Discover the apostolic model of ministry, and how you can use your gifts to make a difference with your life. New apostolic transition is happening. Apostolic leaders don’t build their ministries around the Sunday morning hour of power. They know there is more. Christ gave some apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers for the perfecting of the saints for the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:12).
This Scripture goes to the very core of Christian leadership and the directive of equipping others for the work of ministry. The work of the ministry is not preaching in the often over glamorized hour of power on Sunday morning. That’s preaching. That can be an untruthful image of the church that comes from watching too much Christian television. Some of what you see are not real and is just another made for the TV program. We need to be clear, some of the ministry, not all, is inside the local church, but most of the ministry is outside the local church in the harvest fields of life.
THE WORK OF MINISTRY
The work of ministry entails ministry to others outside local church services and the building. Apostolic ministry gifts understand they are not called to do all the work of the ministry themselves but to train and release others. It is disheartening to watch pastors burn themselves out trying to do all the preaching, teaching, counseling, outreach, soul winning, visitation and praying. It is certainly not the biblical apostolic model laid out by the Apostle Paul. Ministry is a team effort. Yes, there is a set man (one of the five-fold ascension gifts) but that set man is not called to work alone.
When God calls someone into full-time ministry he or she gets a call, vision, gifting, purpose, anointing, territory, keys, revelation, and eventually sons and daughters that are drawn to the gift of God within that leader. These sons and daughters are those that apostolic leaders invest and work with. The apostolic model of ministry does not work with the talented and wealthy just because they are talented and wealthy. The apostolic model of ministry is different focusing on equipping for ministry sons and daughters of the house.
There is another model of ministry that some use that comes out of the corporate world. That model hires people to do the work of the ministry around the local church. They scour the country in search of a worship leader, children’s ministry leader, mission’s director, etc. What they end up doing is surrounding themselves with a bunch of hirelings. You can’t go to spiritual battle with mercenaries. When Abraham heard of Lot’s capture, he armed 318 of his trained servants, those born in his own house and pursed the enemy (Genesis 14:14). This is a biblical pattern.
In other words, they were Abraham’s spiritual sons and daughters. Spiritual sons and daughters are known by their pursuit, wiliness to advance the vision of the house, by carrying the same spirit as their leadership, and submit to the ongoing correction when needed of their spiritual fathers. (Correction is one main identifying mark of true spiritual sons and daughters.) Hirelings are different. They are about money, money and money. These will be with you as long as things are going good, but when the battle rages they are long gone. Apostolic leaders know that you can’t go to battle with a bunch of hirelings.
Apostolic leaders train and arm their spiritual sons and daughters for works of service. Ministry can be anything from sharing your personal testimony, teaching the word of God, praying for people, cell group ministry, writing, singing, minstrels, modeling the way of Christian faith and lifestyle, serving, establishing the kingdom of God, prophecy, giving finances and time, missions work, leading people to Christ, casting out devils, caring for the poor, needy, widows and orphans, or just simply being led by the Holy Ghost as one available to minister to others at any moment. I’m sure you can think of other things.
Ministry, therefore, is much more than what happens in church on Sunday morning. Yes, ministry in the church is important but we must see that there is more. Some leaders are really happy if they had a good Sunday service and depressed if they had a poor Sunday service. For some reason, their image of success in ministry depends on how many people were at church and how well they preached. To some, their ministry life revolves around that Sunday morning service. That folks is not apostolic life and ministry. As already said, the apostolic ministry is not about the one hour service on Sunday morning. Don’t limit God to Sunday morning. Christian service includes everyday of the week.
INVADE, OCCUPY, AND INFLUENCE
Christ has called you to invade, occupy and influence this world. You are called to take dominion and advance Kingdom culture. Apostolic ministry gifts understand there is a big difference in having a church service and invading a territory with the gospel of the Kingdom of God. Don’t build your ministry solely on great church services. Great church services are awesome but are only part of your ministry. If you are not perfecting the saints for the work of ministry, then you have not entered the apostolic model that Christ gave the Church.
Jesus said he would build his Church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it. That’s the type of ministry you are involved with. Stop working by yourself and start equipping others by identifying the gift of God in them and empowering that gift. Give your spiritual sons and daughters an assignment, help them understand their specific calling in life and ministry, and watch the champion inside them come alive.
We have worked in the harvest fields for over twenty years seeing thousands saved and filled with the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. We have helped orphans, fed the hungry, clothed the naked, visited the sick, those in prison, labored with great people doing their best to minister to the poor and lost offering hope through the redeeming blood of Christ.
We noticed something interesting among a few of those in full-time pastoral ministries. Some, it seems, lost sight of what full-time ministry is outside their local church service. They have a hard time with the concept of ministry beyond their pulpit ministry. By exposing them to an apostolic ministry on the mission’s field, they were better able to see the bigger picture and the importance of recruiting and equipping others for ministry.
MAKING THE TRANSITION
Through the years hundreds of pastors and church workers have traveled with me on teams. I have been blessed watching the Holy Ghost anoint hard working, caring, giving, and loving people that wanted to make a difference with their lives. We have seen miracles, healings, and deliverance from demons with the Holy Spirit using the willing to minister the love of Christ. I can’t thank God enough for the many wonderful relationships and team champions and partners he has surrounded us with.
On one of our invasion trips the Holy Ghost showed me that some believers just like those with pulpit ministries had a difficult time transitioning out of a church service only mindset. In other words, their image of ministry was the church service. So as long as we had services similar to a church service they were used too they did pretty well but when we hit the streets or entered a new territory without any local churches they were lost. “What’s the difference,” you ask? A church service is a church service. Some are very predictable because you already know what to expect. The doors are unlocked, air-conditions turned on, music system fired up, ushers get in their place, prayer time starts, singers get ready, preacher approaches the platform, etc.
Invading a mission territory, however, requires a different mindset because you don’t know what to expect. You are forced to hear from and follow the leading of the Holy Ghost. For example, what if the Holy Ghost sent you to a territory where there was no local church? Or the existing churches are so full of dead religious tradition that you can’t work with them? What do you do? What if the territory has no electric? Sound system or praise team? My point is that apostolic leaders don’t build their ministry solely around a Sunday morning service. They know how to train up and release others into ministry that can follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.
I wrote a book titled Fifty Earmarks of an Apostolic Church that will help you understand more about apostolic ministry, the local church and how you fit as an anointed believer. The bottom line is that Sunday morning services are great but there is more for believers that want to make a difference with their lives. Apostolic believers are not limited but ready for anything that comes their way. This week start expecting the Holy Spirit to use you in a special way as you minister to others.
(c) Apostle Jonas Clark
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