Sufferings

I have had many people in the last few days tell me how appreciated they are of my wife and me not giving up when so many have abandoned us along the way after so much invested into them. They can’t believe we are still going on and still investing so willingly. I quit along the way several times but I didn’t give up. LOL. First they can’t believe people walked away from so much and second they can’t believe we are still willing. Leaving a ministry is not what it is about but breaking covenant is what it really is. With so many leaders this past week telling me of lifelong investments to only see their spiritual children leave, is heartbreaking. But maybe the most heartbreaking is that only the spiritual father’s hearts are broken and it seems to not have any effect upon heartbreak on the spiritual children’s side. They take lightly all that was invested. They forget they will one day give account for that investment. Now that is really heartbreaking indeed.

Some have said they see it as a ploy from the enemy along the way to bring discouragement and to make us quite so we would not be available to help so many leaders. For the most part the ones most appreciate are leaders going through the same thing, who have no one to talk to and see our example of tenacity in the midst of broke relationships, covenants and even desertion.

But I would be lying to say that I’m not getting tired, not discouraged, but tired by it all. It has taken a toll but has not dimensioned my drive and I won’t let it. I am so glad the Lord told me “No more investing where there won’t be any return”. This has made me slow down and see who really wants my time who appreciates it. Who really wants the input and who should I really invest into. It is pre-qualifying before any real investment is made. For some whom come across my path they say they want it but in reality once they are kind of put on hold to see if they will pursue I have found out they are not real serious. But for others the heartfelt appreciation reveals who to really put effort into.

We have a prophetic word for this year of prodigals returning. I believe this word to be true. I also know it does not mean all the spiritual kids who once were around will return. I wish it did because a trained army would be in place. It does mean a new influx of people who will be positioned to receive from spiritual fathers. It also means they will come in spiritually spent from wrong focuses and in dire need of investment. Many of them will be most appreciative of that investment.

So for the many leaders who have invested to many sons and daughters only to see it squandered on worldliness, there is a group of people God has just for you. All the investment was not wasted but perfected you to invest at a higher level. It has enabled you to look at your motives. You have safeguarded your heart. It also has revealed to you the gift of God you really are and the great value you have inside. I would rather 10 hungry hearts, ten hearts willing, ten hearts already convinced, ten heart who would do something with the investment than a multitude who give lip service but their heart is far from it.

Right now I’m actually looking for the next bunch of new spiritual sons and daughters to start the process in. The thing different now is the revelation to impart is so much higher than times past and the intentions of God so much more serious about it. These next sons and daughters will have a greater potential. If your one of those reading this and you are serious then you need to get a hold of me.

Is Your Spiritual Community Wrong?

I wanted to put something together after several pieces came to me this week from different places. I want to talk about spiritual community. The BASE is apostolic driven and hence a LARGE part of apostolic is relationships. As a kingdom center we are really a relationship center for those doing kingdom work. Hence if you are not doing kingdom work and just going through life you might not fully fit into the BASE. Second if you are not into relationships or do not like fellowship you won’t fit at all. These two things may limit who wants to participate fully.

But the relationships at an apostolic center are different than a Sunday church.  In the typical church the relationships are about doing community life, while anything that is apostolic will be about spiritual life. Community life is about surviving life and having family. There is nothing wrong with the focuses of a local church as they are foundational. But a kingdom center focus is much deeper, to create victorious warriors and bring the kingdom to the earth.

Spiritual life community develops strategy out of relationships with each other and those relationships do a vast amount of perfecting as “Iron sharpens iron”.  Spiritual life communities also have spiritual fathering by investing and life partnering instead of life instruction coming by teaching only. The community is made to mobilize individuals to fulfill calling and bring the dreams and visions in their hearts to come to pass through opportunities and responsibilities. While a typical church life is made to serve the vision of the local gathering, a kingdom center is made to serve the vision and dream in the hearts of those gathering.

Now with our worship team coming back from a conference were spiritual community was talked about, it was discussed that because people do not fit your community or come and leave it, does not make the community you built wrong, it just means they don’t fit. I have had several national leaders I have discussed this with tell me what you are teaching or doing is not wrong, the people attending are not willing to act on what is being given. That helped but did not explain the why. Now I think I see the why.

As I look back at 20 years of ministry and those who have come and gone, the pattern seems to hold true. People left because they wanted community life relationships over spiritual life relationships. People left because they did not want deep fellowship. And people left because of being unable to relate because they were not doing kingdom work and were unwilling to fulfill calling or the dream assignment God had given to them for their life.  For those building true apostolic spiritual community keep building what you have started. It’s not wrong, it is from God. People just have to mature yet to fully participate.

Laodiceans

Revelation 3:17–18 (KJV 1900) — 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

 I find it hard to believe so many are in the organized church and are living below what could be a life of true joy and glory in God. The eternal purpose of God was put in place before the earth was formed and man was made to both have fellowship with God and to fulfill this eternal purpose he created us for. Why do so many not live any greater depth of Christian conviction and even many seem to once have the fire in their bones have fallen away and or fallen short of any heartfelt desire to truly know him? Past success, knowledge and relationship does not guarantee future positioning!

