“The Old Is Gone; Behold The New!” Will New Forms Of Worship Be Natural Or Supernaturally Natural?

The Millennials Look For Ways To Express Themselves In Worship – Part II

In his blog The Imminent Decline Of Contemporary Worships Music: Eight Reasons, (Oct. 27, 2014,) T. David Gordon wrote, “Thankfully, my own generation is beginning to die. While ostensibly created “for the young people,” the driving force behind contemporary worship music was always my own Sixties generation of anti-adult, anti-establishment, rebellious Woodstockers and Jesus freaks. Once my generation became elders and deacons (and therefore those who ran the churches), we could not escape our sense of being part of the “My Generation” that The Who’s Pete Townsend had sung about when we were young; so we (not the young people) wanted a brand of Christianity that did not look like our parents’ brand.”

What drew many Baby Boomers who were “church kids”, like me, away from their institutional churches towards the Jesus and Charismatic Movements often were the forms of worship we witnessed, when God’s Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, fell on his believers individually and corporately. I had never experienced the masses “singing in the Spirit” in heavenly harmony until in the midst of a charismatic worship experience. The beautiful, rich, four part, a capella harmonies of hymn singing could not capture the harmonies and intimacy of worship found in this unique corporate expression!

I had experienced superb singers singing “special music” before the sermon, but never experienced the richness of a common believer being given an original tune with lyrics by the Holy Spirit while being accompanied by musicians who had never heard the tune before either until I witnessed it at a charismatic worship service.

At Love Inn in Freeville, New York, I witnessed someone sing an original “new song” accompanied by Phil Keaggy and his band while a lady interpreted the song through dance, all at the same time, all original, never rehearsed.

At Jim Brown’s Saturday night Prayer and Praise Meeting at Upper Octorara Presbyterian Church in Parkesburg, PA, I heard a lady sing The Lord’s Prayer, not in the traditional way, but in an entirely original tune that the Lord gave her which powerfully impacted everyone present.

Over the years I have heard prophetic words given through song rather than just being oral. I even witnessed people being ministered to personally through musical instrumentation without lyrics. The Holy Spirit is a creative spirit and will manifest and lift up Jesus in many forms that are nontraditional to us.

I remember sitting on my blanket at outdoor Jesus Rallies in the ‘70’s & 80’s, listening to contemporary Christian bands, discerning if their audience was heavenward or directed to those in front of them. Very few bands directed theirs truly heavenward, but when they did, an incredible worships experience occurred. I have seen a heavy Christian rock band hold their closing note at an incredible decibel level in the midst of an incredible worship experience. It is hard to explain.

So my question to the Millennials is, “What kind of worship are you seeking: high quality professional music, superbly written lyrics, well staged and professionally lighted, with top quality professional musicians and singers, or common, ordinary, believers, like you and me, jointly willing to do whatever the Holy Spirit tells us to do, even if it is out of the ordinary, out of our current comfort zones, totally original, unscripted, fresh and new. Are we willing to just be vessels of His love, His grace, His Mercy, and His voice through obedience to the Holy Spirit? If so, Millennials too can experience supernaturally natural worship!


“The Old Is Gone; Behold The New!” Can This Be True For The Way The Church Worships?

The Millennials Look For Ways To Express Themselves In Worship – Part I 

I read an interesting blog, 3 Reasons Contemporary Worship Is Declining, and What We Can Do To Help The Church Move On by Jonathan Aigner (Sept. 4, 2015). His three proponents are: 1) Baby boomers are losing their influence. “‘My own generation is beginning to die.’ Your parents, not your kids, are the biggest proponents of contemporary worship,” 2) Millennials are seeking old ways of doing things. “This doesn’t mean a return to the church of the 1950s, but it means an increasing rejection of the church of the 1990s and 2000s”, 3) Contemporary worship is an unstable and non-theological movement. “To be thoroughly contemporary necessitates a slavish allegiance to the new, the current, the hip, the cool, and the commercial. It requires a thorough rejection of what is old, passe, not current, not cool, and what doesn’t make money.”

Aigner senses a shift in the church worship scene, giving me a hint that the millennials are seeking their own identity in worship, which excites me. This is a good thing.

