Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Immature Prophet

Ben Sternke lists seven indicators of an immature prophet:

  • They talk about their perspective as though it was simply “the truth.”
  • They jump from church to church because they keep finding issues in each.
  • They become frustrated when their ideas aren’t accepted and implemented immediately.
  • They have to point out every inconsistency or problem they see.
  • They have a hard time loving people “where they’re at.”
  • They want to live in their heads, because their idealism is cleaner than the real-world messiness of ministry.
  • They tend to isolate themselves or only associate with those who think like them.
Ben says that we should not use them, or reject them, but should disciple them. We should disciple them like we disciple everyone else: we love them by offering them an abundance of grace and truth.

But discipleship looks different for an prophet than it does for a shepherd or apostle. The grace and truth they need takes on a certain shape. Here are Ben's thoughts on bringing grace to a prophet:

  • Prophets need space in their schedule for prayer and connection with God.
  • Prophets need permission to rest and retreat.
  • Prophets need to know their gift is important – affirm them and what they’re seeing.
  • Prophets need an atmosphere of permission to get it wrong. They need to know they won’t be rejected if they share something immaturely.
  • Prophets need “safe spaces” to experiment. Create a playful, no-pressure environment.
  • Prophets need language that helps them qualify their revelations as something God “might” be saying.
  • Prophets need to know they are valued apart from their gifting. That they don’t need to “have a word from God” to be valued in community.

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