We do know it is the last days not because of wrong eschatology but because as time continues to unfold as we measure it, we are getting closer and closer to a new age invading this present age. The veil between the realms of what we know and understand and the supernatural realm of Gods eternity are thinning on a daily basis. This thinning could be quickened on our side if we would decide to press through our unbelief and begin to live as he said we should.

Yet the question remains of the great falling away. Many are thinking they have such knowledge of God but are not living the life of God. Many are in self deceived and even delusional state and vain imaginations saying God said, when in reality God did not say. The worst deception is not from the corruption that surrounds us but from our own unwillingness to not face the change required to answer convictions call. This self deceived state makes us reprobate and of no real use to our father in heaven, his plan, eternal purpose, or kingdom. We in our own strength have made ourselves of no true value to the one who paid such a high price for our freedom and for it to be on display before all people and nations.

The end result seems to be a self induced belief system that is disconnected from full and absolute truth found in Gods word. It also has breed confusion within the unbelievers heart of what is to be embraced and what is to be denied. We have traded the comfort of our own deception and the riches of worldliness and its standards of knowledge over the freedom of God expression and his eternal riches.

I fear many in that day will cry Lord Lord did we not cast out devils and speak with new tongues and do all these wonderful things for you. Yet those things are not things coming from our own ability but as the spirit wills. They are borrowed and we only stewarding them. God will want an account of our stewardship, but more so He will want an account of our relationship with him to know how we were to steward these things. Many will not be the Bride of Christ found in intimacy. Many will not rule and region as they have not even ruled and reigned their own lives. Many will be cast out thinking their exploits of yielding to the spirit will guarantee them position.

If you have fears then you have not been illuminated. If you are anxious then you are not found in him. If your faith is not creating then the doubt of the world has become your portion. Only those whose hearts and motives are pure will enter in.  Those who did not love this world or their lives but saw themselves as foreigners and outcast of an unredeemed world. Citizens of a far better place. Ones engaged in the business of a king and His kingdom. These will be the ones chosen in the eternal purpose of God for great pleasures of eternal friendship and privilege of heavens vastness to participate in. Will we be numbered in the redeemed? Will all our works be burned in the fire and tried wanting? Let the Spirit of the Lord illuminate your heart and life with his illumination Glory and let him show you what true freedom really is.

Kingdom Discipling

ImageHere is the forward of my book at the printers…..

I wrote this book because I have sensed a decline of Biblical culture in the Church. For the sake of being relevant and culturally acceptable, we have compromised our original culture as the Church and actually become irrelevant. We have moved from a Church in America that once affected culture and maintained its morality to becoming a group who claims relevance but actually has little to offer and is largely ridiculed and/or ignored.

For the sake of numbers, we have become seeker sensitive and morally soft. We no longer speak with outrage at injustice but silently stand by and watch as society’s culture is now dictating to us how we spend our time, efforts and money. We have become a subculture within a culture that has no voice.

Without a cultural shift in how we disciple people in their relationship with Christ, we will continue to produce what we currently have as weak believers, a few disciples and few true authentic Christians. We have no one to blame for the weakness of the American Church but ourselves. We are responsible for what we have both allowed and created. What we have is admittedly broken at least by those with real discernment. The question is why we are still doing what we know produces no results?

Why are we building so laboriously what the next generation does not want to inherit and will actually tear down and build over? In the mean time, we are wasting valuable energy and efforts and will lose the cultural war as we wait to cycle another generation through a process that is unfulfilling. There has to be a deep repentance for what we have become and a return to true discipleship. We have to get away from the “Club Med” concepts we have grown comfortable with.

It will require us getting into people’s lives and speaking what is needed to be spoken instead of what they want to hear. We may not have mass numbers and multitudes of followers but we will have solid world changers and influencers of cultural thinking formed.

The Kingdom is not about membership but relationship. The Kingdom is not about salvation but Lordship.  The Kingdom is about moving people in a strategic manner from being a new believer, to being a disciple, to being a Christian.

In this book, I look at this premise and how we can move people and some of the elements needed that we currently are not producing. It is not an extensive process manual, but gives the elements needed to transition and produce real Christian Disciples who are willing to lay their lives down for the King and His Kingdom.  We also will look at what has affected us and eroded the correct culture we should be producing.

This book is not for the faint of heart and for those not willing to approach new concepts with an open mind for change. For those who are willing to embrace this, they will see how Kingdom discipling can have long term cultural effects. May you read with an open mind and allow the Holy Spirit to give you the Spirit of understanding to embrace apostolic grace and Kingdom dynamics.

Non Spirit Filled Living, The Life of Ease

I have noticed something and have been trying to sort it out recently. There seems to be so many people who once were Spirit filled and living the Spirit filled life who have left this life and now are in non Spirit filled environments for their spiritual growth. This, to me is baffling to say the least. I guess if you never really experienced the Spirit filled life fully, and it was more or less a function instead of a daily lifestyle, it would be easy to walk away. But what a person is walking away from is a relationship with the Holy Spirit, a person!