As a Baby Boomer growing up in the 1950’s & 60’s, I was inundated by hymns written by composers who died over a hundred years earlier. Southern gospel quartets, “special music,” and “choir anthems” entertained us. Worship services were predictable; their script was printed in the church bulletin.

That was all challenged in the ‘70’s & ‘80’s when the Jesus Movement introduced Contemporary Christian Music with a rock beat as electric guitars and drum kits replaced the electronic pipe organs, and the Charismatic Movement introduced worship choruses as choirs yielded to worship teams. Churches were forced to offer two worship services: a traditional service with hymns, hymnals, a choir, special music, and sermon held in a sanctuary, and a contemporary service with choruses projected on an overhead screen, a worship team with drums, guitars, amplifiers, and stage lighting, and a sermon held in an adjacent church gymnasium or all purpose room. The Baby Boomers were trying to find their own unique way to express their praise and adoration to God through worship.

It takes decades for the church to embrace new forms and styles of worship. Those Baby Boomers as youth and those in their twenties who challenged the church scene are now the establishment that accepts their style of worship as acceptable. I do not necessarily support Aigner’s call to “Refuse to contribute to the commercial industry. Stop paying Nashville and Atlanta and Australia for its so-called “worship music.” Stop going to “worship” concerts. Stop listening to commercial Christian radio.” Keith Green challenged the Contemporary Music Industry of his day for their capitalistic entrepreneurship, but he did not call to ditch the whole movement. There is much to glean from it that has benefited the Church.

What the millennials will contribute to the Christian worship scene is yet to be determined by the Holy Spirit, the creator of Christian creativity, who flows among us. How He chooses to express Himself in their midst is yet to be seen, but when it occurs, I guarantee that it will be rejected by current forms, structures, and powers within the institutional church, and it will take decades until it too becomes the accepted practice within the faith.

Holy Spirit come; Holy Spirit create! Church observe what the Holy Spirit is doing in the midst of His people, those who call themselves millennials, as they worship naturally and supernaturally. Embrace the upcoming changes, and accept the new forms of expression Jesus will give His Church, His Bride, in preparation for their eternal marriage in the heavens. Get use to it, for worship in heaven will NOT look like the way we currently do it on earth; just read the book of Revelations, and you will see!


Can I And My Local Church Face Change?

 Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XXXXVII

He who sits on the throne (Jesus) said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” (Revelation 21:5) 

Often only when engulfed in it is one willing to face change. When you experience it, you know its real, and it only becomes a part of you when you fully embrace it.

As an undergraduate, I learned about teaching, but only by experiencing teaching in daily life did I become a teacher. I thought I knew a lot about my wife the day I said, “I do,” BUT how little I did know was exposed through decades of marriage to her. We took “baby classes” prior to the birth of our first child; they were no longer needed for our next two because of what we had experienced with the first one. Now, in the fall of my life, people think I have wisdom, but wisdom is only learned through experiencing life.

Our life cycle is all about change. About the time one gets use to being dependent on their parents, they kick you out of the house! About the time you feel being comfortable as being an independent single, you fall in love and get married. About the time you enjoy your spouse, children arrive! About the time you appreciate your kids, they’ve grown up and left the nest. Its back to adjusting to the spouse in an “empty nest” with no kids. Just as you enjoy one another again, one dies. Now you are single again but discover that  you need help from your children during your elderly years; you are dependent again! If life is all about change, then why do we resist it so much? The sooner one yields to change, the sooner life returns to being smoother, familiar, and normal until change raises its head again.

All organisms go through life cycles, even the Church, so it needs to embrace change. The rigidity of defined structures and traditions often oppose and prevent change, so we have to undo mindsets that have been set in stone. Moses had the Law, the Logos Word, set in stone on Mount Sinai but eventually learned that man could not live by it no matter how hard they tried. Jesus came as the Rhema, living, Word who not only lived out the Word, but fulfilled it.

