Friday, September 07, 2012

Prophet, Priest and King--a sample overview from Jamie Munson of Mars Hill Church

Jamie Munson
Friday July 1, 2011

“Is there a test that will tell me if I’m more of a prophet, a priest, or a king?”

I’ve gotten this question a lot lately, and to my knowledge, no such assessment exists.[emphasis added] Most leaders, however, will recognize themselves quite readily in one of the three general profiles:

Until somebody builds a useful evaluation, I hope this chart can serve you well [emphasis added]—not as a way to force anyone into a pre-defined box, but as a way to help you build well-rounded teams and identify the areas where God has created you to thrive and take joy in your work. 


To find out more about prophet, priest, king, watch this leadership video from Pastor Mark Driscoll. Leadership coaching is free and open to everyone.

Which One Are You?

Church leadership focused on the message


leads through communication
larger audience
air war

Spiritual gifts:


Prone to Sin:

Self-righteous w/knowledge

Church leadership focused on the people


leads through relationships
care and shepherding
smaller audiences (one-on-one)
ground war

Spiritual gifts:


Prone to Sin:

tolerance of sin
lack of truth
self-righteous w/compassion or love

Church leadership focused on the tasks

leads through strategy
vision implementer
often behind the scenes
systems builder
resource manager

Spiritual gifts:


prone to sin:
rules (Methodolatry)
self-righteous w/policy

To Munson's knowledge in 2011 nobody had written an assessment of whether someone was a prophet, priest or king.  Okay, but if this were the case it would not be because no books on assessing spiritual gifts have been written and published in the last forty years.

I honestly wouldn't expect Munson to know about that stuff because he didn't grow up in a Christian home and wasn't exposed to popular fads in Christianity in America and he's probably not even lightly read on any discussions of spiritual gifts.  Those of us who grew up in a more Pentecostal/charismatic background were almost swamped with assessments and discussions.  Mars Hill is probably more Calvinist Baptist than anything and the tradition does not have a lengthy history of even granting a continuationist approach to pneumatology.  This could explain why there simply aren't any reference guides on whether one is a prophet, priest or king.  For that matter since many Christians have believed that Christ Himself fulfilled these offices perfectly (I hear rumors that someone named John Calvin articulated this view) that it's tough to claim that one can be any of these things in a meaningful way.

But it may be that some fashion of teaching about this stuff has existed in some fashion.

How about this?

Leader as Prophet

This course is the first in a series of three that focus on the tri-perspectival nature, aspects and attributes of God, namely, the three offices of Christ as Prophet, Priest and King.  According to John Frame, Christ's kingship represents his control, his prophetic office represents his authority as the word of God, and his priesthood represents his work on behalf of his people in history, or what Frame calls his presence. This course will focus on the pastor as prophet.

Leader as Priest

This course is the second in a series of threee .... 

Leader as King


Didn't Munson have some involvement with this?  Why, yes he did.

In 2009-2010 there was a program for a Master of Missional Leadership.  Three of the required courses in the master's program involved the above three courses.

Leader as Prophet was taught by John Piper
Leader as Priest was taught by Same Storms
Leader as King was taught by Rick Melson.

What was involved in these courses?  Does the Resurgence Training Center still offer a Master in Missional Leadership?  If Munson didn't think that an assessment existed it may be because no such assessment exists.  Why such an assessment would be needed in this context would be most explicable in terms of resumes for Mars Hill and Acts 29 church planters.

Now I haven't forsaken all my Pentecostal roots.  I do think that it is possible for Christians to serve in a variety of capacities and roles in the body of Christ.  Before attempting to discuss the three roles in any detail let's see if we can turn to some account of what how re:Train has fielded this stuff.  Mars Hill and its associates in the new Calvinist tribe seem to have done quite a bit to promote this taxonomy and it may be useful to provide an overview.  Fortunately as testimonials and alumni goes there's one person who has provided a decent thumbnail sketch of this stuff.


Jerry Nanson said...

First, your assessment that Calvinist Baptist is something new is incorrect. The first particular baptist church was founded in the 1630's. But to the point of this comment, the triperspectival leadership model has absolutely ZERO basis in scripture as a model for defining roles in the body of Christ. If it was so important, you would think there would be even 1 verse in the pastoral epistles instructing the church on this model, but of course, this "model" isn't even implied. The "characteristics" of the 3 categories are designed to suit the purpose of abusive leaders like Driscoll and the primary emphasis on leadership in scripture is servant leadership, which wouldn't fit into any of the "triperspectival" categories. No surprise here, since humility and servanthood never seem to be emphasized by men like Driscoll. In fact, he even used this concept as a form of insult to Paul Petry when Paul was told by Driscoll that he wasn't qualified to pastor a satellite campus because he fit more into the "priest" category.

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

Thanks for dropping by, Jerry. This is the second post in an ongoing series of posts. It's too big a topic to explain how inaccurate the PPK categories are as used by Mars Hill leaders to attempt to demonstrate that in a single post. That there's no viable history of these categories used in the Calvinist Baptist tradition is something I have considered given the lack of charismatic/continuationist pneumatology in the tradition but that may not have been clear from the wording in this second tagged post in an ongoing series.

There's quite a bit more in this series where I demonstrate that PPK are more categories in a curriculum in Re:Train than a viable explication of NT prescriptions for ecclesiology later in this set of posts. If I have things wrong on church history feel free to add comments. My hope is that you'll see that I haven't described Calvinist Baptists as either new or subscribing to the David Keirsey retread that PPK obviously is for people already considering themselves in Martian leadership.

The story about Paul being told he was more priest than king sounds like something someone in the Mars Hill orbit would say. If you have anything to contribute to the series of posts tagged real estate and Mars Hill you're welcome to contribute there, too, if you wish.

Jerry Nanson said...

Wenatchee (I'm not sure of your name, can't find it on your blog, otherwise I wouldn't refer to you as Wenatchee), I misread your statement all together, so my earlier comment on Calvinist Baptist was a result of that misreading. After rereading your post, I realized you were commenting on the newness of the continuationist approach withing reformed/calvinist baptist tradition, as oppossed to the newness of the reformed baptist tradition. I agree wholeheartedly with your original comment.

My reason for researching the whole Mars Hill situation is because of my attendance at a prominent Acts 29 network church and my concern that Driscoll's megalomania will "rub off" on the leaders of the congregation where I attend. I haven't formalized my "covenant membership", primarily because I have reservations about the whole idea of "covenant membership" and I have reservations about the wording in the two page document that makes up the "covenant membership" agreement. I take membership/church affiliation very seriously and I've learned the hard way to peform due diligence before I take that step.

I have no first hand knowledge, but all of my understanding of that situation has been through extensive research and discussions with others who do have first hand knowledge. I doubt if I will have much to add that you don't already know. I commented on the PPK post because that is of particular interest to me at this stage in my research, partly because I believe it's unsupportable as a model for church leadership and partly because I'll be asking questions regarding that philosophy of church leadership and I want to be as prepared as possible when I ask the inevitable questions if I choose to go forward with the membership "grilling".

I realize that my post almost seemd to coming off as attacking you, which is wasn't. I'm quite passionate about my faith and my beliefs on proper behavior of church leaders, so that passion may have come out a little as I hurriedly commented on you post. Please forgive me if it was overly aggressive or assertive, that was not my inent.

I greatly appreciate your site and am perusing it thouroughly. Any additional comments/information you have on the Acts 29 part of Driscoll's influence will be of particular interest, given my current church situation. Blessings!