The Power Of Prophetic Accountability

Are you seeking to grow your prophetic gift? Accountability is a vital key to develop a prophetic ministry with increasing accuracy, integrity, and wisdom.

Accountability is not popular in our independence-loving culture. And yet true, Biblical accountability is designed and ordained by God. Our Father’s intention is that we operate in our spiritual gifts and ministries in the context of community that includes leadership. (Eph 4, 1 Cor 12-14) Accountability is one aspect of relating to oversight.

What does Prophetic Accountability Mean?

Genuine accountability is not just by name only, to be effective it must include:

  • Answerability: (Gal 2:1-2)
    We report to someone concerning our ministry, as well as revelation (prophetic insights) that we have received from God.
  • Transparency: (Eph 4:25)
    We are not holding back information that is relevant to the process.
  • Teachability: (Acts 18:26)
    We are willing to learn and change.
  • Submission: (Heb 13:17)
    There are times when we obey directives when we do not feel like it or necessarily agree with it. (Note: I am referring to leadership decisions, not issues contrary to Biblical, legal or moral principles) [1]

Accountability is not solely to oversight, it can also be outward—for example, to our team. It can be voluntary, (we seek it out) or a set part of our ministry role.

In Church life, accountability flows through the unique leadership structure of each local church and church movement. (Acts 20:28)

Signs that we are not accountable include:

  • Operating in our gifts and ministries in isolation
  • Not being open to correction or adjustment, or
  • Believing we are only accountable directly to God (this is an Old Testament perspective). [2]

7 Reasons why Accountability is Beneficial in Prophetic Ministry

1. It’s Biblical: We Follow the New Testament Precedent

The themes of leadership and accountability run throughout the New Testament. Jesus demonstrated it in His discipleship process. The Apostle Paul wrote much concerning leadership. He also gave instruction concerning the practice of prophecy, which included accountability and guidelines. (1 Cor 14, 1 Thess 5)

We see a great example of how prophetic accountability functions in the life of Paul himself.

In a powerful open vision, God spoke to Paul about his future ministry to the Gentiles. However, he was only sent out from Antioch when the church leadership heard from God that it was time for him to be released into his Apostolic ministry. (Acts 13:1-3) Paul returned and reported back to his sending church. (Acts 14:26-28, 18:22)

When Paul received the revelation of the Gospel—God’s grace to the Gentiles—God led him to submit the revelation to the church oversight in Jerusalem, even though he received the revelation directly from God. (See Galatians 2:1-2)

2. It Sharpens our Prophetic Ministry

Prophetic ministry is not just about the revelation we receive. It also includes our interpretation of what the prophetic insight means, as well as where, when, how and to whom we communicate it. [3]

Weighing up prophetic insights is a Biblical mandate. (1 Cor 14:29, 1 Thess 5:20-21) Having an accountable relationship can help us to process our prophetic insights, gain wisdom, sharpen our prophetic gifts and increase our accuracy. As it has been said, ‘Feedback is the breakfast of champions.’ [4]

3. It Fosters Genuine Humility

‘Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.’ (Prov 13:10)

Being accountable and teachable in our prophetic ministry is a great antidote to pride and strengthens us in the area of humility. (1 Peter 5:5b)

4. The Power of God is Released through Authority

Spiritual authority and the power of God flows through the lines of appointed authority. (See remarkable examples of this in Acts 6:8; Acts 8:5) Jesus commended a Roman Centurion for understanding this principle. (Luke 7:7-9)

5. It Empowers the Church to act as a God Intends

God’s plan for the Church is for interdependence, not independence. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” (1 Cor 12:21)

Accountability is just one process that enables the Church community (body) to work together. Those who have prophetic gifts need to have alongside them, those with leadership gifts, as well as gifts of discernment and wisdom. (1 Cor 12)

6. Accountability Enables us to Grow in our Character

Eph 4:11-16, Proverbs 27:17 Prov 12:15
“As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.”

We all have ‘blind spots’. These may include character weaknesses, hurts, skewed perspectives, or judgments about others that we have made subconsciously.  We will only grow and change when we allow someone outside of ourselves to have input. We also grow in character as we have a teachable attitude.

7. Accountability gives us Protection (Eccl 4:9-12)

Accountability acts as a safety net to protect us from pitfalls. One role of Christian leadership is to warn and admonish us when necessary. (1 Cor 4:14) We can also appeal to our oversight when we need authority or assistance in a given situation.

Accountability needs to be to the Right People

The appropriate person (or people) to be accountable to varies according to our situations and ministry. This may include someone who is a leader in our church or organisation, or a mentor. [5]

If our prophetic function is within the life of our local church, then we are accountable to our church leadership regarding the expression of our prophetic gift in the church. (1 Cor 14) [6]

If we are working for a Christian organisation, our ministry accountability may be outside of our local church. However, even if we are engaged in an itinerant ministry, our local church pastors and leaders can have valuable input into our lives. When we minister into our own or another local church, we are also accountable for that ministry to the oversight of that church.

Accountability also includes honouring prophetic guidelines and protocols when they have been put into place.


Notes:

[1]An example of submission in prophetic ministry is when our oversight instructs us not to share or act upon a prophetic insight we have received immediately, but to hold onto it and pray about it—and we carry out that request graciously.

