I have been deeply entrenched in the training, equipping and fathering of prophets and prophetic people for the last 10 years of my life. I’m talking about spending 15-20 specific weekends every year around the world with hundreds and at times thousands of prophets and prophetic people of all ages and experiences who are hungry to develop their gifting and grow in maturity.
I have also had the tremendous privilege of being personally fathered by men in the prophetic movement with proven track records of more than 40 years of national and international influence. I have been faithfully rebuked, corrected, told to sit down and shut up, work on my character, had my books and manuals I’ve written on the prophetic torn apart by these men, my marriage and family life thorough inspected and been constantly encouraged to say it again, write it again and prophesy again and again.
With the heavy investment I have made in prophets and prophetic people around the world as well as the tremendous investment that has been made in me by prophetic fathers, (and yes, I still have a long way to go), I have written the following recommendations to all prophets and prophetic people from what I have learned and experienced over the last 10 years. Thousands of prophets and prophetic people boast that they have a gift, but those who are humble enough and desire to mature and grow in that gifting are a rare breed.
1. Mature prophets need fathering.
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Sitting in rooms full of prophets and prophetic people over the years, it is very easy to separate those who have been fathered from those who have not, because prophets and prophetic people who have not been fathered carry deep wounds of bitterness and rejection (part of the calling) that have never been healed or ministered to by a father. Secondly, they have never been corrected and told that some of what they call “persecution” is actually godly authority that has been put in their life to help them find their place.
2. Mature prophets need a family.
Prophets in the Old Testament were called to be the singular voice of God to the nation and often wandered from assignment to assignment. They held a place before the people that they no longer do underneath the New Covenant. With the shedding of the blood of Jesus Christ, He became the mediator between God and man, and saints now have the Holy Spirit to lead and guide them. New Covenant prophets have now been forever welcomed and connected to the family of God, where they can find deep accountability and community. Lone Ranger prophets who refuse to be actively connected to a family of believers are dangerous and often hide their true need for fathering. Again, after working with thousands of prophets and prophetic people over the last 10 years, if they are not connected to deep relationship with others, there are always serious character issues and a past that they want to keep hidden.
3. Mature prophets need deliverance.
When you gather prophets and prophetic people together and ask them to tell their life stories, you better buckle your seat belt, because you are about to hear the same story told 200 different ways again and again. In fact, many prophets and prophetic people get the wind of pride knocked out of them when they realize they are among a company of thousands and thousands who have all been rejected, harassed, persecuted, thrown away and so on. Prophets need to be taken through serious inner healing and deliverance to make sure they are free from the wounds of their childhood, and most importantly, the church. To find prophets who have been rejected by the church but yet still have a love for her that can only come from the Lord Jesus Christ Himself is rare, but one of the greatest needs of the hour.
4. Mature prophets need to lighten up.
The Achilles heel of many prophets and prophetic people is that they honestly have no idea how to let go and have some fun. They are totally desperate for some type of “normal’ in their lives, although most will totally deny their need of it. Many of them quite frankly are terrible husbands or wives. (Yes, I have counseled hundreds of people married to prophets and prophetic people, and it’s their worst nightmare). Prophets and prophetic people often have a hard time learning how to function as fathers and mothers and believe God is OK with them not reading their Bible, worshipping and carrying an intense burden 24/7. Mature prophets know how to lighten up and shift gears when necessary.
5. Mature prophets must devour the Word of God.
When dialoguing with prophets and prophetic people about their spiritual journeys, you will be flooded with notebooks and encounters of dreams, visions, angelic activity and everything in between. However, to relate to prophets and prophetic people who not only know the Word but are applying it to their lives is very rare. When many of them preach, teach and talk, it is purely from an experiential realm that often times violates the bounds of Scripture. Mature prophets follow the Antioch model found in Acts 13 where prophets and teachers gathered together. Mature prophets are surrounded by great Bible teachers, and they ultimately become tremendous students of the Word of God.