Only through our relationship with Jesus and our relationship with fellow believers for whom we are willing to lay down our lives can we work on changing these mindsets. Jesus said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.” (Mark 10:27) Only through yielding to the Holy Spirit can changed mindsets become a reality. The Holy Spirit can instill vision in us, and his still small voice can tell us what to do. “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” (Matthew 11:15)

I conclude this series of blogs by asking you, “Why should/shouldn’t you embrace change?” and collectively, “Why should/shouldn’t my local church embrace change?” If you and/or I do not embrace the upcoming change, we, like our old Jewish forefathers and former Catholic saints will be versatile and adjust as much as our systems and structures allow and call it revival and renewal, but if we embrace change, we, like our first century brethren, peers in Jesus Christ, joint members in this royal Priesthood of Believers, will see great things, experience creative newness, and fulfill God’s provincial plan. 


Vision, Point Of View: Deurteronomy 16:16


Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XXXXV

We have come full circle, literally. The Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ has offered us the vision and point of view of salvation, offering life and living to the dead and lost. He has offered us a restored relationship with the Godhead that was once lost, separated through the Gulf of sin but has been reestablished through the shed blood of Jesus on the Cross.  That Passover Spirit is the spirit of evangelism.

The Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ has offered us the vision and point of view for nurturing, growth, and maturity in Jesus Christ only obtained through proper care by being groomed in the Logos Word and living it out through the Rhema Word. That prophetic, teaching, and shepherding spirits are the Pentecost experience.

The Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ has offered us the apostolic vision and point of view of seeing the big picture of a believer’s spiritual journey from spiritual birth, justification, through the process of maturing in Christ, sanctification, to the passing from this world into an eternal relationship with the Godhead, glorification. It is a journey which needs brothers and sisters in the Lord sacrificially walking beside one another as peers in Christ, a Priesthood of Believers, the Church.

Our personal Passover, Pentecost, and Feast of Booths is tied to our “accepting” them by “faith” and our willingness to “receive” them. The kingdom of God does not have slaves, only willing servants. God never forces us to do anything; He sent his Holy Spirit to “convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.” (John 16:8-11) All we must do is be willing to accept all he has to offer. It is up to us.

Disclaimer: By accepting this offer, expect change.


Experiencing Deurteronomy 16:16

 Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XXXXIII

Our Deuteronomy 16:16 passage concluded, “…and they shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed.” I believe worship to be simple, the act of giving back to the Lord what He has already given you. If we believe that, then there is a price to be paid during each of these three feasts; something is to be given back to the Lord.

In his book, The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis has captured the price for Passover. To receive salvation, you have to give Jesus the garbage of your life, that which prohibits you from drawing near to God. Lewis tells of a bus trip to the out skirts of hell and the edge of heaven where the saints try for one last time to persuade their loved ones to come to heaven. They refuse because they do not want to give up that which binds them (ie. pity, self centeredness, greed, wealth, etc.) Looking back, giving God our garbage did not look like a big deal, but it was, for it was difficult, particularly when sin is pleasurable and rewarding to one’s ego.

When one has a Pentecost experience, the price is to pay “one’s all,” everything! If Jesus is to be Lord of one’s life, he demands all because He is in total control of your life. A popular car bumper sticker was “God is My Copilot.” How wrong that premise is if you made Jesus your Lord. He is the pilot, period! You aren’t even the copilot; he flies the plane. When on autopilot, the Holy Spirit is in control! All you have to do is be obedient to His flight plans as He directs. It is was difficult giving up your garbage and junk for your salvation, it is even harder to give up the good things that have benefited you to which you are now attached.

For The Feast of Booths or The Feast of Tabernacles you give up your earthly tabernacle, your physical body. Which is better; living her on earth doing the Lord’s will or dyeing and being with the Lord in heaven? Paul wrote,”For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21) Glorification is giving up this earthly body to dwell eternally in the Presence of the Lord Jesus Christ!



