In the crowds that I run with, we have found it helpful to apply triperspectivalism to our ministries and teams. I found this paradigm to be quite helpful, though I can take no credit for its inception. Various lectures, articles and blogs by Jamie Munson, Wayne Grudem and Drew Goodmanson have shaped these thoughts.
Jesus is Prophet, Priest and King
In the Old Testament, God gave three offices to lead his people: prophets, priests and kings. All the imperfect leaders of the Old Testament foreshadow Jesus and his perfect ministry. He is our final and authoritative Prophet. He is our Great High Priest. He is our conquering King of Kings.
This is good news for us because in our ignorance and folly we need Jesus as Prophet to reveal God by both his preached Word and incarnated Word. In our guilt and sin we need Jesus as Priest as our mediator and the one who makes atonement for our sin with his perfect sacrifice. In our corruption we need Jesus as King to rule over creation, the church and our own lives and to bring his righteous rule to bear in our hearts.
Jesus, the Senior Pastor of every church leads perfectly as Prophet, Priest and King, and we, as his under-shepherds and under his authority are also to lead as Prophets, Priests and Kings.
Focus on the message
Spiritual Gifts: teaching, knowledge, preaching
Attributes: teach the Bible, speaking truth, confrontation, exhortation
Values: truth, biblical accuracy and sound theology
Leads through teaching and communication
Prophets flourish when teaching in larger groups
Potential Sins: being harsh, cold, proud
Focus on the people
Spiritual Gifts: encouragement, mercy, relationships
Attributes: loving people, prayer, counselling, encouragement, community, shepherding
Values: people, feelings, harmony and community health
Leads through relationships
Priests flourish in smaller groups and one-on-one settings
Potential sins: tolerance of sin, lack of truth-speaking, fear of man
Focus on the tasks
Spiritual Gifts: Leadership, Administration
Attributes: build systems and structures, planning and organization, logistics, accountability, resourcing others, implementing vision
Values: strategy, efficiency, organization and doing the job the right way.
Leads through strategy and organization
Kings flourish when organizing things behind the scenes
Potential Sins: Rigid and inflexible, elevating methods over people
Next time, we’ll look at how we can apply the roles of Prophet, Priest and King to ministry to the whole church, in community groups and in one-on-one situations.