MINISTRY OF PROCLAMATION
By Bishop Randy Barnett
PREPARING THE NOVICE PROCLAIMER
Who will stand before the saints and proclaim the Word of the Lord? It is the Elder. The Elder is assigned the task of
proclamation. The apostle Paul delivers a strong admonition to the men and women who are assigned by God to lead the
Body of Christ, and that is to “rightly divide the word of truth.” (II Timothy 2:15)
The ministry of proclamation assumes that the truth will be handled properly in obedience to this command. This is the
reason why the proclaimer of Truth must first of all be learned and mature in Holy Scripture. A fundamental level of
competency must be soundly in place prior to standing before others to proclaim anything from the Word of God.
Perhaps this is at least one of the reasons why Paul warns of placing a novice into a place of spiritual authority before he
or she is adequately prepared and seasoned. (I Timothy 5:22) The pulpit is no place for trial and error or for the
exploration of truth, both of which the novice proclaimer will do. The one who is tested and proven in the Word of God
will be the one who stands before the saints to proclaim truth and only the truth.
The Spirit of God can use anyone publicly in the delivery of spiritual gifts and to speak words of encouragement and to
give personal testimonies, all of which edify the Body. But actual teaching and preaching are reserved only for those
anointed to perform these sacred duties. Proper instruction in these things will go far in maintaining doctrinal
correctness and divine order in your worship services.
THE FIVE MINISTRY OFFICES.
Jesus has raised up five ministry offices to lead His Church, as we know. Let us explore how each of the five ministry
offices is used by God to assist in the development of a new candidate for the ministry of proclamation.
1) APOSTLES. It is the apostle who has the primary task of identifying one who is called by God as a proclaimer, and most
often it is the apostle who determines the readiness of a proclaimer for actual Kingdom service in the pulpit. These tasks
come with the specific apostolic anointing. We know this because of Paul’s writings in the “pastoral epistles.” [I Timothy,
II Timothy, Titus] He is anointed by God to identify candidates for ministry and to equip them for the ministry of
proclamation in the Kingdom of God. This truth is seen when he dispatches young Titus to the Isle of Crete with specific
orders to appoint Elders. [Titus 1:5] Titus was not an apostle. His assignment, however, came with the apostolic anointing
of his spiritual father Paul who was an apostle. His apostolic anointing qualified him for this divine task of selection and
appointment. This preparation for Kingdom service is certainly a coordinated effort by all five ministry offices but usually
the apostle’s unique anointing will spearhead the effort.
2) PROPHETS. Prophets are always useful in Kingdom work. Their unique spiritual eyesight into the spiritual realm and
their hyper-sensitivity to the things of the Spirit are necessary to help prepare the new recruit proclaimer for Kingdom
service. The prophet imparts spiritual vision to the candidate, especially as the student watches how spiritual gifts and
power operate, which will be needed in his ministry in the future. I believe prophets possess a stronger anointing for
intercessory prayer, for spiritual gifts, and for spiritual warfare than do the other ministry offices. Because of this, their
input in this training of the new recruit is vital for his ministerial success.
3) EVANGELISTS. Evangelists carry that powerful divine magnetism that draws the lost to Jesus Christ and therefore into
salvation. The new recruit must possess at least some measure of this anointing (even if he is not called to the
evangelistic office) since he will always be in contact with the lost. The evangelist imparts this unique anointing for the
Gospel to the candidate to be able to proclaim the Gospel adequately and to produce lasting fruit for the glory of Jesus
4) PASTORS. Pastors are the primary caregivers of the flock of Jesus Christ. The new recruit must be under the watchful
eye of a shepherd, the one whom Jesus has appointed to grow him up spiritually and to help ready him for Kingdom
service. During the candidate’s training season it is vital for him to be in a local church family. The pastor is the primary
discipler of this person; he lays the solid doctrinal foundation upon which the proclaimer will develop and mature.
5) TEACHERS. Teachers possess the most powerful insights into Truth of all the offices. Those who stand as teachers will
deliver Godly instruction coupled with their anointed impartation to help ready the candidate for the ministry of
proclamation. The depths of the Word of God will be revealed to the candidate through the teacher as he reveals how to
study Scripture and glean from it all that is there. It will usually be from the teacher the candidate will begin to build his
own ability to proclaim Truth.
God holds the apostle responsible for all that happens within his measure of sphere; therefore, it is imperative for the
apostle to approach very carefully the process of selection and release of proclaimers into Kingdom service and only
under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This is a most holy endeavor, carrying with it the potential of great profit for the
Kingdom or great harm to the purposes of God.
ADMONITION TO THE NEW RECRUIT.
My word to a new recruit to the ministry of proclamation is this:
It is wise to listen to the apostle and humbly accept his
assessment of your readiness for the pulpit. Realize that his
anointing from God qualifies him accordingly.
For the new recruit to launch out into pulpit ministry too quickly is shear folly and will result in disasters or failure. The
new minister does not need any more failures than he probably will encounter anyway. And, most certainly, a novice
proclaimer places the saints in spiritual peril who will sit at his feet to receive his instruction. These are two good
reasons why it is good not to enter the pulpit prematurely. God speaking through His apostle will assure that the timing
ONE FINAL THOUGHT.
There is much wisdom in knowing one’s own limitations. Here I speak of such things as the 1) limits of knowledge, 2) one’
s spiritual maturity level, and 3) one’s level of anointing. This counsel is especially beneficial to the minister of
proclamation. This is a safeguard against false doctrine, deception, pride, and confusion from the pulpit, all of which we
must be careful to avoid.
I remember well the thoughts I had while playing high school football. I was a freshman at the time and I really believed I
should be playing on the varsity team. My coach thought otherwise and I did not like his assessment of my ability and
readiness to perform at the highest level of competition. He was right. I was wrong. The problem was that I did not
discern my own limitations. The same thing can happen to a new recruit into ministry. Everything within him shouts, “Let’
s go!” However, he is not ready for the highest level of performance. He must remind himself that it is through faith and
patience that one eats of the good of the land.
Know where you are right now. Understand your own levels of maturity and knowledge, and operate within the
boundaries imposed by those levels. That is not to say you must remain at that level, certainly not! God intends for you to
grow, grow, grow, and keep on growing. And at each level He will open the right doors for you that correspond to your
level of faith and knowledge and anointing at the time. Trust God and He will exalt you at the proper time. Amen.
Questions on Lesson #6
1) What is Paul’s admonition to every proclaimer?
2) What assumption does the ministry of proclamation make?
3) How important is it for someone to possess a fundamental level of competency in the Word of God before
he or she ministers in the pulpit? Why?
4) The pulpit is no place for the exploration of truth? Why is this true?
5) Explain briefly how the five ministry offices join together to prepare the novice proclaimer for Kingdom service.
6) Give two good reasons why it is unwise for someone to enter into the ministry of proclamation too soon?
7) Who does God ultimately hold responsible for the selection and preparation of someone for ministry?
8) Why is it wise to know one’s limits of knowledge?
9) Why is it wise to know one’s spiritual maturity level?
10) Why is it wise to know one’s level of anointing?