Full Gospel or Apostolic Kingdom

I have been asked several times about the difference between an apostolic or kingdom church and a Full Gospel charismatic church. After all, they are the same, aren’t they? No, not at all. Here are some comparisons. (Full Gospel Charismatic church will be FGC. Apostolic Kingdom will be AK.)

Vision

Generally an FGC church will be focused like most other churches on outreach of winning the lost and discipling. The discipling is more into the tenets of their expression. The AK will be more focused on the development of people and their placement into effective function in the local assembly. FGC will focus on conversion of all souls and will focus on presenting the gospel of salvation. AK will be focused that all people will feel the weight of the Kingdom and its influences. AK knows the Kingdom automatically demands an answer and decisions will have to be made.

Structure

The structure of an FGC is more traditional and will be composed of a board and elders who make decisions. It may or may not have a voting system. Involvement in the ministry is generally attained after several months and is based more on attendance. AK will be composed of a team of leaders making decisions together. A board may exist but only to be a legal corporation. Involvement is generally very quick and is based on discernment and heart connection with the overall vision.

Alignments

FGC generally align to a network of churches connected by doctrine. Many times this is a denomination. Outside alignments are seldom seen and this is reflected in the ministries coming through. Most of the time they are from the same camp. AK will align apostolically and prophetically and not so much doctrinally. AK will be relationship driven and the ministries coming through will be in relationship more so than the same camp. AK does not fear the variety of ways of ministry as much as the FGC.

Leadership

This is probably one of the greatest differences. FGC has a senior pastor. Generally they are charismatic and probably have a certain degree of a teaching gift. As I stated earlier, it is an eldership driven leadership made up of those of the congregation and decisions are made based more from a business perspective than a faith position. AK will have an apostolic leader (not necessarily an apostle) who has a certain grace to lead others into Kingdom dynamics. A team is formed of fivefold type leaders who will speak by visionary perspectives and lead by faith.

Focus

The focus in an FGC will be more on life discipling and family focuses. Programs will be put in place to minister to the needs of the family and this will be reflected in special gatherings for men and women, youth and kids. The AK will be focused more on the Kingdom than the family and trust that if Kingdom dynamics are put in place, then the family will automatically be taken care of. The outworking of this is the family being together to experience spiritual life as a unit. Activation is put upon the family and development of gifts started at a young age.

Messages

FGC messages are culturally relevant and again family focused. Removing injustice is part of the message but ends up being more about ministering to injustice than removing it.  AK will have more revelatory messages and of course Kingdom dynamics. Messages will be on reforming culture to remove injustices instead of ministering within culture. While FGC will be “culturally relevant” (trying to relate to culture) AK will be “counter cultural” (knowing that Kingdom culture will change current culture).

Worship

FGC will have more of a standard approach to worship. Songs will have more of a focus about God instead of Who He is. Songs will also have a self focus and will be better known. Song services are more planned and have a set time. With AK, the songs are more focused on God Himself and His great works. Very few songs are about self. Songs are more from unknown artists because the message they carry is fresher. Spontaneous worship and creating of songs is what AK is known for. The worship has no real set time factor.

Prayer

FGC has a group set aside and recognized as the intercessors. AK looks at every person as called to intercede. Prayer for people at altar calls may have a team in a FGC, but generally it is the senior leader and their spouse. AK will have a team or see everyone as being able to pray and minister to others.

Activation

FGC will take people through classes associated with what they believe before they truly activate people. Time factors and certain things need to be attained before a person is released or put in place, to reduce possible mistakes. AK will activate people pretty quickly and will train them as they do ministry. They are not concerned about mistakes but are more concerned about a person trying than being perfect in how they do things.

Spiritual Community

FGC has spiritual community based on relationships around the belief system. Most spiritual communities are pretty healthy but can also be more surface type relationships. Smaller churches will have greater community. In larger churches, the community will be several communities within it based around the programs. AK will develop a community of honor and tightness in relationships that can be enlarged as it grows. They will have solid, deep meaningful relationships that build a sense of family. This family is more than those in the room but also extends to those outside of the local gathering and into all those they are in relationship with in other ministries.

Missions

The outward expression of FGC will be set missionaries they help support in part. Locally missions will be a helps type ministry of feeding the homeless, crisis pregnancy centers, and other outreach programs. This could also extend into foreign mission trips where the same types of ministry occur such as erecting/repairing church buildings, working in orphanages, etc. The AK approach in missions is not so much as supporting but sending. They too, might be involved in the same local outreaches but are looked at as more of being sent with an assignment. This is extended to the foreign missions as well. Being sent with a specific assignment, the helps ministry is not seen in other nations but leadership training, conferences and educational thrusts are primary.

As we can see, there is a difference to both types of ministries. There needs to be more of a balance. As I see it, the main thing to be added to the AK model is local outreach. I think many Apostolic Kingdom Churches are hesitant because of associating with an old model. The main thing that stands out in the apostolic / Kingdom churches that I did not cover is a more consistent life-giving flow. To me, this is the primary difference and is why so many churches need to transition to this model.

From Sub-culture to Counter Culture

In this hour of the Church, with so much upheaval and division over political agendas and candidates, we need to be sure we are advancing the Kingdom of God and not the kingdom of man. As  those who are the true Ecclesia, we must begin to take our role as governing the spiritual realms to establish a Kingdom upon the earth that the structure of man, both political and economical, would be willing to participate in and draw wisdom from it.

As the Church, we have become a subculture like any other subculture within our nation. We have less voice than the recent rising voices of homosexuality, women’s rights, etc. This is due to the eroding away of the Church’s culture of morality and holiness and allowing ourselves to lose footholds we once had in place. For the most part, we have become irrelevant in the decision making process of our government.

We are in dire need of a true spiritual awakening. An awakening that would once again position us as a voice within a culture. Our biblical knowledge from the tree of good and evil is not enough  to convince the gainsayers that we have the goods. We must eat from the tree of life to confound the wisdom of the wise and allow virtue to flow forth touching hearts and shifting culture.

In our last Awakening Fires gathering, our speaker Eric Reeder, had a divine revelation from Act 3. “Why are we constantly passing by what is broken to go and enter into a place (the temple) that Jesus said was no longer relevant?” Amazing revelation! When we look more closely, we can see that once virtue flowed, holiness came and position in culture was shifted from inside the walls to Solomon’s porch. That positioning caused a great stir as it came from a Psalms 133 posture. The previous Psalms were spoken as they ascended the steps of the temple to the porch. Psalms 133 was spoken as they stepped onto the porch.

This touching of a small part of the culture, a man begging at the gate Beautiful, allowed Peter and John to have a platform, Solomon’s porch, from which to begin to educate the people. As I look at things, it appears we want all or none, when in reality the Biblical pattern was portions were given to show stewardship of truth before more was given.  Eventually the whole was impacted and felt the effect of the Kingdom. Not all became Christian, which is not really our assignment. Our real assignment is to make disciples, thus disciple nations. That is about Kingdom impact more than conversions. Conversions without true deep discipleship will not change nations but will create a subculture within a nation. For the most part, this is what we have done. We have healed them at the gate to only drag them into the temple into what is no longer significant, thus keeping them in an old model and not putting them on Solomon’s porch, a place of audience before nations and a place nations came to hear the wisdom of God.

Maybe we need to stop walking by what is broken. Maybe once people are healed, we need to no longer bring them into what is insignificant. Perhaps we are not the voice of the hour because we have not stewarded what is within us by allowing the virtue to flow out of us to impact the world around us.