Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said. If a revelation is made to another sitting there, let the first be silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged (1Co 14:29-31)
Hear me carefully on this one... Hanging back may not be something that immediately seems to fit with an eager desire to move in the spiritual gifts. And indeed there is to be nothing passive or fatalistic about our response to the Holy Spirit's stirrings in our lives or in our meetings. However sometimes we need to step back and see the bigger picture. Our gifts do not operate in isolation, but as part of the whole body. In 1Corinthians 12, in the context of Spiritual gifts, Paul expounds the concept of the body. Just as it is not good if one part of the body ceases to function, it is equally not good if the body becomes "a single member" - one gift, or more often one small portion of the total gifting, trying to do it all. It is in this context that our zeal to move in the gifts may need to be tempered with restraint. Not a restraint caused by a lack of passion to see the manifest presence of God in our midst, quite the opposite, a restraint born out of a desire to see them even more - as an expression of the whole body!
When I was a wee lad, I used to attend Scripture Union summer camps, in Scotland. It was at my first such camp that I gave my life to the Lord. Later on, I came back as a leader, and helped with the fun activities, sports, and spiritual input. As leaders, particularly during team games, we used to have a saying: "Leaders hang back!" or "LHB!" Whenever a leader got carried away with himself during a game of Frisbee-football or Ragger, and started to dominate the game, a cry of "LHB!" would go up from a fellow leader reminding him that the game was about the whole team getting involved, not a showcase for one talented individuals sporting prowess.
It is often the same in the church. Too often a majority of the work is done by a minority of the people. Too often, instead of being freed to move in their own spiritual gift, people look to the talented individual, the leaders, to perform that function. Too often the leaders are happy to maintain this status-quo, sometimes even accentuating it, seeking more of the spotlight rather than less.
It is into such situations that the cry of "LHB!" needs to be heeded.
Paul, when he addresses the issue of prophesy in the church, says that we call all prophesy, and in order for this to happen there needs to be an order and an awareness of one another. [This was the Corinthians main problem in many areas: they were zealous, but their zeal did not include consideration for each other.] Paul says "If a revelation is made to another sitting there, let the first be silent." This is the restraint I am talking about, the restraint that makes way for another man's gifting, even though he is quite capable himself to carry on.
The words "let the first be silent" are in the Greek "o protos sigato." o protos, can mean the first, but it can also mean "the leader [the prominent one]." sigato also carries not the sense of a external prohibition, but an internal self-restraint. So without too much of a stretch this could be translated: let the leader hang back in what he had to say. LHB.
At our Life to the Nations Bible week, our Apostle, Keri Jones, shared on the fist night (and on other nights) a powerful vision and direction for the churches. He shared his desire for congregations of God's people where there is a "quantum shift" forwards in the Holy Spirit. Not just the same people moving in gift week after week, but whole congregations moving in Spiritual gift.
This is where the bar is set in the Scriptures themselves. For it is not where one man shines in his ministry that God is most glorified, but where the whole body reflects the head - each part moving as he directs.
But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you. (1Co 14:24-25)