Prophet, Priest, or King?

Did you know that Christ’s ministry could be summarized in three primary roles? He was a prophet, priest, and king. Jesus was the ultimate prophet, proclaiming the gospel (Mark 1:15). He was the great high priest, caring for the needy and sick (Mark 1:34). He was the conquering king, calling and leading others (Mark 1:17). Jesus was perfect and complete in each of these responsibilities.

Did you also know that we need these roles in the church today? Every church must have these three ministries to be healthy:

  • The role of Prophet. This involves preaching God’s Word. People need to be taught the truths from the Bible.
  • The role of Priest. This involves pastoring and shepherding. People need to be loved.
  • The role of King. This involves vision and leading. People need to be led.


A while back, my dad (a retired pastor and superintendent) was sharing with me about these important qualities. He said that no one pastor is good at all three.  Usually, a pastor is good at one, so-so at the other, and terrible at the third. So what does a pastor do? Here’s where to start…

  1. Affirm your strength. Find out which one of these roles/functions you are good at. You may think you are great at all three, but trust me, you aren’t. Where are you seeing the most fruit? What do you have the heart and gifting for?
  2. Acknowledge your weakness. Be honest. Which of these three are you not wired for? It doesn’t take you off the hook from being part of it, but you probably shouldn’t make it your focus. You know where you lack the capacity and passion, so admit it’s a struggle for you. What zaps your energy? What do you dread facing?
  3. Allow others to lead. You need to find others in the church family who can minister in your weaker areas. Jesus didn’t design the church to be run by one person. No one has all the gifts and abilities. Who can help you? Where is your leadership team?


You will notice the title of this blog is Prophet, Priest OR King. Only Jesus was perfect. He was our prophet, priest AND king. It’s important to know which one you are best at. It is equally important to know which ones you come up short. To try to do all three will only burn you out.

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