I have been mediating on some things recently after reading a post by my friend Jim Becton. I know we have the right message but it seems we are having a hard time getting the structure really set to grow and advance. There is always a given message, then a structure exists for that message to be demonstrated, then a culture forms around the message and structure. The structure does not necessarily mean a physical building but more so a community or an outlet for the “doing”. These then creates a hidden outcome which we call culture.
Today in Christdom we have a congregation setting and an Ecclesia (Biblical Church) setting existing at the same time. Traditionally the congregational structure exists for the people to serve it. The ecclesia exists to serve people. Traditional builds is life around the congregational setting and the Ecclesia builds its life around equipping people to do works of service as weekly missionaries into the world setting.
However, what has occurred is most Christians ministering inside the four walls (programs) while the unbelieving world outside is ignored. Apostolic churches will have teaching and some training, but their mindset is to go outside the walls to demonstrate Jesus in all walks of life. They in essence are emerging kingdom centers, a local community, a congregation ‘called out’ [ekklesia] of the world. A community that has decided to live in the power and values of Jesus [Acts 2:42-47].
A kingdom center looks different than an apostolic church. It encompasses a much larger area of influence than a single local church meeting. It would be a regional center where individual local meetings can come together in true Holy Spirit unity to demonstrate true Christian unity of the Body of Christ to the unbelieving world by a community living out the power and values of Jesus.
What happens at a kingdom center is the following.
- Receive continual prophetic revelation for what God is doing and wants to do in the region. This helps prevent stagnation.
- To bring in five-fold ministries, and insights from around the nation and world to maintain knowledge of what God is doing in other places; to bring teaching and instruction the Holy Spirit is revealing.
- To combine resources for large works that God would like to do in the region. These works would be beyond the resources of a single meeting.
- To train and send out apostolic teams to local meetings in the region, state and nation when a need arises.
- To be a place where Christian music and art can be brought together and demonstrated to the world.
- To be a house of worship where Jesus is exalted; where prophetic songs are birthed; where singers, musicians and worship leaders can be trained and sent out.
A kingdom center is really a stewardship center that serves a region. It has a visionary apostolic leader appointed as oversight not of people, but gifting in people. Along with prophetic gifting and insights a team ministry is formed that actually becomes a stewardship center of how Gods is forming the kingdom over a region. This stewardship is walked out by:
- As a hub interconnecting house churches, home meetings, churches, networks, ministries and saints with the city and regional Church.
- As a training center encouraging, supporting, and equipping church planters, strategic leaders, and intercessors representing every sphere of society and the five-fold ministry within a specific geographic region.
- As a strategic operations center communicating, coordinating, and facilitating the gathering of spiritual intelligence and supporting the strategic councils formed to represent the 7 spheres of society and the five-fold ministry.
- As a resource center where the gifts, talents, abilities, and anointings in people are assessed and deployed into their community.
- As a supply center where resources are received and distributed.
- To facilitate the mobilization of people and the implementation and coordination of the plans developed by their councils.
- To connect para-church ministries, including but not limited to healing rooms and crisis pregnancy centers, with the Church in the city/region.
- To assist in any capacity that supports the Church’s role in presenting the gospel of the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ in character and power.
A kingdom center acts outs its assignment by instruction and equipping people into greater revelation and understanding of identity and purpose. Most kingdom centers do not want to pastor people or micro-manage things, or control people, but see a larger picture of what is needing done due to apostolic and prophetic insights they have been graced with. The structure built from the community exist to:
- To established the five-fold ministries, to equip, empower and release the people of God into their missional callings.
- To see the call of God in both the church gathered [Sunday] and the church scattered [Monday – Saturday] are in mission. Mission shapes their reason for existence, their ministry training and their lifestyle through the week 24/7.
- There is a dynamic engagement between the people of God in mission and the recognition of market place ministries and the commissioning of people into their callings and destiny.
- The apostolic center is a teaching/training centre networking with other churches, which are like minded, forming a learning community. Those churches are regiona and national.
- A focus on the Kingdom of God – the declaration and establishment of the king and His kingdom in the world – the ever present mission context – through the commissioned people of God.
- A focus on overall assignment being completed in a region
So within the context of message forming community establishing culture and the aspect of stewardship of the things of the kingdom, every kingdom center is formed and birthed with a distinct missionary call, grace and ability to affect change in a region. Most Kingdom Centers emerge from an apostolic church that has developed a fuller Kingdom mindset. There are some Kingdom centers that have been established for the set purpose of being a center within a region not emerging from a church. This occurs mainly by relationship and authority that has been demonstrated. Many Prayer Centers have Kingdom center dynamics but most have no leadership training or five fold developments, vision other than prayer, or other dynamics of a true Kingdom center.
We at the BASE emerged from an apostolic church reaching Kingdom fullness and transitioned into a regional Kingdom Center. When we reached being a kingdom center within a region of our state we were most effective and had great influences.
But now we have transitioned by a relocation of our center to our capital. This type of transition poses many different challenges. First we carry with us an already established authority along with other dynamics. This means we are not a new work but already established. But for those who did not see the years of process it is hard for them to accept the depth of what is represented. It also is hard to portray this to others in a short or even singular encounter with the Kingdom Center. For us we have a rich proven accomplishment that God done through us that most have never seen and may not even hear of.
A second challenge in a relocation is not making assumptions of past accomplishments are to be duplicated in a new location. There are dynamics but maybe not all things are to be duplicated. A couple examples are our School of Ministry which operated 5 days week, 3 hours a day, 9 months. We had over 45 full time students being taught over 550 of apostolic instruction. Today we have 2 hours per week. This is a big shift. Moving from a small town to large city shifts time. Where many people’s lives flowed around the ministry in the smaller population, in a larger setting time is divided by travel and distance and distractions so involvement is different.
One thing as I look at the overall missional call upon us is there is a greater authority and grace resting upon us than we realize. For God to relocate us over rising up a center tells me many things. It shows the apostolic mindset present within a city. It also shows the desire of God to bring certain dynamics that must be needed to a city. The thing we have learned is that whether people participate with what is offered, or even want to recognize it, does not diminish our existence, what we have to offer, or assignment as a Kingdom Center.
In the past these Kingdom Centers were Celtic (or Irish) monasteries.