Over the past year as I have been doing some Master’s level courses via the Re:Train program at Mars Hill Church in Seattle, we have been focusing on the triperspectival nature of Jesus Christ’s ministry and how that might relate to pastoral leadership today. What is the “triperspectival nature of Jesus” you ask? Well I am going to try to introduce it here, and then for the next three days or so, look at each of the three areas a little closer and flesh them out with Scriptures.
So many people have heard that Jesus is our Prophet, Priest and King … that is the triperspectival nature. That Jesus has three offices that he fulfills perfectly and also interchanges between each of them perfectly. The idea is that in pastoral leadership in the church, we also need to manifest each of these leadership areas in our ministry. But since we are not perfect, we will have tendencies to one (or two) and generally have one (or two) that we need to work on.
In this thinking the Prophet role is the leader who teaches the Bible with authority, leads with the vision of the organization out in front and generally leads via communication. The prophet is all about words and using them to direct people to Jesus Christ.
The Priest is the leader that is all about care and shepherding. This is the caring heart type leader, one who desires to develop people and leads from relationships. The priest is all about interaction with people and relationally directing others to Jesus Christ.
The King is the leader who is all about the way things function. The king will build systems and keep them running, the king is the one who hears the vision from the prophet, and develops a plan and system to see that vision established in the organization. The king is all about leading by strategy and making sure everything functions properly so that people may be directed to Jesus Christ.
Now the reality is over the past year I have been part of several conversations, lectures, and readings that push this in a sorts of directions. My hope is to clarify these thought for myself, so here is a question for you … have you heard of this thought process? What do you think about Jesus as Prophet, Priest and King and how that works into the life of the believer?
The content of this post leans very heavily on the teaching of the folks in the following organizations: The Resurgence, The Gospel Coalition and Desiring God. Pastor Jamie Munson spoke on this topic awhile back … you can find the audio here: http://theresurgence.com/2010/12/13/prophet-priest-king