The prophets transcend both Old and New Covenants, with various roles and contributions throughout the scriptures. I guess that means it is a gift that the church simply cannot live without.
Yet prophets limp so often as they feel their gift is not celebrated, honored and validated. While pastors and other leaders have had such bad experiences with real or pseudo prophets that the only true victor in this story is the enemy who loves to silence the prophet — at all costs!
I think there is a way forward. Through the width of the prophetic journey, we can with humility and honor find a God solution... here is my longing:
- To see prophets spoken of with love, honor and gratitude,
- To rediscover the collaborative partnership between apostles and prophets — they really do need each other,
- To see the office of the prophet given fresh conversation as to their New Testament "job description" and the role they play translocally into communities,
- To find creative ways that can father / disciple / train up the emerging prophets, that they don't have to stumble and stutter their way forward as their forebears had to — what is the modern 'school of the prophets'?
- To discover the right ways that they can be used as "impact players" to break open new contexts or to go in and blow open the wells of churches that have faltered and fallen in the heat of the battle,
- To find ways forward to empower prophets to be released to be given to His presence and the courage to salary them to do just that,
- To explore the way forward for prophets to be truly accountable with the words they bring — to make sure they are well weighed, they are revisited to see if they did happen, forums for correction where error occurs [but in a context of honor and celebration],
- To be courageous enough to discipline a prophet if and when needed, so the sheep can truly feel secure with this great gift, knowing it can be trusted, for when it errs there are consequences,
- To create forums where prophets and pastors can iron out their differences and see in each the value that they themselves do not carry - can we get rid of the suspicion that sometimes enters these relationships?
These are some of my reasons to reenter the conversation... maybe I am an incurable romantic but I naively believe this can happen.