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.
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.