It is commonly said in men’s conferences that everyone should have a “Paul,” which is a spiritual father; a “Timothy,” someone that you mentor personally and in ministry; and a “Barnabas,” a friend in the ministry. I, without a doubt, agreed with this assessment. Spiritual fathers are crucial in their leading to their sons; having a “Timothy” also helps us to stay focused on giving to others. The “Barnabas’,” in ministry, are the co-laborers that we directly, or perhaps indirectly, labor with. I strongly believe that this precious balance will help us very effectively in our personal survival in ministry. However, today I want to share something that God placed in my spirit specifically, for leaders.
I am observing, over and over, how leaders, at the end of their ministry, or even at their own lives; find themselves without a successor. For ministers that have been laboring for decades, this is indeed a tragedy; it should not be. Many make the devastating mistake of judging their sons based on what they (the fathers) know now and not based on how little they (fathers) knew when they started. In other words, they are refusing to give out the same grace God gave them when they started. Therefore, their ministry stands in danger of extinction.
Moving forward, we also need to take three other characters in the Bible and attach them to our responsibilities as leaders. The Holy Spirit spoke to me about the need for every leader to have a Joshua, a Solomon and an Elisha.
Joshua was the successor of Moses. Joshua represented the leader that actually led the children of Israel into the Promise Land. We need a leader that constantly challenges the people into their own promised-land. To go after our promised-land means that we will have to face the giants that stand in the way of our destiny. This leader must be a man of faith, such as Joshua. This Joshua is a very special man, vital in every ministry; this man would stand against all odds and declare the Word of God as truth. This man will believe when everybody else is afraid. This man will stand for the truth and not for the popular majority. Let us remember that outside of Joshua, only Caleb believed that it was possible to conquer the Promise Land, even as that represented fighting giants.
We also stand in great need of a Solomon, someone that can lead the people of God into peace and prosperity. We need the peace of God that transcends all understanding (Philippians 4:7). We also need the prosperity that God has established for His people. The Bible tells us in Third John 1:2
“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”
The people of God are in desperate need of prosperity; not the garbage that many are teaching out there, but prosperity in all of the areas of our life: that includes our health and the prosperity of our soul (emotional maturity). Salomon was the successor of David and he was full of wisdom. No other man, other than Christ, has walked on this earth with such wisdom. Israel never before and has yet to experience such prosperity. Beloved, many of our ministries are going under financially and many other areas because of the lack of such Godly wisdom. The Wisdom of Solomon was such that it literally paralyzed the enemies for forty years. Contrary to his father David, Israel experience peace.
With a Joshua and a Salomon, a ministry will be in good shape; however, we must have an Elisha in place. No ministry will be able to survive without embracing the Prophetic voice of an Elisha. In fact, no ministry will be able to survive without these three voices in place. The Prophetic voice is crucial as it edifies and encourages the church. The prophetic voice will bring out the destiny that people have in God and it will be such that it will silence the lying voices of the enemy that are keeping God’s people bound. Many people are cursed because they believe the lie from hell; it will be the prophetic anointing that will come to establish truth and declare God’s people free.
Beloved, dear leader; for your ministry to continue, more than your faithfulness will be needed. We thank God for your faithfulness in terms of what you needed to do personally, but you must also be faithful in identifying, equipping and sending out the people that God has given you to pastor. I pray that God will open your eyes for you to identify now that you are alive, who is your Joshua, who is your Solomon and who is your Elisha?