Experiencing Deurteronomy 16:16

Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XXXXIII

“Three times in a year all your males shall appear before the Lord your God in the place which He chooses…”

God is unique in that he treats us individually but sees us corporately as a Body in Christ. God reveals himself through all of his believers experiencing the truth of all three of these festivals as Israel and the Church has done, but that truth can also be expressed individually. For example, the way to salvations is universal: through Jesus. To experience “justification by faith” individually, each person must make the choice for themselves to accept Jesus as their Savior and Lord. The acceptance of Him is an universal principle, but each of our journeys and each of our stories is uniquely different. That is why “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9) Your confession is important, for it is your unique experience with Jesus for the first time and being birthed into his kingdom.

The same principle holds true for Pentecost. The principle of Pentecost, the Logos written Word becoming a Rhema living Word in one’s personal life by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, is an universal principle, but again one’s journey, one’s story, on how they got there is uniquely different.

Also, one’s Feast of Booth’s experience is uniquely personal. When a person is in the process of dyeing a natural death, their whole life can flash before them. By reliving their life, they can deal with situations by forgiving people, accepting life’s events no matter how difficult, or releasing events and people. It is as if “life’s judgments” are presented to them as a last ditch effort to release oneself from this world, literally, so they can “rest in peace” if they know Jesus. I have seen people who do not know Jesus in anguish during this time as if being prepared for the anguish in the eternal afterlife apart from God. I’ve seen people set free, relieved, relax, and “enter into peace” because they know the Prince of Peace. That is what the Feast of Booths is all about, each person preparing to leave their booth, their physical body here on earth for an eternal spiritual body in the afterlife.


Apostolic Vision: Deurteronomy 16:16

Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XXXXII

The apostolic point of view sees the Church as a whole in God’s divine plan. The Old Testament usually outlines the foundation for godly principles, and the New Testament usually fulfills them through Jesus. An Old Testament scripture that sets the stage to reveal God’s divine plan for Israel, the kingdom of God, and the Priesthood of believers is Deuteronomy 16:16: “Three times in a year all your males shall appear before the Lord your God in the place which He chooses, at the Feast of Unleavened Bread and at the Feast of Weeks and at the Feast of Booths, and they shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed.”

One can understand his passage and its meaning through the different feasts which reveal truths pertaining to the history of Israel, the birth of the New Testament Church, through the life of Jesus, and through the establishment of the kingdom of God.

Old Testament History of Israel:

All are called to “appear before the Lord your God in the place which He chooses” for “the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Passover/Pesach) and at the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost/Shavuot) and at the Feast of Booths (Sukkot).” During Passover/Pesach the angel of death “passed over” all the doorpost where lamb’s blood was smeared, saving the firstborn inside from death. This event allowed Israel to leave 500 years of slavery to “pass through” the Red Seas and the Wilderness of Sin to the Promise Land. Pentecost/Shavuot celebrates Moses receiving the written Word on Mount Sinai. The Feast of Booths/Sukkot commemorates 40 years of wandering through the dessert while living in temporary shelters in preparation for entering into the Promise Land. It also celebrates the ingathering of the harvest.

New Testament Church:

To the Church, Passover is when Jesus became the sacrificial lamb whose blood was shed to cover the sins of the world. He would be God’s living Word given to the Church, so when he ascended back to the Father, He would send the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, birthing and baptizing his church with power as the Rhema Word, the living Word, to prepare it for the Feast of Booths when the Groom, Jesus, would return for His Bride, the Church, for an ingathering of saints.

The Life Of Jesus:

Jesus is the fulfillment of all three of these festivals: “the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Passover) and at the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) and at the Feast of Booths. Jesus fulfilled Passover as the Sacrificial Lamb, dying for the sins of the world. He would fulfill Pentecost by becoming the Living Word that dwelt among man and send the Holy Spirit to empower his believers. Finally, through the Feast of Booths, Jesus will return for a glorified Church, harvesting, ingathering his saints, the Church.

Christian Believers:

All who are Christians are called to “appear before the Lord your God in the place which He chooses” for “the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Passover) and at the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) and at the Feast of Booths.” These feasts are decisive experiences with Jesus during the lifetime of a believer. He must face Jesus as his Savior, Passover, accept Him as his Lord, Pentecost, be willing to give all up, even his physical body, to be with Him in heaven throughout eternity.

