How Mutliperspectivalism shapes Church Leadership and how you staff a church

Earlier I posted about how everything must look through normative, situation and existential perspectives. As John Frame wrote, “The knowledge of God’s law, the world, and the self are interdependent and ultimately identical” (The Doctrine of Knowledge of God, Prebyterian and Reformed 1987, p.89).

Further, we stated that Jesus perfectly modeled how we ought to live out these perspectives in the roles of Prophet, Priest and King.

Prophet – Jesus declared the norm/Word with authority
Priest – Jesus ministered God’s presence to the people perfectly redeeming them.
King – Jesus exercised God’s control.

As humans, each one of us are not a perfect balance of all three of these roles and most often tend toward one of these roles. You can think about what role is your strength

PROPHET strength – You are a visionary who has a burning desire to ‘preach the word of God’. You love to learn, read, study God’s Word and teach/preach it to the people. You see the normative standards declared by scripture and want all humanity to see this as well.

PROPHET weakness – A visionary leading people without a plan is going for a walk by themselves. As mentioned in this post, a Prophet can preach “Christ-centered” (norm, information) rather than “gospel-centered” messages. You can preach Christ and crush your people with the news, law and perfection of Christ.

KING strength – You know how to take a vision, organize and implement it. A king understands systems, planning and organization.

KING weakness – Without the proper vision or gospel-centeredness a system is worthless.

PRIEST strength – A priest has a tremendous understanding of the needs of the people. They can rally the people, help solve interpersonal problems and counsel.

PRIEST weakness – Without proper understanding of the norms (God’s Word) and how to apply it, a priest will only be dealing with felt needs.

Most people have one dominate area (Prophet, Priest or King) and a secondary area of strength. For example, many of the church planters I know are Prophets and then either King’s or Priests. Yet some people are just one (Prophet/Prophet). This leads to all sorts of interesting combinations:

King/King – Heavy systems, organizing, running adminstration. A manager.
King/Prophet – Vision to take a big picture to actionable steps and implement it.
King/Priest – A coach who can also help show people practical steps to take in a counseling situation.

The problem many churches face is that the pastor hires other people just like him. A strong Prophet tends to gather other strong prophets and as such, may have other leaders, pastors who are prophets. What is best for a church, is if a pastor understands his own strengths and hires people who have other strengths. This is where (1) pastors needs to understand and assess themselves and (2) pastors need to understand how to ask the right questions and behavior based scenarios to discern the strengths of those they plan to hire. Of course, pastors need to always be working on their greatest areas of weakness. The good news is that Christ performed each role perfectly, and a pastor through prayer can seek God’s grace in the areas or their weakness.

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