February 17, 2016
One challenge I see in the church is what I call “Eager Beavers.” It’s the pressure that many leaders feel to be “vogue” with their peers. Let me explain: the awareness that the apostles and prophets are such an important part of the government of the church has caused many spiritual leaders to promote people unwisely and prematurely.
For example, I have watched leaders take the most prophetic person in their environment and commission them as their “house prophet.” This is a mistake on many levels. First of all, the gift of prophecy and the office of a prophet are two completely separate things. Just because somebody has very accurate prophecies in no way means that they are called to the office of a prophet.
Secondly, installing somebody in the office of a prophet or prophetess prematurely is not only unhealthy for the person being promoted but it can also be a devastating experience for the congregation. Between the promise and the palace there should always be a process that is natural and needed. It is the process that prepares and develops us so that we have the character that it takes and the skills that are necessary to be successful in the palace sort of speak.
Setting up for failure
When we as leaders, succumb to the pressure to be spiritually current and then unwisely promote people, we are setting them up to fail. The spiritual pressure of a governmental office in the Body of Christ cannot be overemphasized. Although the weight of the fivefold ministry (apostles, prophets, evangelist pastors and teachers), is invisible, it is not intangible. I have watched many inexperienced and unprepared people, who were genuinely called to a fivefold office but commissioned prematurely, be literally destroyed by the very thing that they are destined to become. Many of them get disillusioned and leave the ministry forever simply because their leaders did not use wisdom in preparing these precious people for their God-given purpose.
The apostle Paul emphasized this principle in his letter to Timothy with reference to leadership when he said, “men should first be tested and then let them serve…,” and later he wrote, “do not lay hands upon anyone to hastily and therefore share responsibility or their sins…,” (see 1 Timothy 3:10 and 1 Timothy 5:22). Although Paul’s subject in these passages is not the commissioning of prophets, the principles are still applicable, (in fact I would propose that they are even more important in the application of the fivefold ministry).
The Process of preparation
In order for the office of the prophet and prophetess to be fully restored to society and to the church, we will need wise leaders who can develop a process that prepares them for the challenges that lie ahead. My book School of the Prophets will cover many of the subjects that need to be mastered so that prophets and prophetesses can successfully wear their mantle and fulfill their divine mission.
For more on this subject, check out my book School of the Prophets.
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Are you in the process of preparation? Tell me about it in the comments below.
Topics: All TopicsProphetic