The Holy Spirit is a real person just like Jesus. The problem is we have looked at the Holy Spirit as a function we decide to engage into, instead of relationship with the personhood of the Holy Spirit. I believe those who walked away did not see what they desired, not knowing the ways of God are only found as the Holy Spirit speaks and instructs us concerning them as we are in relationship with Him. We today are repeating what the Romans and Pagans did in the past; we are questioning the doctrine of the Holy Spirit not realizing we are really questioning the existence of a person of the deity of God. If not careful, the next step is to question salvation and then the existence of God!

The Romans and Pagans claimed the Holy Spirit was just the influence of God and not a person. That what you saw and experienced were only influences that came because of a belief system. Today many believe in the Holy Spirit and even the Spirit’s activities but don’t believe in the relationship with the Holy Spirit. A lot of the Church today still holds to this belief. It allows us to have a mindset of the possibilities of God not being ruled out, but no real activation of relationship on a daily basis.

 One of the more vocal opponents in the past was Arius, who taught the Holy Spirit was only the “exerted energy of God” realized in a created world; his view was rejected at the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325. Again a lot of the Church believes this, a power not the personhood of the Holy Spirit. Even though there is an energy that is released, it is not released based on our faith as much as the relationship of the Holy Spirit. The relationship like all relationships has energy in it. What we fail to recognize is all the activities of energy we want to enjoy are released as the relationship is engaged. If we deny this person of the Deity, we actually are denying the portion of God that gives us life. We get eternal life from the Son of God but we get spiritual life now from the Holy Spirit. Could the result of denying the personhood of the Holy Spirit which brings life, be associated with bringing the results of abortion in our nation?

We are in the same place again as the Romans and Pagans in our culture. We also are in the same place questioning the Holy Spirit doctrines? We either see the Holy Spirit as an influence, or a power. It seems the things so many desire to “see” or “experience” fall into either one of these categories of thinking. We seem to think the Holy Spirit is there for our entertainment or at our beck and call. When in reality, only a person can be grieved or can know the thoughts of God as they search out the deep things of God. Perhaps the reason we don’t see the things we desire is we have never really made room in our own lives first and in our corporate gatherings for a person over a function.

The name of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament for Spirit is Ruach meaning ‘wind or breath’. In the Old Testament, He is referred to as the Spirit of God, or the Spirit of the Lord, My Spirit or just the Holy Spirit (Psalm 51:11, Isaiah 63:10, 11).  In the New Testament, the Greek word for Spirit is pneu’ma. Pneuma, which like the Hebrew, is derived from the meaning of wind or breath. The Holy Spirit is also called as the Comforter or Helper, translated from the Greek word, paravklhtoß.  Parakletos, meaning ‘one who comes alongside to plead the case before the judge’ (John 14:16, 26; 15:26). He is also called the Spirit of Jesus (Phil. 1:19). This breath is living inside of us. It is the life flow of God and needs to have expression also.

We have relationship with the Son and through the Son have forgiveness of sin and become children of God. Through the Spirit, we experience sanctification and the transformation of our lives. I recently heard someone pray ‘God, help us to repent’. Another time, ‘God help me love you more’. Both are requests based on a non Spirit filled life. A life that only has relationship with the Son, believing salvation should fix the areas requiring sanctification when in reality; it is the Holy Spirit’s role to help empower us to change. It is being responsibility for your own heart and not putting the lack in how you respond on God not changing you!

Perhaps what many are seeking is to not deal with transformation and change, but are still hoping God will suddenly transform them like when they were first born again. That was freedom from sin and deep forgiveness was experienced but sanctification is an ongoing process. It is easy to live the Christian life without the Holy Spirit’s activity because nothing is really required. Christian life is only living by set standards and these happen to be Christian, not another religious belief. Those standards without the Holy spirits activity borders on works and being under the law.

Living a spiritual life will require relationship not only with the Son but the Holy Spirit as well. Without the Holy Spirit, there is no leading into truth, which causes change. No sanctification which requires deep dealing. No moving in the gifts which requires responsibility upon us for our future. No relationship means I don’t have to cultivate that relationship. It also means I set my own belief system and bring my own interpretation of the scriptures to my life. I can only come to one conclusion, those who are not living a full Spirit filled life are still at the believer stage of their Christian growth and are in need of transitioning into being a disciple (Disciples are trained by the Holy Spirit’s activity) and eventually a Christian (one who does the works of Jesus). Looking outwardly, we see most of the Church is in need of this type of relationship with the Holy Spirit.

The scripture says in John 3:3Except a man be born again, he cannot “see” the kingdom of God”. That is the Son’s role to open us into that realm and give us access to the Father. But then in John 3:5, it says “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God”. The Spirit is our guide and the one leading us. Not in some super-hyped spiritual way, but in a relationship of being alongside us. Without the life of the Spirit, we cannot be Kingdom people, for it is Spirit filled living and not having knowledge about God or memorized ways of living, which all have elements of the law and Old Testament modeling, that will produce life.

So my concluding thoughts are that people who have left Spirit filled living never really understood it as relationship. They have walked away from a large portion of how Jesus prayed to the Father to leave the Comforter. You see, until He prayed, this was not the plan of the Father. But our need justified the Holy Spirit staying. I believe people are saved, yes. I also believe unless you are filled with the Spirit, meaning a full relationship with the Holy Spirit, you are living below the fullness of life that God planned.

