Prophet, Priest, or King?

This month, I'll be adding a number of posts on leadership, in keeping with the theme "Under the Influence" that I'm speaking on at Lafayette First Assembly this month.

I don't know who started talking this way first, but one helpful way to think about leading in the church is by looking through the lens of the tri-fold office of Jesus Christ:  prophet, priest and king.


Leaders in the church seem to manifest a bias in one of these three areas.

The prophet is principally concerned with what the scriptures say and is concerned with seeing things through a theological lens.  The prophet is always asking what the biblical imperative is on a certain issue.  The prophet makes decisions about ministry most comfortably by asking the question, "What does God say about it?"

The priest centers his or her concerns around concern for people.  The priest is always moved by stories of transformed lives and stories that move the heart.  The priest makes decisions about ministry most comfortably by asking, "Who can be helped by it?"

The king, on the other hand, is a process-oriented individual who is a master of questions involving facilities, budgets, time lines, etc.  The king makes decisions about ministry most comfortably by asking, "How will we do it?"

I have found this is a helpful way to see others I am leading with.  If I extend it to the entire body of Christ, it helps me to see more clearly the concerns people bring forward about decisions made on behalf of the whole church--some want to know what the Bible says about an issue, others are more concerned with meeting needs, and some want to have a well-mapped-out plan.

So which one are you?  How do you fit in?  Personally, I'm probably a cross between the king and prophet.

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