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Digging the Well Together
The importance of leaders working with others who share a vision concerning the evangelization of a city can't be overemphasized. Here are some valid points to consider.

This word from the Lord deals with a key concept that the Lord has been teaching us: Assume you are part of a team. Begin with the concept of "body" and corporateness, versus the usual Western assumption of individuality.

I felt the Lord say that it was His heart for a more concerted effort.

I was recently invited to attend a prayer time for a particular city. During the transitional time between worship and prayer, as we lingered in His presence, the Lord gave me a picture.

I saw a map of this particular city spread out on the floor. There were many small holes in the map with little piles of dirt all around. I knew that these represented the digging of wells by different individuals, churches and ministries new and old, that have been ongoing, and currently springing up in that city. I was surprised at how many there were in that city and I could feel joy and excitement springing up in me. Part of me was encouraged to see the fruit of what various people have been praying for in regard to the city and all the activity of digging these wells. But as I gazed on the map, I began to feel sadness creeping—a type of grieving. I wondered why I could not fully rejoice. I sensed that something was not quite right with the picture and that it was not fully pleasing the Lord.

I just asked Him, "Lord, I can feel that something is not right here. Please tell me what it is." I felt the Lord affirm that I had discerned correctly. He said that He himself had spoken words to these various individuals, leaders of churches, and leaders of ministries current and new in that city. He had spoken powerful "rhema" words of revelation into their hearts about personal vision and passion, and about specific kingdom work and ministry. With great joy and faith these leaders received the words. These people moved, and are moving out boldly saying, "I don't know how or why He chose me, but I know I received a word from the Lord and by faith I am willing to step out and be used of God for His purposes for such a time as this." They are taking the words that the Lord spoke to them and are running with them, being faithful to the words they received in their hearts with passion. This attitude of zeal coupled with faith greatly pleases the Lord.

However, I felt the Lord went on to say how the picture was going askew.

Instead of hundreds of little wells being dug all over the city, I felt the Lord say that it was His heart for a more concerted effort. Several of the people digging had heard the same "rhema" word from the Lord and had started digging their own wells without checking first to see if anyone else had heard the same word. Others were facing hardship and were expending great energy in warfare. Even others were experiencing great breakthrough and were finding areas of prepared ground for easy digging. Knowledge, wisdom and experience was contained on each individual well-site but was not being shared. Pride was creeping in and a sense of exclusiveness and individuality was being celebrated. Rules and regulations were being set up to allow exclusive access into the well-sites, and only certain approved people were allowed to dig. Bystanders came and watched, not being allowed to join in. They were told they could participate by giving money. Others were led astray being told to pray and intercede for this "individualized unity" in the city.

To my surprise, when I awakened from this picture, I saw the exact map of the city actually spread out in the middle of the floor of the room with people praying over it. The smell of fresh dirt was still pungent in my nose.

Allow the Spirit to search your heart for attitudes of "empire building."

Has the Lord spoken a "rhema" word into your spirit regarding your church, future ministry, direction or purpose in life? Even though the details may not be hammered out yet, does the word burn in your heart with passion? Have you boldly, by faith, walked out to test the waters and see what the Lord is opening up for you?

Would you consider the following?

  1. Don't assume that you are the only person to whom the Lord has spoken this word. Pray and ask God to bring others into your life with similar vision and passion. Ask, "What team am I supposed to be a part of?"

  2. Be proactive in your search for similar minded people. Don't passively rely on the Lord to bring them into your life. Network with leadership in the city. Ask them questions: Is there anyone in the city already doing this type of thing? Is there something already in place that facilitates this type of vision? Can you connect me with them?

  3. Demonstrate a willingness to learn how to work together.

  4. Examine your heart. Ask the Lord to reveal any spirit of pride or exclusiveness that says, The Lord gave me this word, and I am the only one who is called to do it, or, It has to be done my way.

  5. Allow the Spirit to search your heart for attitudes of "empire building."

  6. Ask the Lord to break dividing walls and to tear down the learned behaviour and attitudes of denominationalism that say, You can love this brother in the Lord but you cannot work together with him.

  7. Try, at all costs, to resist the temptation to model yourself after the world by making yourself the "head". Create, with the Lord's help, a Spirit-led, well-balanced and shared-leadership team/accountability structure. This is critical, and sometimes it takes years to put into place. Do not rush this process, or the well digging may turn out to be empty and in vain.

  8. Seek individuals in leadership from various streams (not all from the same pool) with mature and proven spiritual gifts of wisdom and discernment. Listen to what they say.

  9. Do not surround yourself with people who are "yes men" and who are afraid to speak the truth in love to you. This can easily occur when the "leader" is the only person who has heard the "rhema" word for the particular vision or ministry. The other people are caught up in the vision that the leader has received instead of having heard the word spoken into their own spirit. This creates an unhealthy reliance on the leader for direction and creates a feeling that the Spirit can only lead and speak to that one leader concerning direction. Enough cannot be said about finding others with similar vision, passion and revelation.

  10. Ask the Lord to re-tune your ears to hear the words that delight Him regarding city-wide efforts. These words are: sharing, joining, partnership, together, concert, symphony, camaraderie, unity, oneness, community, inclusiveness, and harmony.

Terry and Richard Long work cross-denominationally with pastors and Christian leaders to help build city wide churches across the nation through a ministry called Together Canada. (Richard is also the director of a city-reaching movement called "Love Ottawa.") Contact them at

Originally published in the Together Newsletter, October 15, 2004.




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