Mentoring or monitoring prophetic ministry?

I would hazard a guess that 95% of prophetically gifted individuals would would function more confidently if they were given ongoing encouragement from Church leadership.

Instead, many face the challenge regularly, of how to break through discouragement, disillusionment and rejection. Feedback for the prophetic ministry is often rare. It is strange that pastors and leaders value encouragement and feedback themselves, sometimes feel that they lack that input from those they minister to, and yet do the same to others!

It is an emotive question, but do leaders really think that they are honouring God by treating prophetically gifted people in this way? In a sense they may be unwittingly demonstrating how much they value the prophetic ministry by the way they encourage it. But for many, this is an oversight and not the intention of their heart.

Many leaders value highly prophetic input but are simply poor communicators when it comes to encouragement! Prophetic people need to be gracious in this area and take courage from King David’s testimony as a man who ‘encouraged himself in the Lord”. Encouragement from a friend goes a long way though.

But are Church leaders responsible for encouraging the prophets? In a clumsy approach to encouragement, some leaders find themselves uncomfortably scrambling for answers. In the process that follows comes the issue – should they be “mentoring or monitoring” the prophetic?

True, some prophetic individuals have dug holes for themselves by their bad character, and some of them need to be told clearly that they are not prophets! But many are genuine, and whilst only a handful might actually be ‘prophets’ the remainder do display a remarkable and encouraging capacity to hear from God. The gift of prophecy is alive and well in our churches, and it is worth all the encouragement that is given to it!

We do need to mentor the prophets.

  1. The starting point for this is always trust.
  2. Mentoring is not public recognition of gifting or ministry
  3. Mentoring allows the leader to bring helpful direction and clarity to the way that prophetic people minister. Not everything that they do is done well – leaders, tell them when those moments exist, and how they can better communicate what is on their heart.
  4. Mentoring allows leaders to bring greater accountability and transparency to the prophetic person. Relationship is fundamental to the process of mentoring.

Why mentoring and not monitoring?
Mentoring is about encouragement, direction and discussion and is personally empowering, and grace filled.

The same cannot be said for monitoring. Monitoring is about performance and rarely will feature the gentleness of grace. Someone being monitored knows that they are being watched to see where they fall short. In some churches where the prophetic is tolerated, this is the the experience that the prophetic person may encounter. It doesn’t bring any encouragement. 

Prophets don’t always know how to receive encouragement, but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t receive it – and mentorship is a brilliant way for it to happen.

Encourage the prophets!

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8 thoughts on “Mentoring or monitoring prophetic ministry?”

  1. Thank you for this brave commentary! I ony wish that more church leaders would read it, and also take note that we love to encourage them. We need encouragement and exhortation too. We’ll fan into flame the gift that is within us!

    Keep the fire burning bro!

    Ryan

  2. This is an exciting website – your posts have moved up to another level recently. I urge you to continue writing and encouraging. We need to hear more and more of this!

    Michael D. Hartley
    WA

  3. Hey Jon

    I’ve had more support and understanding and encouragement and provocation from your blog and site than I have had from many leaders and prophetic fathers. Thank you for being faithful and for being a blessing.

    [Jon says, “Gosh! Thank you!”]

  4. Wow! This Blog is great. Just like Kim Clement. Kim Clement is an expression that has defined “the prophet” for the modern era. This has made his journey unique; a journey that has taken his inspired message to schools and colleges, churches and synagogues, alleyways and prison cells. Kim’s prophetic gift is a magnet that has drawn a broad audience, as he has whispered to kings and inspired prisoners, his path through life continues to be an exciting adventure.

    Abigail

  5. Jon, this article is really a hit. It has helped me to understand the need for the expression (concept) “Prophetic fathers”. In the Swedish Bible ‘sons of prophets’ (in i.e. 2 King 2:3) reads ‘profetlärjungar’ ( equal to ‘disciples of prophets’) and there has not been any other connection in my mind with “Prophetic Father” other than God. I’m grateful.

  6. Do you discriminate between the gift of prophecy and the office of prophet? There is a difference, and it is a big difference. One is Holy Spirit inspired at times when HE ( the Holy Spirit determines) the other is a constant thing that happens, and is accompanied by a strong discerning of spirits gift, words of wisdom and / or knowledge, and visions, dreams, mental visual movies and impressions for others that mean nothing to the prophet, and all 3 happen on a constant basis. It usually occurs with a strong intercessory gift as well.

    [Jon says: I hope you don’t find the answer patronising but, you will see as you look through this website that I often differentiate between prophetic gift and the ministry of the prophet!]

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