The Kingdom of God:

The Kingdom of God is about spiritual growth of a believer. Martin Luther defined Passover as “justification by faith.” Because of what Jesus did on the Cross, God views us ‘just as if we never sinned.”  Pentecost is the spiritual growth called “sanctification” - “until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ….. we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ.” (Ephesians 4:13,15) Jesus appeared with a glorified body to the twelve after his resurrection. We, too, will celebrate the Feast of Booths by having glorified bodies when we physically die and go to be with Jesus throughout eternity, a process called glorification.


The Five Fold Spirit Cries Out

 Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XXXXI

I am convinced that God wants a metamorphosis, a total transformational reconstruction of his Church through the leading of the Holy Spirit. When facing the unknown, particularly the supernatural, man gets nervous. God does not need man’s approval, for He is in total control. Man’s natural tendency is to hold on to control and to familiarity. Historically, the Sanhedrin functioned this way against the prophets of old, against Jesus, and against the new Church. Throughout history, religious officials have often opposed movements of God.

Can we trust what visibly we cannot see and is not tangible, which defies logic and reason, the supernatural, the Holy Spirit? In times of uncertainty, in whom do we place our trust?  ”Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen, for by it the men of old gained approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible,” (Hebrews 11:1-3) so any movement of God has to come out of the “word of God” by “faith” because ”what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.”

Trusting the invisible Holy Spirit and the Word of God is how men of old gained God’s approval. There is no other option but to trust the invisible, the Rhema Word, the Holy Spirit.

“But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:23,24)

That is why the five fold is so relevant.

The apostolic cries out, “When He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” (John 16:13)

The evangelistic spirit announces, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:5-8)

The teaching spirit cries for the Logos Word, ”For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”(Hebrews 4:12)

The prophetic spirit proclaims a living Word, ”For you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.” (I Peter 1:23)


The Art Of Governing the Church

Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XXXX

Isaiah prophesied,  “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6) Really, what form of government is resting on his shoulders? Church government? If so, What is that to look like?

The secular political world is all about power and control. Agreement is rare, compromise is common, fighting and squabbling the norm. Corruption hangs around the corner awaiting opportunity, and position and titles are important, yet all claim to be “public servants”.  Today’s church government is patterned after the secular, for men are given titles, positions called offices, and claim to be servants to their congregation. Some churches are congregational where members hold the power, other churches have elder boards, and still others have strong senior pastors with full authority. Since churches are institutions, they are governed by secular guidelines, their own bi-laws, and legal paperwork to remain tax-exempt. The first century church was not governed this way.

The first century Church was governed by consensus among believers as peers in Jesus Christ. Consensus does not mean 100% agreement nor majority rule where 49% still disagree. Consensus was when every believer was willing to lay down his personal agenda and lay down their lives to serve one another allowing the Holy Spirit to guide the Church.

The Holy Spirit led the first century Church into accepting” diversity by making all believers peers in Christ. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28) Today’s church can no longer segregate itself by sex, race, title, economic status, or denominations. It has to learn to “accept” one another, not be judgmental.

In the five fold, no one person governs, the whole body does by trusting the Holy Spirit and each other. The “government rests on His shoulders.” Ironically, the Holy Spirit is not above” believers in a pyramidal paradigm, but indwells each believer. Gods Spirit is among His people for a consensus from the heart. If Church leadership is linear, every believer serves beside his brethren as an equal peer. No one stands alone or above others. All are “to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.” (Ephesians 4:15-16) That is how the Church governs itself; through body ministry.

Headship does not mean being “over” others, but beside one another as peers. Even in marriage, Eve came from Adam’s side, not his head or foot. Figuratively, they are joined at the hip! I believe that it is God’s will for believers to be “suitable helpers” (Genesis 1:24) as a wife is to her husband in order to be “one flesh” in the Body of Christ. If you are willing to ”lay down our lives for the brethren” and serve one another, people will naturally follow you, making you a leader.