Leadership Principles

I decided to write up a list of leadership principles. I probably could write another 30-40 but generally the first things written will be the most important. So I kept the list short. Be blessed!

Leadership principle #1    What you build it with, you must maintain.  People come for the dynamic created. If the dynamic changes, then people will either have to change or they will leave. This is why leaders are slow to change.

Leadership Principle #2    If leaders do not lead, then gifts reign. Gifts seem to function more freely when leaders are not in place. But probably what is functioning is not true or full gifting but mixtures of both the Holy Spirit and the human spirit.

Leadership Principle #3     It is better to create than to inherit a ministry. When you inherit a ministry, you inherit all the problems you did not create. Thus, you do not know the root of what you are facing. You can only be responsible for what you have created or allowed!

Leadership Principle #4    All problems in ministry are due to weak relationships. Weak relationships cause disputes, murmuring and gossip.

Leadership principle #5    All people come through the doors of a gathering because they have a problem. The sooner you discover the problem the healthier the Body gathering will be.

Leadership Principle #6    The greatest thing a leader can do is to teach their people to hear the voice of God for themselves.  If this is done, counseling is nonexistent, mistakes are few and advancement is great.

Leadership Principle #7   The greatest role of a leader in a service is not to deliver a message but to make sure the flow of the Holy Spirit is not interrupted and stays on track.

Leadership Principle #8   The greatest gift a leader should seek is the gift of discernment. Not only will the motive of hearts be seen clearly to receive help and avoid problems but it fine tunes the spirit within to be in tune with God.

Leadership Principle #9    A leader hears all hearts concerning a matter but only moves with what God has told them. Hearing all hearts shows value and concerns that need addressed. Obeying God allows him to move to resolve the issues brought up.

Leadership Principle #10   It is better to have an empty hole in ministry roles than fill a role with someone whose heart is not in it. Forcing a person to minister in areas they are not passionate about will only create management problems and frustrations.

Leadership Principle #11   A leader’s promotion is determined by their faithfulness. It is not capability that determines but whether they are faithful to complete assignments. You choose servants over those doing nothing, sons over servants, and those faithful from sons.

Leadership Principle #12    Building with Sons and Daughters. They have the same heart and vision. Building without them is like building a stone structure without mortar. Too large without the glue holding it together and it could collapse. They are your eyes and ears.

Leadership role #13    Never undermine those you have set in places of authority. If there is a problem in an area as a leader, you address the leader over that area and not the problems directly. This empowers that leader and does not violate the structure you have set up.

Leadership role #14   True ministry is done from your overflow.  This makes ministry effortless and the people are not getting the dregs of the bottom of the pit but the overflow of the freshness of God from the uppermost place.

Leadership Role #15    A leader leads from a position of strength by humility. One man’s humility may be another man’s pride and one man’s pride may be another man’s humility.

Leadership principle #16    A leader has vision for what people can become and not the current state they are in. Without vision of who God says they are, you cannot develop them to reach potential.

Leadership principle #17     A leader has to be solid in their call and office to avoid being threatened by other strong gifts or callings.

Leadership principle #18    A leader cannot lead others into things they themselves have not experienced.  If you are in depression then you lead others into that. If you are in victory then you lead them into victory!

Leadership principle #19   A leader is willing to do anything they ask others to do. A leader is a servant to all thus they will lead by serving and not demand others to serve them or do tasks they are not willing to perform.

Leadership principle #20   A leader has no rights or personal preferences in making ministry decisions. They are not owner but only stewards of what God has entrusted.

Leadership principle #21   A leader is the only one with all the information.  Many do not understand why a leader would say or do certain things. Most people have a part of the picture but a leader has the entire picture and all the facts.

Leadership principle #22   A leader covers a spiritual son or daughter’s mistakes. They do not cover up sin but help make the mistakes a learning experience. This is done by transparency and walking out the answer together. It creates willingness to grow deeper and with more confidence in the future.

Leadership Principle #23    A leader can only impart what they have experienced. Experience is the truth applied and proven by action. This creates dynamics to impart into others’ lives that are proven. Without experience, a leader only has concepts.

Leadership Principle #24    A leader is never prepared for all situations. There is no way to have a plan for all things you might experience. But a leader is principled so when things do occur, they fall back on the proven principles of God’s word and apply them, thus giving answers.

Leadership Principle #25   A leader knows the law of reproduction. Not only do you reproduce the good things in your life into others, you also reproduce the ugly. A leader strives in their own personal life to be sure they deal with issues so they are not reproduced in others. 

Leadership principles #26   A leader continues to receive instruction. The moment a leader stops being teachable then that leader is headed towards stagnation and decrease.

Leadership principle #27   A leader must forgive all offenses but does not forget all actions. Offenses will come and how we respond determines the future state of our heart. We do not forget the wrong actions of others so we become victims again, but those actions are not held against the person. A leader seeks God on how the actions can be changed by instruction.

Leadership Principle #28    A leader’s greatest success is the spiritual sons and daughters left behind and not the physical structures or idols they may build.

Leadership Principle #28   A leader faces all opposition as an opportunity to prove God.

