour and a privilege to speak and share God’s word with those assembled.

I shared a little bit about myself, what I do for a living and my ministry in the gift of prophecy. In particular, I talked about my heart for discipleship for prophetic people in the wider church.

Inside the Filling Station

Inside the barn (that's me on the left!)

Jesus The Prophet

I discussed the place of prophecy in church leadership and majored on the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman (AKA “the woman at the well”).

This has become one of my favourite bible passages because of how it demonstrates Jesus’ own connection with his Father, through cooperation with Holy Spirit.

In this story, what starts off with a seemingly innocuous question (“Will you give me a drink?”) leads to Jesus:

  1. Speaking a truth about himself.
  2. Prophesying about the future.
  3. Sharing a word of knowledge.
  4. Revealing himself to be the Messiah!

Here, we see how Jesus only did what he saw his Father doing. Importantly, it also shows us how we can follow in his footsteps:

Jesus did what he did, not because he was the Son of God (although that was true) but because he was the Son of Man, filled with the Spirit.

That means that we can do the same things as he did because we too are human beings, filled with the Spirit.

If you’d like to learn more about this aspect of Jesus' obedience to the Father, checkout this article here. And if you’re interested in how this story relates to words of knowledge, go here.

Filling Station: Prophecy Releases Other Gifts

But the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman also illustrates another truth: prophecy releases other spiritual gifts.

In this case, the woman is startled by Jesus’ word of knowledge about her life and realises that there is more to him than meets the eye.

And once Jesus reveals himself to be the Messiah, she runs off to her village and tells everyone about him.

Meanwhile, Jesus teaches his disciples about obedience to the Father, finishing with a proclamation: “open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest”.

I don’t know about you but if I was there, my instinct would have been to look at the fields around me.

And what do the disciples see? They see the entire village coming towards them.

Jesus is the master of the dramatic moment but more than that, he shows us how prophecy releases evangelism.

On the evening, I went on to share several specific examples of how I have seen prophecy release other spiritual gifts like healing.

Refuel: Eagerly Desire Prophecy

In 1 Corinthians 14:1 it says this:

“Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the spirit, especially prophecy.”

(1 Corinthians 14:1 NIV, emphasis mine)

The thing is, I don’t think the situation in the church today at all matches up with this scripture.

To my mind, this verse raises some crucial questions in light of Jesus’ encounter at the well:

  • So if prophecy is so amazing, why doesn't the church eagerly desire it?
  • Why isn't everyone crying out to God for this gift or asking their leaders to train them in it?
  • Why are some leaders reticent to encourage their congregation to practice this gift?

Filling Station: Prophetic Leadership

Part of the answer to that question lies in the leadership of our modern-day churches.

In Ephesians 4: 11, it says:

“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers…”

(Ephesians 4:11, NIV)

This scripture goes on to list several benefits of having all these leaders in place.

It links this “5-fold ministry” leadership model with maturity in the faith and the fullness of Christ in our lives.

So why are church leaders usually called Pastors?

Not Apostles or Prophets. Or even Evangelists or Teachers.

Surely, we need all these offices and all of these giftings in every church leadership team in order to see the fullness the letter to the Ephesians speaks of?

Filling Station: God-Given Order For The Church

I believe there is a God-given order to the Ephesians 4 list of leadership offices.

I believe that Pastors were never meant to lead the church, at least not by themselves.

The church was meant to be led by Apostles first and Prophets second.

Apostles are meant to bring heaven’s order, direction and counsel to the church. And Prophets are meant to back them up and proclaim what God is saying right here, right now.

Don’t get me wrong: we absolutely need Pastors (and Evangelists and Teachers). We just need all of them to function well together.

Filling Station: Why 5-Fold Leadership?

Why is this 5-fold leadership model so important?

Because it’s leadership that establishes the culture of the church.

Either the leaders will promote a culture where people:

  • learn from each other,
  • honour one another and
  • encourage each other to maturity in the gifts and fruit of the spirit…

Or they won’t.

The Narrow Way

I’m not saying that this is easy.

I think that this is part of what Jesus meant when he talked about “the narrow way”. It’s about leadership as much as it’s about our individual walks with the Lord.

Each of those leadership areas has a very different style and emphasis. And that can lead to tensions within a team as they potentially pull in different directions.

Maybe that’s why the wider church has avoided it for so long.

Perhaps it’s easier to just care for people, rather than challenge them to become the best possible version of themselves?

I would hope that statement still describes the true role of the Pastor.

But I think that the Apostle and the Prophet can bring something of heaven’s direction and a new edge to that role in the modern church.

Perhaps it’s easier to just care for people, rather than challenge them to become the best possible version of themselves?

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Refuel Response At The Filling Station

There’s a lot more I could say on all of this, but don’t have space here.

This is, therefore, where we have time to think about our response.

When I preach, I love praying for and ministering to people. But what I really like to do is encourage others to do something for themselves.

At Refuel, we practised listening to God for each other in pairs, which seemed to go down well.

And I still got to pray for some who wanted to hear from God for their lives and to know more about the gift of prophecy.

Several people approached me afterwards and said they were interested in joining the prophecy school.

All in all, it was a very encouraging evening for everyone!

Your Turn

How will you respond to the needs of today’s church?

You may not be a leader now, but you might be one of the leaders of tomorrow.

And if your calling is elsewhere, we’re all called to encourage and build one another up. So you’ll still be a person of influence, wherever you are.

Perhaps it’s time to develop your prophetic gift a bit more, in which case, you can join a prophecy school.

If you live near to Guildford, then register for your local prophecy school event, coming soon!

NOTE: in light of the current situation in the UK with regard to the Coronavirus, it’s possible that I may need to change things up.

The online School is unaffected, but I may need to postpone the local event until things are a bit quieter or I’ll get creative and find a way to deliver the course with social distancing in mind.

Either way, I promise it will go ahead in one way or another!


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