The prophet’s ministry in the New Testament era is similar to that of the Old Testament era: to proclaim God’s Word, edifies, exhorts, strengthens, and comforts believers.
- Judas and Silas, also being prophets themselves, encouraged and strengthened the brethren with a lengthy message. - Acts 15:32
- But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation. - 1 Corinthians 14:3
The prophet’s ministry also included the ordaining of other elders, specifically other prophets, such as Timothy.
- Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery. - 1 Timothy 4:14
- For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift (chárisma) of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. - 2 Timothy 1:6
The gift (chárisma), in 2 Timothy 1:16, referred to here is not a spiritual gift, since the Holy Spirit gives them at salvation, not by the preaching of the Word or ordination. The gift relates to the office to which he was called. The gift of God is synonymous with the gift of Christ (cf. Ephesians 4:11). Timothy was to devote himself to the ministries of a prophet: reading, teaching, preaching, reproving, rebuking, and exhorting.
- give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching. - 1 Timothy 4:13
- preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. - 2 Timothy 4:2
Those who served in the office of the prophet exhort or edify people through the proclamation (i.e., telling-forth) of the Word. Some are teaching prophets who teach weekly in a particular congregation (i.e., a bishop, pastor, or another teaching elder). Others are traveling prophets, in that they teach from church to church (i.e., an itinerant preacher) or went town to town making disciples (i.e., a church planter).