Leadership principle #29   A leader must have the scars of battles and the fellowship of sufferings to have compassion of heart and exhortations of victorious success.

Leadership principle #30    A leader evaluates both strengths and weakness to determine the ability to complete what is started. They then mobilize the strengths and allow God to step into the weakness. 

Leadership Principle #31    A leader is a good listener. Listening reveals the hearts and motives and causes a leader to gain advantages in conversations and the ability to minister to people.

Leadership Principle #32    A leader is not threatened by other ministry gifts. To do this, they are sure of two things, their identity and their calling.

Leadership Principle #33    A leader knows they will not live forever so they are always looking at who will sustain and continue the work that is started.

Leadership Principle #34    A leader can share their heart and risk exposure because they are secure knowing they only need to please God.

Leadership Principle #35   A leader will always cause others to rise to greatness and even surpass them as a leader.

Definition of Five Fold Offices

With so much confusion and assumptions on the ministry gift offices in the body of Christ we have written up some definitions to better define these. Let us first state that all of the five fold offices stated in Eph 4:11 are not titles but functions. Second that promotion comes ultimately from God through other fivefold offices recognizing and affirming.  Third that a person gift makes room for him and the honor given is not honor taken by that gift.  We also state that a person can be in more than one office, but generally one will be more dominating than others. And lastly because a person has some tenacity towards a certain office does not mean that is the final or primary call. As with these offices they are have the dynamics of a true disciple and have already been and continue to do these dynamics. A divine calling and the fulfillment of that calling has a period of development.  Paul said “takes time to make your calling and election sure”. The word calling means invitation and the word election means the act of God choosing.

Ephesians 4:11-13 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

 

We see in Eph 4:11 five gifting given. Verse 11 tells of  the office, verse 12 tells of the reason these gifts are given and also show how the trinity works with these gifts, and verse 13 parallels verse 12 in how these gifts function.  We believe there are five gifting producing 4 functions. We also believe these gifting are evident today and all five are needed and in operation.  Though some might be denied operation or tried to be not recognized, none the less, they do exist possibly with limited exercised authority do to mans denial.

 Five ministry gifts each have distinct operations

           1. Apostles – unity of the faith

          2. Prophets – knowledge of the Son of God

          3. Evangelists – bring us unto a perfect man

          4. Pastors – bring us unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ 

          5. Teachers – bring us unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ

 These gifts are given for three purposes 

  1. To perfect the saints                     Perfecting –  complete furnishing; equipping
  2. For the work of the ministry          Ministry –  service; ministering
  3. To edify the Body of Christ           Edifying –  build up; promote growth

 

It just so happens that this is the reason these gifts are given, but that it is also a process that is given. The gifts are not only doing these three things, but help the saints carry out these three things. To fully understand the gifts, we need to understand the meaning of the name given to each one.

 

Apostles  – one who is sent           

Prophets –  interpreter of oracles that are hidden           

Evangelist –  bringer of good tidings           

Pastors –  Shepherd ; herds man                       

Teachers –  one fitted to teach; master; doctor

 

 Let’s give definition to each gift in a descriptive way of function.

Evangelist is one who is sent to save souls and present the gospel message. We see evangelist where the lost are and they are not listed in the order of the church in 1 Cor 12:28. Marks of an evangelist are salvations and healings and miracles. They have an ability to touch hardened hearts with God’s love for them to receive salvation. They also are found in the midst of environments that breed sin. The word is only used three times in scripture. The best example of an evangelist is Stephen. Philip started his ministry as a deacon in the helps ministry, in Acts 6:1, and moved into calling in Acts 8:26-40. They are generally drawn to pastors. They are trans-local traveling by themselves as a rule.

 

Characteristics of an Evangelist

 

  • Supernatural advertising of signs and wonders, words of knowledge
  • Preach Gospel of Jesus only
  • Must preach the Word – not church doctrine
  • Have ability to bring people to an individual decision
  • Free people
  • Do not have responsibility inside church walls
  • Are active – always in motion
  • Are aggressive and are Bold – do bold and crazy things
  • Transient – Move around
  • Called to the world not the church – called outside of the church walls
  • Has an Anointing for the lost finding opening to hearts
  • Burns for lost souls – wins them to Christ – most driving force in them
  • Intolerant to churches laziness for outreaches and witnessing
  • Have great faith to believe God for money because churches do not support them
  • Long for mass salvations
  • Preach simple message of salvation
  • Don’t care about opposition confronting the enemy head on
  • People have joy and rejoice after the evangelist speaks

 

Pastor The word pastor is only used one time in scripture yet we ahv made it the primary function today. Pastors are nurturers and must lay their lives down for the flock. They are healers of the broken and are given oversight to make sure the needs of people are being met. Just like a herdsmen there are also under-shepherds or pastors in almost every body of believers. They may not be recognized but are active meeting needs and ministering healing to others. Pastors are drawn to teachers to evangelist and then to teachers. Pastors are most effective one on one and modeling Christ. Not all pastors will be dynamic teachers but will be dynamic in showing love. They were never to be placed as final oversight or vision casters to the people. They are always given to a set group of people.

