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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