Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off. (Acts 13:1-3 ESV)
This passage is especially meaningful for me since I’ve been called as a prophet and gifted as a teacher. Saul was personally called by Christ. Then he spent fourteen years in fellowship with Him before he submitted his revelation to some of the original apostles in Jerusalem (Gal. 2:1), which they acknowledged. But it wasn’t until after Paul, obviously gifted as a teacher, came into fellowship with other prophets and teachers that he himself became a “sent one,” an apostle. (The term apostle refers to one who is sent away or sent from, a messenger, emissary, or ambassador.)
Apostolic communities are not born out of apostles; they are born out of prophets and teachers. From my experience, it seems fairly consistent that apostles are sent on a mission which they tend to try to pull others into, while prophets are on a mission to help you find or stay on the mission that God has personally called you to. Teachers want to keep you grounded and anchored, steady and true. If you feel called to ministry, I believe you will benefit greatly by having relationships with prophets and teachers who will speak into your life!
Jeremy Caris is the founder and president of Caris Ministries. Since he is called as a prophet and gifted as a teacher, much of his focus involves equipping believers to hear, know, and follow God in their own daily experience. He teaches the foundational truth of the Word with simple clarity, while revealing deep things of the spirit in practical ways. He has the unique ability to demystify the supernatural side of real relationship with a living God and make it an embraceable and accessible reality for all believers. Jeremy has been married to his best friend, Mandy Caris, for twenty years, and is the proud father of two boys.