My preceding blog, Receive and Steward Your Future, needs clarity. A man in a seminar thought I was talking about profit when I talked about prophet. He thought the seminar was about investing in the market. No, it is prophet—an integral part of Jesus’ Kingdom. Segments of the Church understand and organize leadership around the 5-Fold Ministry which comes from Ephesians 4:12-13:
The purpose of the five-fold ministry is, “to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
Apostle Paul says God has blessed the church with Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, Teachers. Most scholars tend to list the last two in this list as “pastor-teacher.” They recognize that they are separate offices, but connected. Pastors teach, but not all teachers, pastor.
Two kinds of prophets: one foretells what is going to happen. The second forth-tells. Much like a mentor or a very good coach. There is more to say about this, but I’m centering on the forth-tellers who ask questions and make observation such as, “Have you ever thought about being an accountant?” Or, “I see in you a gift for teaching 4th-graders. Does that resonate with you?”
“You can speak in tongues, but I want all of you to prophesy. (1 Corinthians 14.)
A prime example is found in Princess Diana. Minutes after I posted the first blog in this 2-parter, Carole and I watched NBC’s Ann Curry moderate and interview several people close to Princess Dianna.
There is no doubt that the negative “prophets” in Diana’s childhood and then in her marriage are linked to a horrible life. She was called “thick” by her family. She was Abandoned, Abused, Forsaken by her husband and Betrayed. Notice in the videos heavy bangs over her forehead and eyes behind which she appears to hide. It was not until a speech mentor volunteered to help her learn how to speak in public that she heard a “prophet” speak positive descriptions and words into her in a way she grasped. Notice her hairstyle and lifted chin, thereafter. Few people will deny for any of us that such negative appraisals will damage us long term. I’m talking about intentional speaking our “future” into us–not palaver, but real assets not immediately visible to us.
You do not need credentials to speak into someone’s life. I don’t know if that speech coach is a Jesus follower, or if he is filled with the Spirit. He is a human speaking into another human. (The limits of this needs more thought.)
We are at the big question: What if no one “speaks into you?” What if you have no neighborhood prophet who invests into your future?
Esther Fleece Allen was a fast-rising leader with Focus on the Family. She had been adopted as a child, abandoned by her father. Twenty-years after that total abandonment he reappeared unannounced and began to stalk her. She collapsed under her early life abuse and the negative input as an adult. I don’t remember hearing about any earth-moving encounter for her. She found healing and guidance through Scripture and interaction with God The Father.
Type Catalyst Podcast 540 Esther Fleece Allen into your computer search engine for the interview.
I’m thinking that most Jesus Followers are best served in finding our next season. Prophesying a legitimate encouraging or instructive word is not an attempt to control. I think it is an important Kingdom function.
Author and marketing guru, Donald Miller, asked Carol Aebersold, creator of “Elf on the Shelf,” if she felt this was her calling. She replied, “For this season of my life, it is.”
For This Season, It Is
©2020 D. Dean Benton—writer, wonderer, witness