Monday, March 01, 2010

Governmental Apostles (10) No Authority

The ministry of an apostle is relational, not positional. Once the apostle has moved on, they can influence the leaders left behind, because they nurtured and mentored them, and then released into ministry. Apostles do not have governmental authority, they have relational influence.

Apostles do not have the authority to decide how much money will be given to another church. The decision about how much should be given to Jerusalem was decided by the individual givers in the churches in Asia Minor.

The disciples, each according to his ability, decided to provide help for the brothers living in Judea (Acts 11:29).
Paul had no authority to tell the Corinthians how much to give. The size of the fund was decided when the people who gave the money tagged it for that purpose.

An apostle does not have authority to allocate money to particular needs. Paul could draw Jerusalem’s need to the attention of the Corinthians and facilitate the giving, but he did not control any funds that he could just allocate to Jerusalem.

Paul received financial support from several of the churches which he had helped the Holy Spirit to establish, but this was always voluntary. He was always gave thanks for their generosity, but he never instructed them to give him money for his support. Paul knew that an apostle did not have authority to demand money from a church he had helped to plant.

Paul was careful not to usurp authority that did not belong to him. If he had asked for money for his support, many people in these churches would gladly obey him, because they loved and respected him. Paul wanted the elders in the new churches to grow in confidence, so he refused to undermine them, by imposing his authority on the Christians under their oversight.

Centralised financing does not work. This is not surprising, because the core problem is not financial, but with the modern implementation of the apostolic ministry. The solution to the funding problems to push the fivefold ministries down to the local level, where they can be supported locally.

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