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.

Can Pastors Develope You Into Your Calling?

I’ve been thinking about the current pastoral model we see in the church and the future leadership it develops. I’ve come to one conclusion; it just cannot develop people into fulfilling their call into ministry. The pastoral model in its very nature is passive and not aggressive. Ministry requires aggressiveness to even be a self-starter. It also requires aggressiveness when situations arise that require an uncompromising position. I see so many that are sitting in a pastoral models frustrated with their life and with the call upon their life because no one knows how to fully develop them. The pastoral model has the ability to develop people into a helps ministry and serving ministry capacities. But how exactly does a pastor develop an apostle or prophet, for in the most part they don’t even understand that office or function nor recognize it.

Pastors are mostly focused upon the individual needs of a person, while the other four ministry gifts listed in Ephesians 4 are focused upon the corporate body as a whole, this brings a large limitation in the pastoral gift to develop the other fivefold ministry gifts. This is not saying there is not a need for pastors, as there is a need to minister to the individual constantly. Without the hope and vision that an apostolic oversight would bring a person may end up stuck in their current situation without a hope of the future.

The only way to truly develop the call upon a person is to be sitting under an apostle that has prophetic insights and prophetic people around them to be able to speak into the individual’s life. Apostles understand the corporate vision and the moment of time that God is moving in. They understand how to help align a person’s life to be productive in the current season. They also have vision to see what a person can be in God and how to develop the gifts that are setting dormant. Apostles are not concerned about mistakes an individual would make, very different from a pastor, but are concerned about the individual being developed to their full potential in reaching their ultimate destiny. For the most part many pastors lack an understanding of how to bring people into these dynamics, and thus the pastor becomes frustrated and so does the person sitting under them.

The biblical pattern of the New Testament is that apostles and prophets help develop the fivefold ministry gifts and release them into ministry. The apostles knew what gifts were needed and where they were needed to be sent. Apostles looked at not just the fulfillment of an assignment but also development at the same time a person was given an assignment. This on-the-job training is what set the early church in motion and caused an ongoing growth. Today in most pastoral models there is a length of time required before anyone is given a task.

I feel we are lacking very much in solid leadership due to the fact so many people are setting in pastoral models, frustrated, frustrating pastors, and living way below their potential. How many true apostles and prophets are sitting in these gatherings week after week and reaching the ceiling of growth that they cannot grow by. Eventually they would either have to leave these settings, compromise what they believe, or deny the call of God upon their life. I am not saying that needs to be a mass exodus out of churches, but what I am saying there needs to be a shift of people being committed to places such as kingdom centers and schools of ministry that can grow them up spiritually. They need to break soul ties and unhealthy commitments for the sake of the call. Many times decisions are made in which spiritual gathering to go to, or be committed to primarily, by humanistic and social relationships and not by Holy Spirit led God inspired relationships. Not all relationships we have are “fun” relationships but God has stated that “He has placed us in a body that pleases Him”. He knows what will bring us to the fullest potential. Thats why He also said to not deny the assembling together.  Many times we have not allowed God to place us or if He does try and place us, we decided differently through the means of justification.

For those truly with a call into ministry you do need a pastor in your life, just they are not the primary source of spiritual input. This has to be those who can truly develop you. Myself I have a pastor who I speak with when I need pastoral perspectives and counsel for myself personally. But my primary source of spiritual development is by apostles and prophets, then by teachers.

Heartaches of Spiritual Fathering

This post is for those spiritual fathers who have invested time and life into spiritual sons and daughters. Many of us have had great disappointments and frustrations at times over the low or no return on all that is invested in persons live. There is an expectation, and rightfully so, of a return on the investment. But many times we either do not see it or the return is slow in coming.

Coming from experience in this area there are several reasons a person does not seem to produce fruit with what we teach or invest. The lack of movement on a son or daughter is not due so much to a father teaching something wrong but what that son or daughter is willing to do with it. Many times we are looking for them, as the hope of a spiritual father, to excel in spiritual dynamics. We need to be realistic and ask if what is asked of them is within their potential? Is it out of their understanding or gifting? Or are they in rebellion or pride etc. Probably more than the lack of fulfillment of seeing sons or daughters excel is the heart ace of abandonment in relationship.

This has happened to me many times and as a spiritual father it is one of the most gut wrenching things that can happen to you. It is easy to say with words one thing but far different when words have to be backed by actions. In the relationship of those who did walk away I wish I could say they have been restored or the people went on to great things for God. But the majority of the time it is the opposite. I have seen those who walk away go backward in their walk with God. A lose of anointing and even spiritual understand seems to cloud them at times. Some ended up self deceived, while others became a part of worldliness again. When these things occur spiritual fathers reexamine what happened, why it happened and does a self examination of the relationship.

What we as spiritual fathers must realize is for every 1 that stops process or walks away there are 10 more desiring a chance of investment. Will we continue to mourn for the one when 10 more really want it? Jesus had multitudes following and it came down to 12. Paul had a great following but in the end only a handful stood with him. God always reduces things to what is most precious and valuable. Those that remain, though it seems unlikely, will be the ones to keep all things sustained.

