The Apostolic Team Model
Mark 2:22 (NLT) “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the wine would burst the wineskins, and the wine and the skins would both be lost. New wine calls for new wineskins.”
It’s time for the Leadership of God’s Church to take the New Wine of the Holy Spirit and put into a New Wineskin of Leadership. We need to change the model… We need to return to the way of Jesus and the Apostles. Here’s why…
Once Our Lord had ascended into Heaven and left His Apostles here to continue His work it did not take long for old habits and ways of doing things to begin to affect the growth of the Church. It didn’t take long for things to stagnate… So, The Lord allowed persecution to afflict the Church and they dispersed throughout Asia Minor. Meanwhile, The Lord was stirring things up…
Acts 11:19-26 (NKJV) 19 Now those who were scattered after the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to no one but the Jews only. 20 But some of them were men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the Lord Jesus. 21 And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord. 22 Then news of these things came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch. 23 When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord. 24 For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord. 25 Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul. 26 And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So, it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
It was in Antioch that finally a Church grew that was filled with Saved Jews and Gentiles!!! It was here that the fires of reaching the lost began to burn…
The model changed… It became Apostolic!
They were now going to do things the way that Jesus had intended for them to do them! Many Churches are experiencing a similar thing today… Paul had called himself a “wise master-builder” (1 Corinthians 3:10) He described what the Church was to be like and then he laid the foundation for it in people’s lives. Jesus had not done everything by himself and the Leaders in Antioch followed His model…
Jesus had trained his disciples and then sent them out to do the work of the ministry. He welcomed others into the process of building the Church and so the Leaders in Antioch did the same thing.
So it is there that we see the first Apostolic Team formed.
For many years now the role of the Senior Leader in the Church was to “The Pastor” … and the Pastor had to do it all! The Pastor was to be the charismatic builder who did it all. Recently some Churches have begun to call their leaders “The CEO”. They have modified the traditional role and styled it after the business models of todays corporations. But today the Lord is casting a new vision to His Leaders. He is showing that “The Way of Jesus and The Apostles” is the best way!
Leaders today must become more of a visionary like Peter and Paul were rather than being like the corporate giants of today’s world. Rather than sitting in Board rooms and running the Church with this modern corporate style they need to be active in the Church looking for the next Timothy, Titus and Mark!
As the Early Church learned in Antioch, the Leaders of The Church today need to create Apostolic Teams made up of Gifted Servant Leaders who work together to “equip the saints of God for the ministry” of their daily lives.
This is the role I have been trying to fulfill as the Bishop of Living Water Church. I have not been called a “Pastor” for over 20 years now because I have been on a Journey learning how to build an Apostolic Team of Leaders to share the work of “Equipping the Saints”.
That vision and my work is now bearing fruit. There is a shared responsibility in this Apostolic Team there. I am no longer the “chief cook and bottle washer”. Today you see in our Church the fruit of my labors… There are others who now work alongside of me sharing the load of ministry.
Our common goal is found in Ephesians 4:11 – 13 (NLT)
“Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.”
We are raising up “Full Stature Christians” who resemble Jesus! Everyone ministers according to their giftings and our Leaders impart their anointings to the Members according to their ability.
The results are that we are seeing mature Christians who demonstrate New Testament Christianity to everyone they meet. And so…
OUR VISION IS TO TRANSFORM each Church member into a true Disciple of Jesus and demonstrate the Kingdom of God in our daily lives.
WE ARE LED BY AN APOSTOLIC TEAM of Spirit Empowered Servant Leaders.
The Team equips God’s People by nurturing them in the Word building Character and developing the Fruit of the Spirit. We endeavor to Identify and Activate each members Spiritual Gifts resulting in our Members having opportunities to Serve using their God Given Gifts, Talents and Abilities. We believe in the Abundant Life that Jesus spoke of helping us to prosper and live in Good Health as our souls prosper. Because of this, our Members move from Salvation to Discipleship.
“Not by might, nor by power but by My Spirit saith The Lord. [Zech 4:6]
WE WILL SEE GOD’S KINGDOM COME BY IMPACTING OUR CULTURE AND EVANGELIZING THE LOST.
And we Raise our Children in a “Culture of Honor” [Exodus 20:12] and we desire to be a dynamic Church that meets the needs of everyone who comes to us.