No one can make a person a prophet if God has not called them to be a prophet. No amount of prophetic training will make a person who hasn’t been called a prophet into a prophet. Impossible to do. Frustrating to attempt. Dysfunctional if allowed.
So, at some point, someone must identify prophets so that prophets can receive training and functional experience as prophets.
This appears to be a difficulty for many leaders because of the fallout they experience in saying “yes” or “no” about someone’s prophetic calling. This appears to be a difficulty mostly because of the question, “Who are you to make such a determination when God is One Who calls prophets?”
Consider this: Someone has to recognize and validate the calling besides the person who is called else the only standard for recognition of calling and function would be self-appointment.
Of course, I’ve encountered many self-appointed leaders of every type, stripe, and hype. I personally wouldn’t accept any self-appointed leadership functions since part of the process of leadership in the kingdom is validation by other kingdom leaders with the spiritual capacity to recognize a person’s calling, gifts, and function.
For our experience, nearly all the prophets in our prophetic company didn’t know they had a calling to function as prophets until someone else identified and clarified their calling. Each of them stepped into a process of personal preparation that clarified their spiritual gift mix and challenged their personal identity in profound ways.
Few people discuss this aspect of prophetic preparation in depth but the most telling and traumatic aspect of preparing prophets involves identity crisis. Usually, the identification of the prophet begins a turmoil of soul, a struggle or wrestling of will much like Jacob experienced, and the process touches the deepest definers of a person’s life.
We don’t wish to put people into this process who are not called to be prophets.
Beware the assumption that because we include intercession in the process of preparation that a person who is really good at prophetic intercession will eventually develop into a prophet. Beware the assumption that because we activate and train people in operation of the gift of prophecy that people who are especially good at this gift operation will eventually become prophets. Beware of jumping to the conclusion that every prophetic person should become a prophet, that every seer will develop or can develop broader applications of prophetic function.
Prophets are not only defined by calling and gifts but by disposition and assignment.
A prophetic mantle can mean that a prophetic or revelatory aspect of spiritual capacity marks a person’s more fundamental ministry function, that they carry a prophetic mantle for worship but their fundamental ministry is worship, not to be a prophet. A prophetic mantle can rest upon art, business, education, and government, to name a few senses in which a prophetic capacity can mantle a person’s life.
When Elijah threw his mantle upon Elisha, however, it was clearly the identification of a young man’s calling that surprised Elisha, a moment of personal clarity that began a process of personal preparation.