Seedbed is pleased to announce the release of a new book by Ivan Filby titled, Livestream: Learning to Minister in the Power of the Holy Spirit. Within these pages you will discover fresh, encouraging stories as well as practical advice for how to be the hands and feet of Jesus as you minister in the loving gifts of God’s Spirit.
What do you mean by “livestream?” Can you offer an example from Scripture of how this works?
A ‘Livestream’ is an invitation from the Holy Spirit to join him in ministry. In contrast to a ‘download,’ which is planned (like a sermon), a livestream is spontaneous and unrehearsed and can happen anywhere at any time of the Holy Spirit’s choosing. The livestream might be in the form of a picture, a prophetic word, a word of wisdom or knowledge, a healing – in fact any spiritual gift the Holy Spirit wants to stream through us for our good, for other’s gain and for God’s glory.
A great example from Scripture is when Jesus first meets Nathanial (John 1:47-9). Here, the Holy Spirit livestreams two pieces of information to Jesus about Nathanial—one about his character (an Israelite in who there is no deceit) and a word of knowledge that Nathanial was standing under a fig tree before Phillip called him. The result: Nathanial declared Jesus the Son of God. Livestreaming leads to worship.
How long have you been engaged in this kind of Holy Spirit ministry, and what led you to write this book now?
I began livestreaming in 1982 after a significant encounter with the Holy Spirit. I’ve been learning to livestream ever since. Over the years, many have encouraged me to write a book telling me they find my approach encouraging and helpful. I finally found the time to write during a sabbatical at the end of my term as president of Greenville University.
How do you define prophecy and what counts for its genuine expression in the church today?
In 1 Corinthians 14:3, Paul makes it clear that the purpose of prophecy is to strengthen, encourage and comfort one another and this is the definition of prophecy I like to use. When we accurately livestream what the Holy Spirit wants to communicate or accomplish, we get a fresh glimpse of God’s overwhelming love for us and we long for more. Genuine prophecy woos people into a deeper intimacy with God.
What does God require of us in order to be used by him in this way? What does faith have to do with it?
The Holy Spirit wants to livestream through us all – from an hour-old-brand-spanking- new-baby-Christian to those who have been Jesus followers for years and years; Livestreaming is not a sign of maturity but of desire and availability. When it comes to livestreaming, faith is often expressed in our willingness to take the risk of being wrong. Most of us are never 100% sure if an impression is from the Holy Spirit, but all of us can learn to hear God’s voice more accurately through prayer, some instruction and practice.
Why do you suppose sometimes God is silent or does not answer earnest prayers for healing or revelation?
In all honesty, I don’t think any of us knows. Scripture gives us some clues. Sometimes prayers are delayed due to spiritual opposition (Daniel 10:13); sometimes it is a timing issue (Acts 3), sometimes we have to learn how to pray effectively for certain conditions (Matthew 17:14-21). Sometimes it is down to the lack of faith or anointing in those ministering.
But most often it remains a mystery. What’s most important is that regardless of the level of revelation or healing we see or don’t see; we never doubt God’s love for us. His love is always given, and he is always good.
What would be your encouragement to someone who feels called or gifted in this sense but finds no support in their local church?
Many of us have found ourselves in this situation. Here’s the good news, God can use us in the marketplace just as easily as he can in the church. A little training helps so we don’t ‘weird people out,’ and a trusted mentor to pray with and debrief us is invaluable, even if they are from another church, or in another country for that matter. Many of the stories in the book are from non-church settings. I deliberately selected these stories to encourage people who find little support in their local church.
What do you hope would be an ordinary Christian’s takeaway from this book?
The book is written for ordinary lay people like me. I hope readers catch a glimpse of the fact that God wants to use us all. I hope ordinary Jesus followers read the book and say, “How exciting. God wants to use me too. Come Holy Spirit.” Lay people are not bit players in God’s Kingdom; we all have important roles to play. I hope readers experience afresh how big and good and loving and wonderful and powerful is our God. When we learn to livestream, it invariable leads us to wonder and worship.
Can you explain your hoped-for vision of what God’s people, collectively, would like in the world if they practiced “livestream” ministry?
The more we all learn to livestream, the more we will see more of God’s love and power expressed through us to a broken world. More people would be healed, encouraged, liberated, fulfilled, and comforted. And we’d have a whole lot more fun in church and in the marketplace.
Did you find this entry helpful? It’s an excerpt from Ivan Filby’s new book, Livestream: Learning to Minister in the Power of the Holy Spirit.
- Leaders training ministry teams
- Small groups hungry for mission
- Sunday school classes
- Individuals seeking ministry empowerment