 

Description of office of Pastor

 

  • Pastors have a love for people.
  • Must have compassion for people and the church.
  • Have a giving attitude instead of taking
  • Return love for hate when criticized
  • Looking for the one hurting and focus on them until healed or whole
  • Never give up on people because they have a large heart
  • They see the good, finished and complete person.
  • They have a special grace for the office
  • They have a teaching gift and ability to share life experience in counseling
  • They are over protective of their sheep
  • They have long patience
  • Shepherds should be among the sheep
  • They are settled and remain for the long haul.
  • Need wisdom, knowledge, and discerning of spirits, not for leading a body but for ministering the hurst of the people.

 

 

Teacher The office of Teacher is one that stirs others to know the truth. It is more than explaining, it carries an anointing that brings change. Teachers love truth and love to study. They are avid readers and study topics in multiple ways. They are generally scribes and historians. They expand on what apostles release and prophets speak so others can clearly understand. They teach line upon line.  They carry a divine, supernatural ability to impart knowledge above the natural way of doing. True teachers will never teach doctrinal error, but will study in-depth before giving new insight. They are an office with a main thrust to study and give away what they have learned. Teachers explain things from many different angles so the person is sure to understand.

Teachers are willing to be taught. They can be local and trans-local in ministry assignments as they are given to the body as a whole. They generally travel by themselves and sometimes with apostles and prophets. 

 

Teachers function to do the following;

 

  •      1. Inspire – light a fire
  •      2. Lay a foundation, then build upon that foundation
  •      3. Build upon other Ministries
  •      4. Always build up
  •      5. Teach you into correction with out you knowing it
  •      6. To counsel, teachers will hand you a tape or book
  •      7. Convey Word of God in depth
  •      8. Are teachable
  •      9. Have a love for books
  •      10. Hunger and thirst for knowledge and truth
  •      11. Get a revelation from a Prophet then teach on it
  •      12. Are very organized people
  •      13. Have love for Word of God
  •      14. Leave you desiring more  
  •      15. Transfer truth
  •      16. Teachers who are pastors of a church, repeat in three to five year cycles

 

Prophet Prophets speak from revelation the heart of God in a matter. It is not by perception, but by inspiration. They are foretellers and reveals of the intentions of God. They move in the inspirational gifts of 1 Cor. 12 of words of wisdom, prophecy, words of knowledge. It is not by perception, but by inspiration.

This office requires a consistent manifestation of at least two of the revelation gifts on an ongoing basis.

Most prophets also experience prophetic dreams and filled with symbolism and visions. Prophets speak more than individual prophetic words but prophetic words or messages that shift spiritual atmospheres over regions. They generally are draw to apostles. #1 job of prophets is not to prophecy but to train the people to hear God. When people can hear God in a region it is just as great or greater than a prophet releasing word over a region! They are generally trans-local as they are given to the body as a whole. They travel by themselves and with Apostles.

 Attributes of the office of Prophet 

  • Many think all a prophet does is prophesy
  • Need to be a preacher or teacher of the Word
  • Laying on of hands goes with it
  • Generally healing goes with it   — Luke 4:27
  • Generally the Miraculous goes with it    —   II Kings 5:33
  •  Many people think Prophets should know everything
  •  Many people think that any time they want, a Prophet can give a word – only as Spirit wills
  •  Prophets are only human
  •  Prophets hearts are broken over sin
  • Prophets speak words in season
  • New Testament Prophets speaks words of correction sandwiched in love
  • Prophets speak directional confirming words
  • A prophet of God is a messenger of Gods will not doctrine.
  • A prophet initiated no messages or sermons from his own will in the name of the Lord.
  • A prophet speaks only new revealed words from God.
  • A prophet has to be commanded by God to speak.
  • A prophet is not allowed to speak any error in Gods name.
  • A prophets predictions in the old Testament had to come true or he would be branded a false prophet and be executed, thus limiting his ability to learn from his mistakes and limiting his ability to again mislead the people of God.
  • Prophecy is the very Voice of Christ speaking to the church!

  

Apostle – With so much confusion and lack of understanding we will spend a little more time on this gifting. It is a governmental gift given to bring the church into order and increased authority and anointing. Most Apostles are intolerant of doctrinal error as it makes their jobs harder. There has always been apostles we have just not recognized them nor the humility they operate in will promote themselves as such. Apostles are forerunners and introduce new dimensions of spirit life. They are kingdom focused over an individual body. They are transient and given the body as a whole. All apostles are fathers but not all fathers are apostles. They see the gildings in people and have an ability to bring those gifting out.  Since they have been called to perfect the saints, they see all truth and not just one aspect of truth.  While pastoral truth deals with the individual life, Apostolic truth deals with overall effect on the body.  Pastoral truth produces self serving servants, Apostolic truths produce body serving sons. Apostles is actually the only office Jesus appointed and the only office commissioned in scripture.