[2] For a helpful explanation of this see: Differences Between Old and New Testament Prophetic Ministry

[3] See the article, Understand The Process of Prophecy

[4] This quote is by Ken Blanchard

[5] See the following articles on prophetic mentoring:
Prophetic Mentoring on a Personal Basis
8 Essentials of Healthy Prophetic Mentoring

Mentors should be in an accountability relationship themselves, spiritually healthy, and love and honour their church and leadership.

[6] Biblical leadership is not domineering or abusive, but strong ‘servant leadership’ as demonstrated by Jesus. (Matt 20:25-27, 1 Peter 5:3)


Do you have any questions or ideas on the topic of prophetic accountability? Leave a comment in the comments box. If the comments section is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.


© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching

On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church

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16 thoughts on “The Power Of Prophetic Accountability

  1. Hello. For about a year now, I have been receiving pictures during our church services. I am also given the meaning.
    Question:- Is this Prophetic ministry. People in the church have come to me and said that they identified with what had been said.
    regards verna (nz)

    • Hi Verna,
      Thank you for your note. Yes receiving a picture and explaining what you believe God is saying through it is one way of sharing a prophetic insight.
      This article on ‘How to receive a revelation’ may help: http://enlivenpublishing.com/blog/2009/11/14/how-to-exercise-your-prophetic-gift-pt-2-how-to-receive-a-revelation-from-god/
      The best test of a prophecy is in the fruit (outcome) of it. Are people being encouraged and drawn closer to God through it? Do church leaders affirm it is a word from God?
      May you continue to be blessed and a blessing to others as you step out and journey in this area. 🙂

      • Hello again.
        Are you saying I have a prophetic ministry?

        Another question:- Does this type of ministry mean a could be a prophet or not?

        regards Verna (nZ)

        • Hi Verna, that’s a great question and one that lots of people wonder, especially when starting out. Prophecy is very simply receiving and sharing a message conveying the heart, mind and intention of the Father.
          There can be 3 ‘Levels’ of Prophecy

          1.All believers can hear from God John 10:3-5, 1 Cor 14:1, Acts 2:17-18
          (May be encouragement, wisdom, knowledge, exhortation or prophetic in nature)

          2. Those with a spiritual gift of prophecy 1 Cor 12:7-11, 27-31, Rom 12:6

          3. Office of the Prophet Eph 4:11, 1 Cor 12:29

          (Extract from my training session notes)

          So how do you know which one is you? That takes time, be faithful and nurture the ability God has given you. Perhaps you will discover you have a spiritual gift of prophecy, in which case those around you and your leaders will confirm and encourage you in this. For more info about signs you have a gift of prophecy, see this post: http://enlivenpublishing.com/blog/2009/08/21/what-are-some-signs-that-you-have-a-prophetic-gift/

  2. Hello Helen,
    I agree that a prophet needs accountability even sometimes the prophet operate in an individual basis. It is also important for anyone who may not be in the office of prophet but with prophetic gift as well. If someone who has the prophetic gift but refuse to co-operate and under the authority of the pastor of that church, it is going to create lots of trouble when the prophecy needs to discern and examine before release to the whole church if it is related to the whole church. I think if anyone who wants to be greatly used by God in the prophetic track, he or she needs to be first willing to humble to God’s authority before he or she can reach a mature prophet level.

    • I really need help in the growth of the prophetic calling.
      I have been reading your articles and they are very helpful. Thank you. There are some materials that I want to nut, but finding it hard to get your currency.

        • Hi Alice, do you mean that you are not receiving the emails? Sorry about that! I’ve just had a look and your email is definitely on our mailing list. You may need to check your spam filter and add our address to your contact list.

        • Hi again Alice, also, our online store does convert to your own currency when you make the transaction, if that is the issue. Let me know

  3. thank you for sharing about accountability. I recently decided to join a local church and would certainly submit under the leadership for my gifting to develop more

  4. Dear Enliven
    Thank you for sharing your insights in regards the Prophetic.
    I wish you could be able to communicate with me, personally, by either WhatsApp or email or mobile. That’s all I have access to on media. I live in Mackay Qld 4740.
    I am called in the prophetic, but, not the Gift of Prophecy. The position of Prophet. Thus, according to the first message I received in Sept 2015. Area of Healing.
    I have not served in the church yet, I’m told, this will only be enabled by His permission.
    I am trained by him only, as on 1 John 2 v 27-28.
    I have joys and stresses, but I do not have anyone yet who has much understanding of the process.
    Do you differenciate the Gift of prophecy with the Position of prophet?
    Your article seems to conider them as one. You are free to share your experinces, I might learn something. I am a born again Christian. I badly need a mentor, formerly or informerly.
    Looking forward to hearing from you, through one of the above.
    Regards
    Francis

    • Hi Francis,
      I’m unable to take time to communicate personally but a quick answer is yes – we do differentiate between the gift of prophecy and the ministry of the prophet.
      As far as the ‘office’ of the prophet – this article may be helpful to you: https://www.enlivenpublishing.com/blog/2016/08/16/how-to-prepare-for-a-fivefold-ministry-calling/
      Also if you are interested in learning more, you are welcome to browse through the free articles here on Enliven Blog, check out the prophetic training category.
      As far as ‘trained by Him only’, the verse you refer to in 1 John 2 does need to be held in balance with other instructions in the New Testament which clearly outline the need for accountability and the role of oversight, teachers and others in fivefold ministry to equip etc.