We cannot separate the personality of the prophetic from the prophetic function. The preparation process is personal because the prophetic assignment is personal. We cannot separate the prophetic from assignment if we are to understand his function anymore than we can separate the prophet from his assignment if we are to understand his preparation.
Consider the Elijah-Elisha preparation process both for its uniqueness and it more general principles. It reveals the uniqueness of Elisha’s assignment and personal preparation while revealing more general principles of prophetic function by the context of a prophetic company and the preparation of other prophetic leaders. Preparing a mold for prophetic preparation is suspect. Preparing protocols for prophetic function is essential. Protocols do not produce puppets. Prophets without protocols produce another word that begins with “p.” [I was thinking “peril.” What were you thinking?]
Elisha was personally prepared while being part of a prophetic company. No particular conflict with the process of personal preparation and protocol development.
Paul says that all believers should desire to prophesy. Not all will be prophets. When ask about this, I like to say, “There are many more prophets than we think, and there are a lot fewer prophets than we think.” [Yeah, I know I think like that…]
Really, there are many more prophets than are being matured into prophetic function, and there are many “prophets” who will always function at the grace capacity level [gift of prophecy] who wish to become what they are not called to be because of a fundamental flaw in the preparation process.
Dumbing It Down To Prove a Point
In order to prove a point – “we can all operate in prophetic gifts” – we dumbed prophetic ministry down. We included revelatory gifts in the process so people were sharing words of knowledge and wisdom as if they were prophesying. We expanded our thinking about “being prophetic” or “having a prophetic mantle” in ways that lack a guiding principle of clarity. We entertained the practice of prophesying about things instead of prophesying. We meant well, but now we need to clean up our mess and mature the prophetic, bring clarity to the protocols and practice, and move on to prophetic preparation that matures prophets emerging in our prophetic cultures.
Recently I observed a valid prophet functioning in his homebase and was a bit horrified by what he included in the mix alongside prophetic function. Little distinction was made between mature prophetic word and immature prophetic surface slush. I started to wonder about this display, asking myself why he felt this appropriate when it would seem to me that a clarity of function would help both prophets and those operating in the gift as intercessors or team members. I’m still asking myself this question. Because of the need for protocols and prophetic process, we should do a great deal of things we do in another setting away from the cameras. We should still have moments, on camera, in which the word received a proper prophetic process so people understand the process and can improve on how they handle the word.
Consider how a valid, tested prophetic message is communicated yet that valid word becomes something of considered error after it is shared twenty times by people immature or simply dense in the head prophetically. By the time the revelation gets to a fourth or fifth generation away from the mouth of the prophet, it becomes something else altogether because people operating in prophetic stuff lack the leadership they need to handle mature prophetic function.