Paul did not serve and govern the first century church alone. He had Barnabas, Timothy, Silas, Mark, Pricilla & Aquila, Tychicus, Onesimus, Aristarchus, Luke, Demas, Nympha, Archippus, Epaphroditus, Apollos, and many others who stood by him. Church leadership should be pluralistic. Ruling or lording over others creates church politics. Ruling by serving one another as a peer, as a brother and sister in the Lord, brings life. Life creates an organism. Properly governing the Church through Christ-like relationships is the only way the church will restore itself from being an organization to again being an organism. That is why the 21st century Church must address a new mindset of governing itself.


Singular or Pluralistic Leadership?

 Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XXXIX

A good pyramidal organization needs many good leaders at different levels, but only one leader can be at the time. His decisions are decisive, and everyone below him obeys his directives in order to be a “company man”. When things run smoothly, everyone is happy. When a problem arises, the man on top tackles it, for that is why his paid so much. Positioning of leaders is crucial to develop “yes men” to follow directives from above. He is your boss not your peer. People who you consider to be your peers, your coworkers, aren’t necessarily your friends but are your competitors for higher ranking positions. By working with one another you appear to be supporting the corporation, but bottom line, you make the boss look good to increase your chance for advancement.              

In the religious world the Senior Pastor cannot have personal relationships with a large laity base, so he concentrates on his leaders. When a problem arises, he too steps forward with authority to solve the problem. His decisions too are final, decisive, and not to be questions. His job as an authoritarian is never easy on relationships. Only professionals qualify; laity can never attain a high position of leadership.

Millennials find that there is no room for leadership for them since they occupy the foundational base of this pyramidal structure. Millennials are looking for linear peer relationships, not vertical relationships based on authority. They want their voices validated rather than always being criticized and dictated to.

Although Jesus spoke to multitudes, he intimately invested in only twelve. He was preparing simple men to be apostles who would see over what the Holy Spirit would do in the lives of believers. The twelve became peers in the faith. Although Jesus told Peter, “You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church,” (Matthew 16:10) it was not his intent to make Peter the Pope over his church, but he taught Peter to lead by being beside others, serving them. At the house of Cornelius, he validated the gentile’s experience with the Holy Spirit and defended them at the Council of Jerusalem. For the rest of his life he would be their peer, never dominating over them.

The organizational mind asks, “Doesn’t having so many leaders as peers bring confusion? Someone has to be in charge!” If all the leaders are serving one another, there will be no confusion. The Church can never have enough evangelists, shepherds, teachers, prophets, or apostles who serve simultaneously. The key is all must be listening to the Holy Spirit and network through service with one another. Releasing people into the five fold can prevent domination and control while promoting diversity and plurality. The church multiplied quickly because Jesus invested in only twelve who invested in other believers by equipping and releasing them to serve.

Since power often defines position, I ask you, “Does the leadership at your local church stand over you or beside you relationally? Are they your peers or superiors? Do they come across to you as common believers, peers in Jesus, or as superior leaders better than you?”


Are Millennials Vertical Or Horizontal?

Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XXXVIII

The current church leadership style of being built on pyramidal titles, positions, and professions can be a challenge to Millennials who are looking for linear relationships built on peer acceptance as equals. Millennials are not impressed with pyramidal leadership that has built organizations and institutions but are not effective in developing meaningful, intimate relationships as peers.

The perks of a pyramidal structure as a chance for advancement, providing a good health care plan or a secure retirement system are not as appealing to Millennials as finding relationships who will stand beside you, defend you, lead you, and walk out life with you personally. Why should they trust a Health Care System they are financing, a burdensome pension system they are paying for, and a Higher Education System that places them in deep debt without the promise of a job, or a banking system that pays them no interest on their savings but massive interest rates on using credit cards? When they come to church, why would they not be skeptical of yet another pyramidal scheme? They always lose! Is church just another institution that they have to finance? The pyramidal system benefits those on top at the expense of those below them. The investors are more important than the workers. Millennials are looking for meaningful relationships that will benefit them, not just being the base of a system financing the top.

