Friday, June 26, 2009

Apostolic Way (5) - Aim for the End

Apostles will start the new Church with the end in mind. The first priority of the apostolic team will be to get to the stage where they can appoint a team of elders from within the new Church to take over its leadership. Most of their energy will go into those whom they expect to become elders. The apostolic team will intensively disciple them and start to replicate their ministries in them. They will focus on developing a team containing the full range of ministries.

People with influence are important because they are likely to become leaders in the new Church. A person of peace is less likely to have a lot of personal problems that need to be sorted out before they can grow into leadership. A person with both influence and a peaceful spirit should have potential to become an elder.

The ideal is for the apostle to live with the person of peace. This would increase the intensity of their discipleship. They would see everything the apostle does and be able to join in all the apostle’s activities. Having an apostle, and perhaps a prophet, living in their house will also provide a high level of spiritual protection. These benefits will help the person of peace grow very fast.

The apostolic team will not be concerned about gathering a large number of new converts. They will be busy with those who have leadership potential, so they will not have time to disciple a large number of new converts. They will not want a lot of new converts until some of the first batch of local Christians is ready to disciple them.

A work is ‘unfinished” until local elders have been appointed (Tit 1:5). When a local eldership team is in place, it will be easier to bring people into the Church.

Apostles will not be interested in church buildings. Their focus will be on growing to the point where they are able to send out apostles again, so they will not waste time and resources on buildings. Sending out apostles and starting new Churches is more important than a place to meet. The members of the apostolic team will usually rent their houses, as they will want to be free to move on when the time is right.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I like your essays on church government, as well as the modern apostles matter. I myself am bound in a very, very challenging situation of a church led by the founding 'apostle' (though he's never called himself that - he used to admit his primary gift was that of evangelist.) The chuch used to have a shared authority of some sort - several 'pastors', but this founder dominated all, finally forcing out the other leaders in one way or another, and of course subsequently demonizing them before the congregation. This leader is of course extremely charismatic, with a very, very strong and forceful personality. He does indeed have a gift of evangelist, and it's plain he's been greatly used of God in winning many - including myself - to a solid, living, regenerated faith in Christ. However, I am absolutely miserable in what has become a total bondage in the church. My children have been born there, have friends there; I have friends - sort of; though by this point there's such an atmosphere of fear, ala Spanish inquisition, that most people can't really be 'friends' because they have to be so careful about what they say. I could go on. But I agree with your analysis of the New Testament model of church government. Appreciate your prayers for our plight (the Pastor seems to be spiritual, and open to the leading of the Lord; I would venture I am not alone in praying that the Lord would open his eyes to the true nature of the situation, and the harm it causes to the church and the glory of the Lord, winning and discipleship of the lost and so on. But it has been a long time - years...)

Blessed Economist said...

Your experience is very common. Thank you for sharing.