Kim Clement has just passed away. Not long ago, John Paul Jackson. It is simple to say they have gone home. To be true in my heart as well as many others, there is a deep grief. Elisha the servant of Elijah or better said, the spiritual son who served the old prophet, fell to the dust in a gut wrenching sorrow at the ascension of his father to heaven. It is not wrong to feel pain and let grief have it’s season.
Those who are living the true prophet calling have been broken and are loved and trusted. They realize that their main calling is to be found living in the presence of the Lord. Before a word is spoken, there is a sense of the presence of the Kingdom. This is a powerful privilege. Unwisely, one can think a prophet is one who is almost invincible, an untouchable. It is a tragedy when anyone believes themselves to be as steady as the Rock of Gibraltar especially one who is called to bring specific wisdom and direction from God.
The Word says that in our weakness His strength is perfected. In the light of this most quoted phrase, true greatness is found in utter weakness and in no other human condition.
I functioned in one form or another in the prophetic since I can remember. I have seen things that only God could reveal. Other times I just saw things as part of my nature especially the inner motives of peoples' hearts. I did not ask for this, it was just there. I have given guidance and I have desperately needed guidance. I have done great things and have failed miserably. Many were they that loved the Gift, few were there to pull me out of the pit. As I encouraged others, when alone I wept over the inner weaknesses that plagued my mind. Many were the external trials that hit me over and over. My Pastor did not help when he marveled at the continued assaults by giving me the very uplifting council that “there must be some sin in my life.”
Many churches have cried to God, “Send us a prophet.” What they really are saying is we want one fully cooked, mature, competent and just plain fantastic. There is no such prophet. I have served leaders for 43 years. I have never desired their position. Being older now I have the vantage point of looking back. I have to say that the Pastor and Prophet relation is the heart of much of the strife experienced in the church. It is my opinion that a healthy Pastor/Prophet relationship must be worked out in the church setting first and then there is a natural evolution to the Apostle/Prophet unity by which the church is built. Serious stuff.
It is not my aim to expand on the Apostle/Prophet. I would like to uncover why there are so many attacks on the true Prophet. The book of Amos says,”God does nothing unless He first reveals it to His prophet.” Wow! That statement says it all. Kill the messenger and there is no message. Then why did He make us so darn vulnerable?
As I matured much of my ministry was to do with the restoration of broken prophets. Many heard from God far more than I. Some spoke from heaven with such clarity I shuttered inside. As high as their revelatory ability, equally was their brokenness and depression. Some mentoring took years. Why God is there such devastation to the servants called to see and proclaim your plans?
I began to understand. What I sensed the Lord telling me was that there is a very serious problem with the marriage and the church will never mature until the marriage is healthy. The marriage is between Pastor and Prophet. There can be no True Apostle or Prophet to build the overall church until things are rectified in the local church arena. Without the bond of respect and love at the top we are all just spinning our wheels. Again very serious stuff.
Prophetic weakness is a governor placed by God. It is a lofty thing to be such a messenger. Weakness keeps us grounded but this is not God's best plan. His true plan is that a Pastor is to cover the Prophet similar to a man covering a woman. Prophets don’t like this. Submission is one of the main keys to hearing from God. Many Pastors like this because they can control the prophet when they are in a place of submission. Herein lies the poor marriage.
I long for life giving love and respect between these two crucial ministries. Everyone they are responsible for are made to respond to this wonderful union.
This is a foundational statement; “Apostles build but the house is empty even though it is built right. The building is then filled with the Spirit in a special way by the Prophet. The Prophet sees things the Apostle doesn’t at times and give direction. The Apostle covers the Prophet with protection.” This unity is truly the greatest weapon of the church and is recognized by the enemy as the HOUSE OF GOD and FEARED.
Prophets will continue to be the targets for destruction until they are loved, covered and especially understood by Pastors. Jealousy and envy must end. Underneath all the Glory the Prophet brings is a person that desperately needs a friend. Church prophets must become vulnerable to the covering of the Pastor and submit to their authority. A bird has two wings to fly. The Glory of God is ready to lift us high.
How are your wings?
Can the Pastor and Prophet ever work? It is a definite yes. I have been a prophetic leader under a brother who is first a friend and then we minister together. The mutual love and respect we have has more than erased any negative experiences I have had with others in the past. For over ten years, he has been my Pastor. He has had his gifting and I mine. We see the gifting as tools and not labels. The trust he has given me and others have have opened up new vistas. It is absolutely wonderful to know that my Pastor has my back.
Dan Chappell was fathered in the prophetic by Robert Ewing of Grace Churches of Texas in the early 80’s and mentored in “The Heart of the Father" by Jack Winters.
He is recognized trans locally for his sensitive and encouraging prophetic and strategic insight. His gifting is not just for the local church, but impacts churches across the continent. Debbie, his wife, stands with him in this demanding role.