Friday, February 6, 2009

Apostolic Reformation

There is a growing change that is sweeping across the church world today. It is an Apostolic Reformation and it is dramatically changing the way we function individually and corporately as we see the office of the apostle restored. One of the revelations that I believe is being restored during this reformation is a revelation regarding an aspect of the Lord's character. He is called "Lord of hosts" (1 Samuel 4:4, Isaiah 1:24, Isaiah 2:12...) over 245 times. That is three times more than any other name that He is called. Strongs Concordance says:

tsaba' (tsaw-baw'); or (feminine) tseba'ah (tseb-aw-aw'); from OT:6633; a mass of persons (or figuratively, things), especially reg. organized for war (an army); by implication, a campaign, literally or figuratively (specifically, hardship, worship):

KJV - appointed time, (+)army, (+)battle, company, host, service, soldiers, waiting upon, war (-fare).

moveasoneman.jpg (12656 bytes)Our God is the Lord of the armies. There is a call going out through the body of Christ in this day for us all to get in rank and file. The army is being formed up. It is a re-formation and it is occurring as the office and gift of the apostle is being recognized and received in the body of Christ.

moveasoneman1.jpg (38301 bytes) In the military there is order, discipline, and an understanding of authority. All of these things are necessary for us to learn to move as "one man" (Neh. 8:1). To impart this understanding and build teamwork soldiers go through a rigorous training regimen. Each soldier understands the importance of working together and teamwork.

Please note that all references to war, warfare, battle etc. are referring to spiritual warfare. We must not confuse battle against demonic forces with people. We must demonstrate our love towards people just like Jesus did as well as pray and act as He did.

There are great changes sweeping the body of Christ today. As we understand more of this aspect of the Lord's character we'll see changes in the way the church functions. I expect to see even more discipline exercised individually and corporately. I expect to see more examples of corporate teamwork with communities, cities, nations and internationally. To accomplish this five fold leaders will take on more of the characteristics found in good military officers.

Good military officers exhibit the characteristics of "servant leadership." They lead by example. They never ask their people to do what they don't do or have not done themselves. They take care of their people, train them, equip them, challenge them and prepare them for warfare both physically and mentally. I believe the five fold ministry gifts that are part of this apostolic reformation will prepare their people spiritually, mentally and physically so that we might "make disciples of all nations." They will a greater care and concern for the stewardship of the gifts and callings in peoples lives because they realize that the church cannot reach maturity without each other (Eph. 4:16). They really will seek to help each of you become what God has called you to be. It will not be about "building their ministry."

I have observed In the military that junior officers think in terms of tactics. They love to fight. Senior officers (Generals & Admirals), have to see the big picture. They have to think and act strategically. Those with the apostolic gifting will think strategically. Check out this historical study on the Greek word that we have translated apostle.

Strategic thinking requires a leader to think in terms of intelligence, operations, communication, supply, and mobility. To rise to the rank of Admiral or a General requires that you attain a certain level of administrative skill as you have to not only lead your people, but you also have provide for them and coordinate their interaction with other units as they engage the enemy. Another term for this kind of administration is operations.

The Apostle Paul was known as a "wise master builder." He laid the foundation for others to build upon. He saw strategically and laid a foundation that others could build upon. When I observe Paul in the epistles directing the various ministries (Timothy, Titus, etc.) I think of him like a general contractor coordinating the gifts of the sub-contractors. This is very similar to what an admiral or general does. Only, they coordinate their various units to engage an enemy with an overall strategic plan. Each unit has its specialty and to magnify their effectiveness their operations must be coordinated.

C. Peter Wagner of Global Harvest Ministries, has this to say regarding the Apostolic Reformation:

"new forms and operational procedures began to emerge in areas such as local church government, interchurch relationships, financing, evangelism, missions, prayer, leadership selection and training, the role of supernatural power, worship and other important aspects of church life"

Hence I believe that we are seeing changes sweep through leadership and the church as there comes a greater understanding of the need for:

bulletStrategic thinking
bulletNew operational and administrative disciplines (Prophetic Administration)
bulletCommunication procedures
bulletServant leadership
bulletThe Biblical Principles of Warfare (applied by professional officers for over 2500 years)

To that end, we are doing what we can to encourage, support and equip others to grow into the Army of the Lord.

Tim Taylor, Watchman Ministries International


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