Eph. 4:11 -13 It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 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 fullness of Christ.
The Prophet Collaborates for Construction
The role of prophet in the church is a ministry today just as it was 2000 years ago. The prophet brings insight into living an abundant life in Christ for individuals, churches, ministries and nations. The prophet reveals the heart of God within the context of the Word of God. The character of the mature prophet contributes to effectiveness of his or her ministry. In my previous posts I spoke of two key character attributes of the mature prophet: intimacy with God and humility of heart. Today I bring a third attribute: collaboration for construction.
The mature prophet willingly collaborates with apostles, pastors, teachers, and evangelists for the building up of the church. Mature prophets not only prophesy but cooperate with the builders so that something is actually constructed. John was a classic example of a prophet who cared about building up the church……going beyond giving a ‘word’ to collaborative agreement with the Word. To collaborate is to ‘labor or cooperate with another’. It is cooperation for a greater cause than the cause of one person. We see a glimpse of this in John’s writing to Gaius in 3 John. ‘It gave me great joy to have some of the brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth’ (3 John 3, 4). John took great joy in seeing the building blocks of truth rise up in the church. John cooperated with other apostles, prophets, pastors and teacher towards that end. While John functioned in the apostolic and pastoral ministries, it was his role as prophet that stands out in his ministry. John cared about the result….the kingdom result in the body of Christ as the bride of Christ.
This contrasts with the immature prophet who often functions strictly from the perspective of ‘giving a word’. They contribute ‘a word’ but don’t collaborate with others to fulfill the word. They often operate independently of other leaders in the 5 fold ministry leaving the collaborative construction to others. This leads many immature prophets into a lone ranger mentality. However, God’s desire is not to be lone rangers but to be linked rangers….linked to the leaders of the church to bring the fullness of Christ, the maturity of the saints, and advancement of the Kingdom to the church. The mature prophet cares, contributes and collaborates to raise up the bride of Christ in these last days.