Imagine

Imagine what it would be like to work and worship as part of a church functioning according to the Theocratic Biblical model, with a Ministry/Leadership Team of Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers.


Working Ministers;
Team Leadership


Imagine what it would be like to work in ministry in such a church. Not having to be all things to all people at all times. The pleasure of being expected to do only that for which you were called, gifted, and equipped. How easy it would be to work in such a stress free environment. Who but God could have thought of it? Who but man would resist it? Who indeed?

Apostolic Accountability

Imagine working under
an Apostolic leader
whose main function,
in fact whose primary joy,
was to help you find
and fulfill
your unique place
in the Body of Christ.

Imagine working under an Apostolic leader whose main function, in fact whose primary joy, was to help you find and fulfill your unique place in the Body of Christ. Not someone with a job to fill needing you to shape yourself to fit that position, but a person whose only desire for you being that you be the best "you" you can possibly be.

Imagine being "covered" by a leader and a team who would not just have licensed you, ordained you, and let you go, but actually being accountable to others in ministry who could keep you balanced, safe, and on track. They would have the unlimited and unrestrained privilege of speaking truth into your life, both in encouragement and correction. Imagine the problems that you could be spared, the potential that could be developed. Imagine how much you would grow.

Working Together

Imagine this Apostolic Team having a beginning of the week church leadership meeting. As they sought God concerning any present problems, or future direction, the distinctive point of view of each person would be taken into account, and shown equal respect. Each team member would be able to contribute what he or she felt the Lord had laid upon his or her hearts.

  • The Apostles would give their perspective on the present state of the church and what they believe God is saying. They would tell with whom they were networking, what the Lord is doing on a regional or even national level, and how this local church fits into that.
  • The Prophets would share whatever prophetic insights the Lord is incubating within their spirit. Do they have any "Word" that needs to be preached to the entire church? If so, when might they have that Word ready to share? Any recent dreams, visions, or revelations that could give insight to the discussions of the day?
  • The Evangelists would share the status of any evangelistic outreaches.
  • The Pastors would tell with whom they are working, and if any problems need to be addressed.
  • The Teachers would share the themes in the Word God is laying upon their hearts, and what they believe the Lord is saying.

As the leadership meeting progressed it might also become clear who was to do the pulpit ministry the following Sunday, a decision always open to change as the Spirit led.

Do What You Love

Imagine. . . knowing
that all you have to do
. . . for the rest of your life
is only what the Lord
would have you to do,
nothing more, nothing less.

Imagine leaving that meeting and knowing that all you have to do for the rest of the day, week, month - even for the rest of your life - is only what the Lord would have you to do, nothing more, nothing less. Free to fulfil your heart's desire. Free to do what you love. Oh, what joy! Apostles doing whatever apostles do. Prophets going off alone to spend as much time in prayer as they want. Evangelists finding some sinners to reach out to. Pastors ministering to the sheep. Teachers going to spend time in the Word, digging, researching, analysing and dissecting.

Imagine the freedom! No more the pressure of Evangelists trying desperately to "pastor" anyone. No more some poor Pastor struggling to evangelize or be prophetic. No more the Prophets having the torture of spending time rubbing shoulders with the sheep. In fact, no more having to spend eighty percent of your time having to be who you are not, doing things you hate, with only twenty percent pursuing your primary passion. And no more having to come up with something new to preach each and every Sunday. There are four others to whom God can speak. Imagine how much more balance and health all of this would bring into the life of the church.


Worshipping Members;
Trained to Work


Imagine what it would be like to be a worshipping member of such a church. You would not be expected to be "jack of all trades, masters of none," any more than those in "full time ministry." Instead, you would be directly under the leadership of an individual who understands your unique calling, and whose ministry function it is to train and equip you to fulfill the destiny for which God has designed you. Teachers would be leading teachers, Prophets nurturing prophets, Pastors guiding pastors in the care and nurture of the whole church. They could help form you with guilt free motivation because they themselves would not be on the receiving end of the same. All of this, while at the same time having the balancing influence of the full ministry team.

Safety

Imagine how safe such a church would be. If one of the leadership team got out of line, or abusive in any way, the rest of the team would be there to immediately correct the situation. If a "special speaker" came through you would know before hand that they had to pass muster with the whole Team in order to be granted the privilege of the pulpit. After the first meeting, if a team member sensed that things were going in an unhealthy direction, the situation could be examined by all five in a team meeting the next morning, and a word of correction given.

Necessary Changes

All of this sounds wonderful, but I suppose it would also mean giving up some things.

  • The mentality of the "one man show" would have to die. There may be leaders with a more public role than others, but the church would be lead by a team. And no longer could we use the word "Pastor" to describe "the person leading the church."
  • We would have to adjust to a more healthy spiritual diet. Imagine how much better the preaching would be since each person in ministry would be expected to minister publicly only when they had something fresh from the Lord. Gone would be the forced and uninspired I-sure-hope-I-get-anointed-because-I-have-to-preach-something sermons! Gone would be those moments when some frustrated "Pastor" vented about how the congregation is not doing enough, working hard enough, and giving enough. People who "thrive" on a diet of regular pulpit abuse would just have to worship elsewhere if they want to continue to "enjoy" the occasional whipping. And gone would be those moments of flakiness, when some visiting speaker fooled and fleeced the congregation, and got away with it.
  • Those "in ministry" might have to get used to being a small healthy fish in a large pond, rather than a large dysfunctional overstressed fish in a small pond. They would have to give up their ubiquitous titles, stop feeding their martyr complex on a daily diet of guilt and shame, and learn to enjoy life and ministry again. They would have to get used to only saying something when they really had something to say. And they certainly would have to adjust to being truly accountable, and under real "covering." Oh yes, and one more thing - they would have to surrender the unhealthy habit of always being in control.
  • Both pulpit and pew would have to adjust to sharing their worship and work space with all kinds of new people, for such a church would be sure to grow. We would be hearing very little about "financial need." The church would be more healthy, and healthy Christians give.

Imagine working and worshipping in such a church. What a wonderful, healthy, and blessed place that would be. Imagine . . . it just might work!



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