Apostolic Dynamics, Benefits & Alignment - How to activate the apostolic in you. (Part two)
We are talking about working together with the grace from one of the five-fold ministry gifts that Jesus set in the Church. Again, the apostolic grace is only one of five gifts given to the Body of Christ. All the five-fold ministry gifts are equally important.
Aligning Yourself To Apostolic Ministry
So what are the benefits of aligning ourselves to the apostolic and how do we do it? To align oneself means to come alongside of or to work together with. We are not talking about a blind submission to some controlling individual that printed "Apostle So and So" on a business card. It should be clear by now that the proof of apostolic ministry is found in function and not in title. We are talking about working together with the grace from one of the five-fold ministry gifts that Jesus set in the Church. Again, the apostolic grace is only one of five gifts given to the Body of Christ. All the five-fold ministry gifts are equally important. Here are seven ways to align ourselves.
1. Model the way by having legitimate apostles minister in your church. I am not talking about network circuit preachers with flashy web sites, but real apostles who have built real churches. I realize this statement sounds unsympathetic to some and I don't want to lose any friends over this assertion. However, just as a shepherd has sheep, teachers teach, evangelists save souls, and prophets prophesy, apostles have actually built something more than an itinerating ministry. Every believer has a responsibility to "know them that labor among you" (1 Thessalonians 5:12).
2. Teach on all the five-fold ascension gifts, their different graces and what they impart to the believer and the local church. Apostles, for example, build, establish and send. Prophets see, hear and say. Evangelists flow in signs and wonders that open the doors to reach the lost. Pastors love, nurture and protect the sheep. Teachers are educators who impart a love for God's Word. Of course there are many other things you can say about each gift, the point is to teach the people.
3. Start building ministry teams and releasing people into those teams with particular assignments. Building teams is important. Focus on getting them out of the church and into your local territory. Do something the world can see. Sending out teams is the entrance into the apostolic dimension. After they complete their assignments review their effectiveness and launch them out again.
4. Get missions- and outreached-minded. Don't follow the current trend of missions retreat. Sending teams into the nations with the Gospel of Jesus Christ is one of the greatest honors for every church and is a fundamental expression of true apostolic ministry. scri pture declares that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. How will they know unless someone is sent? Adopt a city or a nation. Hook up with somebody already on the missions field or pioneer something yourself.
5. Study the Bible for yourself. Read books and listen to audio tapes by apostolic leaders. Apostolic authors did not write most teaching materials in Christian bookstores so you will have to do some hunting for the right resources. (Check out TheVoiceBooks.com.) When you locate a real apostle, study his materials and listen to his teachings. You are responsible for your own education. Stay on the cutting edge of what the Holy Spirit is saying and doing today. Be careful that church success or the deception of Hollywood Christianity doesn't cause you to lose focus. You are unique, important, and valuable, and God made no duplicates on purpose.
6. Pray for an apostolic father in your life. I'm not talking about a fishing buddy, rather someone who you can spiritually draw from and will impart a seasoned wisdom into your life. Apostles are loving spiritual fathers in every sense of the word. They are vital to your spiritual development. I often wonder what my life would have been like if I would have had the wisdom of a spiritual father in my life. Like many, I had to glean from books, tapes and seminars. I remember watching those I admired being hurried away after the meetings. There was no time to speak with them. Today, however, the genuine apostolic is challenging this pattern of ministry and our leaders are becoming more touchable. A true apostolic father wants the very best for you.
7. Establish a leadership culture in your life and ministry. Start training up leaders. Again, you have probably heard it said that everything rises and falls on leadership. If that's so, then creating a leadership culture in our ministries is vital.
The Apostle Paul said "but by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me" (1 Corinthians 15:10). Paul was an apostolic revolutionary and the apostolic grace on his life opened the Gospel to the Gentile world. What will that apostolic grace do when it is activated in you?
© by Jonas Clark