An apostle is sent with a message and specific assignment and mandate given by God directly for a specific people, specific cause and purpose directly concerning the Kingdom of God. This message releases people from the past confront the present and establish the future. The fruit of apostleship is evident by their love for correct doctrine and are intolerant of false concepts and teaching. They are writers of books, establishers of schools and training, and have put in place dynamics that continue to expand and grow when they are no longer around. Birthing a church does not make a person an apostles, an evangelist can do this. Running a large church does not make a person apostles, a good administrator can do this. All apostles have lived a life of suffering for righteousness sake to establish the kingdom. All apostles have seen the lord and this defined their personal lives and molded their sprits.  All apostles have a cross section of voluntary followers, more than a local congregation, who have benefitted from that apostles and have functional relationship with them.  Apostles are counselors to to other ministries and investors into emerging ministries. These gifts are attracted to Apostles because they know the Apostle will know how to place them and how to make them grow into the gift they are to be. The main thing to realize is Apostles are given to bring order, establish churches or ministries, and bring out the other ministry gifts. They carry resurrection life and apostolic grace that sets them apart. They are given to the whole body of Christ and so are trans-local. They travel by themselves and with prophets. Every apostle has something of significance they are apostling.

 

Apostles function

 Has been commissioned, ordained, and sent with purpose and mission

  1. Pioneers and risk takers
  2. Carries the spirit of resurrection and reformation — brings life and spiritual flow
  3. Depend on God’s approval and not mans.
  4. Set things in order and maintains spiritual flow
  5. Minister out of their experience and not out of their head. They pull people out of their comfort zone
  6. Ahead of their time — visionaries
  7. Attracts other ministry gifts
  8. They produce like minded sons and daughters of the same faith
  9. Apostles draw other gifts to them, train them, and then release them into ministry.
  10. Have unique spiritual authority in the body of Christ and over territories
  11. Apostles have a specific assignment. One of the most distinguishing marks of Apostles is the ability to embrace all other ministry Gifts.

 

Attributes of an Apostle

 

  • Teacher and preacher of the Word
  • Spiritual Gifts – flow in all gifts
  • Deep personal experience
  • Ability to establish churches or ministries
  • Spiritual leadership
  • Are sent by the Holy Ghost
  • Father figure – spiritually mature
  • Broad oversight – vision of body as a whole
  • Walk in spiritual authority
  • Called to a region or a people
  • Have the ability to draw other gifts to them
  • Have heart for the people
  • Are a spiritual covering – cover other gifts
  • Have patience
  • Signs and Wonders follow them
  • Mighty deeds
  • Have vision for the church
  • Labor night and day
  • Look upon self as Father and congregation as children
  • They are taught by God
  • They minister in the power of God, not the wisdom of men
  • Their fruit manifests the living God
  • They lead by Christ’s example
  • They please God, not men
  • They don’t flatter men
  • They are gentle with the saints
  • They are holy, righteous, and blameless
  • They exhort, comfort, and chasten as necessary
  • Their glory is the glorious church
  • They endure hardship and persecution for the church’s sake

 

This is not an all inclusive teaching on this subject and has been brief on purpose. There are many resources to draw from on this topic and these are just some guidelines to help people start brining definition.

The Pattern – Building Spiritual Community

Here is another small portion from the book I am writing called “Kingdom Discipleship, Changing the Culture of the Church”.

Unlike building a structure that has boundaries and is limited to participation if only within those boundaries, we are to be building a spiritual community. God does everything by relationship so anything that is not relationship driven will be lacking Kingdom dynamics. God’s original intention was that mankind would be His family  and that His family would have dominion in the earth.

Jesus came not to bring a Kingdom but to reestablish it or reform it in the earth. Jesus’ first act was to get the family back through the act of redemption. The second act was to empower that family to be the Ecclesia through the working of the Holy Spirit’s activity in their lives.

So the spiritual community we want to form has both these dynamics in it. The enlargement of the family as the family stewards the world around it with authority. Let’s go back to God’s original intention and take a quick look to see our role.  

Genesis 1:26 (KJV 1900) — 26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

 Adam and Eve were created from both realms, the dust of the earth and the creative nature of God from heaven. The dust of the earth gives us our physical form. The creative nature of God was the part or image that we were to take on that would produce life in us.

The word ‘image’ means ‘the resemblance, copy or representation of’. The word ‘likeness’ means ‘similitude, manner, fashion, to be like, a pattern or model to be compared’. The words are not interchangeable. The word “likeness” rather than diminishing the word “image” actually amplifies it. Man is not just an image but a likeness-image. In other words, man takes on the representation of God to such a degree that the pattern and model of God is portrayed in man for others to compare. That’s a whole lot more than trying to be godly. It is actually doing it to such a degree that a pattern emerges. That pattern was how the “family” was to have dominion on the earth.

 Man is not simply representative but representational. Again there is a big difference. To be a representative means ‘to act on the behalf of’, ‘to have official office or duty’. Anyone can represent someone much like a lawyer represents a client. But to be representational means ‘how to relate to the representation’, ‘to have the ability to be represented, or made a defense for’.’ Having substance’. In the art world, it means it has the substance of a time or style but has individuality enough that it can stand on its own as well. It also can mean that enough substance exists that a pattern is seen and understood by all and others can copy the essence and express it without losing the essence. It establishes pattern over fulfilling duty. Perhaps the Church has been trying to take dominion from duty and not by establishing pattern!

