Who’d win a fight between a prophet, priest, and king?

boxing glovesActually I don’t want to know. It shouldn’t happen. They have complimentary not competing roles. I just listened to the ever illuminating Catalyst podcast, which, on this occasion, was in conversation with Mark Driscoll. He was discussing his church’s tri-perspectival approach to leadership – that is leadership is seen as the combined functions of prophet, priest, and king. I’ve heard Keller talk similarly about leadership and I think it reflects well the Bible’s teaching on what leadership looks like. The prophet speaks forth God’s word by way of teaching and preaching; the priest prays, intercedes, and cares for the people; the King rules and governs wisely and justly. All are necessary to good leadership. But here’s the thing. We often lean more to one than the others, and people of particular tribes which lean a certain way like to start fights with the others. So the prophet teacher guys think the kingly guys don’t take the Bible seriously; and the kings think the priests need a bigger vision and some leadership skill,;and the priests think the prophets like the pulpit and their study, but not people; and round and round it goes – none of it true (for the most part) but all ways to justify our own leanings. The truth is we need all three. The prophets bring us God’s word carefully divided and served – they like people and they know organisation matters, but without the word what are the sheep being fed with? And the priests bring prayer, compassion and service – they know the Bible is central, and ministry requires leadership, but they also recognise that ultimately it’s all about people. And the kings bring leadership, vision, and structure – they know people matter, and that God’s word matters to people, which is why they’re serious about being intentional about it. Truth is all three are needed and we shouldn’t go throwing hand-grenades at those who have different leanings and strengths to us. Let’s learn from, not fight with, those who have things to teach us. Very practically, for me, this means I listen to, read, and attend conferences of a range of different stables. For ‘prophet stuff’ Proc Trust are incredibly helpful; for ‘priest stuff’ CCEF; and for king stuff GLS is hard to beat. Yes, they’re all different in style and emphasis but each one enriches and informs the others. Without any one I think I’d struggle not to fall over.

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2 thoughts on “Who’d win a fight between a prophet, priest, and king?

  1. Trying to get my head round this -maybe you can help me out
    Jesus is the Prophet-Priest-King …so in anycase, I’m not going to be that.

    Prophecy is a gift and prophet a role
    Priest =one high priest and a kingdom of priests
    King -only Jesus and we’re not meant to be like the kings of this World

    …okay I know that this is about being a little like …but I wonder whether this is the most helpful language to start adopting for our leadership …or whether it doesn’t just pander a little to the egos of church leaders?

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