I will leave you with this encouragement. I have seen some heartfelt repentance from sons and daughters who were at one time connected. Though it took years for God to work things in hearts the relationship was restored. This has to be the greatest joy a Spiritual father can experience as those who are prodigal and self orphaned request to be adopted again in fellowship.

Holiness Frees from Sin Nor Forgiveness

This morning the Holy Spirit was speaking to me about how we have mis-interrupted what frees us from sin and how we perceive sin to have more power than it does. Right to the point. When we sin and ask forgiveness if we are not careful we assume forgiveness frees us from sin.

The Holy Spirit told me “Holiness is what frees you and forgiveness is part of that holiness as an act of holiness. Sin has only power in the act and no further. Many people empower sin as they believe sin releases forgiveness, mercy and grace. Sin is not this powerful. Holiness releases forgiveness, mercy and grace.”

This revelation from heaven could surely add some light to scriptures on sin  such as “sin has lost its power, death has lost its sting, go and sin no more, your sins are as white as snow and others. Lets not empower sin and stay at a constant cross but move from empowering sin to empowering holiness and go to the throne as clean not needing cleansed.

Prophetically Preached Word now Unfolding

Many times the Lord gives me a prophetic message to preach. Generally these come as and while I am speaking as the Scriptures suddenly are expanded upon by the Holy Spirit flowing through me in a way that is very supernatural. This does not happen very often but when it does happen I literally close my eyes and pace through the room allowing the Holy Spirit to speak through me. This can go on for a solid hour. It is such a time at the beginning of this year that a prophetic message came out of the book of song of Solomon. The message had the essence of the book within it but the focus was upon the discipleship, call, and impact of what the spirit of God would do in the hearts of people this coming year. The following is only a brief and very small portion of that message. The message was given on 1/28/2012 and can be found on our base website under the media section. http://thebaseiowa.org.

The Lord started out speaking in song of Solomon 1:4 concerning the wooing and drawing of a courtship and invitation of the courts and chambers of the King. It would be a coming into a secret place reserved and prepared by God for a people whose hearts were prepared for him.

Solomon 2:4 it speaks of a banner over us. “There is a banner over us, there is a covering that is coming. We’ve built the house of God and in our state for 3 1/2 years. The house has a foundation in it and a structure to it. This year 2012 God will bring a covering to it. The covering will hide what God put inside the house. What he will put inside the house is more precious than anything we have ever seen. What is precious is what holds the covering up. It will support the weight of the covering of his love, so this love will not crush us”

The Lord revealed to me that that covering is more than the covering of love, but it is a covering of his glory that would rest upon us. This glory is coming to do but one thing and that is the hiding of his holiness. The glory is the covering, and his holiness is what’s most precious that will be placed in the house.

Song of Solomon 2:13. “God says a second time to come away. There will be a call to come, some will come, others will not, but God will call and call again become. There’ll be two calls this year to come away into that place.”

The Lord showed me that we are in that first call. The secret place in the call that is upon the body of Christ right now is a call in the holiness. I am literally seeing some answering this call in this hour. I am also seeing others not responding. This call the Lord is talking of is a deep intimacy which require deep holiness.

Some of Solomon 2:14 “ …. There is something of great value that is coming, it will be coming out of the wilderness, a place nobody’s expecting. People will come of the caves of Adullam year, coming out of hidden places, but coming forth with a perfume fragrance upon them and a pillar of smoke upon them, God burning the dross but also leaving the fragrance where he has been.”

The Lord showed me that this coming forth in this fragrance is the fragrance of holiness. The pillar of smoke upon them is there to hide the holiness from others so that they would desire to seek it as a great hidden thing. The coming forth that will occur at the end of this year will be those that have put themselves in the place of holiness.

Some of Solomon 4: 1 – 5 “…. This year a depth of discipleship that is going to stand out on the mountains and hills for others to see so others will desire to have. ….. The death God is requiring upon his disciples this year is going to enlarge and it will be something noticeable enough that others will recognize it but it will also carry something of life that others will see as well.”

The Lord showed me this death process is a death to the things of the world as we shift into the place of holiness. Holiness will enlarge upon those that have decided to walk into those depths. It will carry life that others would be willing to see is directly related to Hebrews 2:14 that no man would see God unless they follow holiness. The true disciples will be willing to pay the price of this death.

Song of Solomon 4:7 “no spot in the is where God wants to take these disciples there be a remnant that God will take into these things.”

This is nothing less than the description of holiness.

Song of Solomon 4:9 “the neck represents the will of man, the eye represents what we perceive and understand. A ravaged heart is a heart that has been lit on fire by the fire of God. The question is will we do something that will capture the desire of God this year?…. He will see that our eyes are upon him, and are will bent towards him. It will cause his heart to come towards us in a way that is greater.”

“For us to come into the place of holiness it will require a breaking of our will. As our will becomes conformed to the image of his son and the things of the world slide off the true understanding and perception that we are needing in this hour will become our portion. As God sees our will begin to bend and go after him with hearts on fire we will actually capture his desire for us. Not only will our eyes be turned upon him but that his eyes will be turned upon us in a new and fresh way.”

The rest of the book of Song of Solomon we have not yet walked out as of yet, or are at the place of it unfolding. These are just some of the revelations that I received last night out of our time of prayer that started at 10 PM.