‘Image’ is the natural dynamic of God. While ‘likeness’ is the spiritual dynamic of God. Man is the visible representative of the invisible, bodiless God. This makes man the image. But likeness actually guarantees that man is an adequate and faithful representative of God on earth. Another way of putting it is, God created man like the first painting an artist would do. But the artist painted other paintings along the same lines and hence a pattern was seen that we call an impression that is easily recognized as the artist’s work, even though the paintings are different. God is the artist and Adam was the first painting. Today we are the rest of the paintings and we should all be pointing to the artist!

 Creation was first in the thoughts of God, in the heavenly realm. Earth became the place God works out His thoughts and intentions. Earth was formed for God to create a pattern through man. So man is an actual living example  of the interaction of heaven and earth.

Genesis 1:26–28 (KJV 1900) — 26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Let’s leave out the word ‘man’ and read the underlined part above. It reads this way: the image and likeness of God was created to have dominion.

All creation stayed fixed and untouched by the fall.   Stars, planets, galaxies etc. are still in place by God’s oversight. But the earth is the only thing assigned to man. God said I will rule all this and you rule the earth. God brought all things into order and then turned to man and said now keep this in order. But since the fall occurred, man lost the order and even lost the family. Jesus came, redeemed the family and then said to bring this in order again. You have authority! So we come to the time of reformation of all things. Reformation means ‘to reform, to stand upright, to bring into order, to re-constitute’. Reformation or reforming is not making something new or created but allowing God’s hands through our lives to reform it! In other words, God wants to use us to paint through us a spiritual pattern into the earth! Now that’s exciting!

Worship Leaders, Drinking, Culture

I recently talked with a couple people on the topic of worship leaders who also drink. They could not understand how they could be leading worship and doing this at the same time. The reality is we all have faults and short comings in our lives. Until we allow God to convict us we really wont change. Some of our faults are private and some are out in front. The Bible says to not be drunk with wine or come into a different state of consciousness. The Bible also states to not do things that make your brother stubble. Yet another place speaks of your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.

In a society that says it is cultural acceptable to be a Christian and drink is just that a cultural acceptable standard. But that is culture. The biblical standard is far different. Holiness is the ultimate standard and the things we do should not affect that. Drinking does not lead us to holiness. I know you will say well what about TV or this and that. I will tell you the same things. Much of what we fill our spiritual well with does not lead us to holiness. What you put in, is what you have to draw from. Much of what we fill ourselves with has demonic agendas attached to it. Stating what you believe to be a justifiable truth because it is culturally acceptable with no Biblical basis does not make it Biblical standard nor acceptable to God. Especially if you were once enlightened and now have fallen away from that truth.

We want to see God move in America but America is the vilest self justified nation of the world. Much of the evil other nations face can be directly connected to what originates here. This is not my opinion but a repeated opinion my host in the nations I have traveled to have told me. I have had it explained repeatedly how American culture has adversely affected them and the life of the church, reducing spiritual life in individuals. Every time I hear of why it is not happening here, like over there, it brings me to one thing. We don’t realize they follow biblical standard and we follow cultural standards. In the church we change biblical standards and replace them with cultural standards. We don’t live a holy life and justify our self indulgences. In Africa, where things are happening like we desire to see, if a man drinks he is not fit to be in any role in a church but to sit under the word for a change from the addiction. In America we are willing as leaders to have no standard, so we can have a natural gift appointed to a position, even though their life is not whole. We have made what God has said is holy as common, and thus made it unholy, so we can be relevant to culture. And we wonder why God does not show himself in our meetings as His stamp of approval.

The desire to have a culture of entertainment in the church has made the church to become another club with a “spiritual option” attached to it. The desire to please people and not confront their lifestyles carries greater weight that pleasing God. Homosexuals in pulpits, or teaching classes, people drinking on worship teams and leaders in sin are not biblical standards. They actually remind me of philistines, Baal, and other enemies of Gods people in the Old Testament that He said come out and be separate from them!

When leaders are placed in a leadership role it is because their life is an example to be modeled after. I have heard of people becoming alcoholics because they say their brother in a leadership role, at a checkout line buying alchol and thought it was ok to drink because they were buying. The person eventually fell away from God and died in sin. The real problem is the senior leaders standards are not biblical, more so than the individual who drinks. A person might be leading worship, or on a worship team but the reality is what kind of worship they are experiencing. Is it throne room and people are moved by the spirit of God or is it entertaining and based not on spiritual life but natural ability? Remember God will anoint things sometimes because he loves people and desire to meet with them. But how much higher or better could something be if the person leading had their life right.

We want to see a move of God. Many do. But few want to pay the price of living a life that would release that kind of move in America. When this next move of God comes I guarantee it will have deep heartfelt repentance with it. Christians will be awakened to lifestyles they are living, that are contrary to Gods heart. They will repent not because of being caught or found out but because they realize THEY have broken His heart and made the heart of God sorrowful. The move of God is coming. Right now it is unfolding with those living contrary to culture, living a lifestyle of repentance. For those with mixture a moment of repenting for a lifestyle will suddenly come and they will be overwhelmed with it. Drop the culture society is trying to dictate and live a life contrary to it and you probably will be living a Biblical culture.

Kingdom Centers Defined

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.