Millennials are also facing an ethical and moral clash with older generations. Millennials are just trying to survive economically; so living with a roommate of another sex to pay the rent is no big deal. They aren’t looking for formal commitments, just the need to be “accepted”. Being “in a relationship” is important to a Millennial, but not necessarily a marriage relationship. Millennials are being conditioned to take care of themselves, since pyramidal institutions will not take care of them. It is more important to a Millennial to complete high school, get a college education, even if it puts them deep in debt, so they can get a well paying job, and establish a career before thinking of having children, a family, or getting married. Since they aren’t committing to marriage until later, they are sexually active longer as singles, which has produce a generation filled with single mothers, unwed couples, and dead-beat dads.

Before previous generations throw stones at Millennials, I ask, “Why would they embrace marriage when there are more divorces than successful marriages among their parents and peers?” Marriage looks like another institution that has failed them! To them birthing children does not equate to forced “shot gun” marriages, nor does having children outside marriage carry the same negative stigma it once had. The Puritanical days of having a “bastard” child as in The Scarlet Letter is history. Amazingly, the unchurched Millennial is not as judgmental about each other as their churched parents and grandparents are.

If secular and religious institutions have failed Millennials, what does the church have to do to draw them back into its fold? Answer: Accept them for whom they are, where they are unconditionally. Jesus always used unconditional love and grace, not the religious Law. They are looking for genuine relationships, not superficial structures. They are looking for people to walk beside them, not lord over them.

Millennials are looking for someone who is willing to step up, step forward, step beside them through loving relationships of service to fulfill Mathew 15:35-40:

“For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’”

Secular institutions have not fulfilled Mellennial’s needs; they have failed them. It is time for the Church, not as an institution but through personal relationships, to step up and serve, accept, win them to Jesus, and equip, nurture, and care for them in an effort to mature them into the image and fullness of Jesus Christ! That is the mission of the Ephesians 4 Church!


The Pyramid Verses Flat World Views


Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XXXVII


Since the pyramidal, C.E.O. leadership model is so entrenched in our capitalistic culture, almost every American institutional system is patterned after it. The masses are its foundation; its strong leaders dictate from its apex. President Harry Truman cemented this mentality politically when proclaiming “the buck stops here.” Economically, the minimum waged masses produce the product while the C.E.O. gleans its massive profits.  The American dream is to gain wealth, prestige, and power by rising to the top of the pyramid.

American education, which once sported spinster teachers in one-room schools, now supports a myriad of school administrators who dictate school policy that is also known for not embracing change very quickly. The students, the foundation of this pyramid, are lost under this crushing pyramidal system and mandatory test taking.

Doctors who once owned their “own practices”, did “home visits”, and carried their own little pharmacy in a black doctor’s bag, have been forced to join huge “Health Care Conglomerates” and become their employees. Even a greater pyramidal institution has developed through the Heal Care Insurance Industry and The Affordable Health Care Act, which you now must join by law.

The church has become another imbedded American Institution with the laity as its base supporting a professional leadership structure of pastors and priests.

Like their counterparts of the ‘60’s, the Millennials, today’s young adults, are challenging pyramidal structures through their Internet mentality. Their Facebook world requires you to be a “friend” in order to communicate. When “accepting” them as a friend, one becomes your peer, your equal. Your voice is as valid as theirs. Data and numbers are important to them, and the masses influence the Internet as the Wikipedia phenomena has exemplified.

The Millennial “unchurched” have trouble understanding the clergy/laity divide when they relate to each other as equal peers, have trouble with lectured sermons when they are use to a comment section to blogs on web sites, being told when to stand, sit, sing, financially give, and leave when they are learning to stand on their own. The Millennials leave with more questions than they get answers, and their voice is not validated. They just want to be accepted for who they are, but find church acceptance as being conditional. Millennials are looking for peers, not professionals.

The five fold model extends unconditional love and acceptance through grace; people who are committed and willing to lay down their lives for one another. Through the five fold they can find a way to be born again, nurtured in maturity, and accepted for their diversity.

As a believer in the faith, do I want to remain passive, in the protected safety of the status quo, institutionalized, pyramidal structures, or am I willing to accept and embrace change where my peers are my equals as I attempt to reach my generation for Jesus? The choice lies with each one of us, individually, and corporately as the Church.


The World Of Change And The Church

Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XXXVI 

What would the world be like without electricity, telecommunications, the Internet, combustible engines, septic systems, water and sewage treatment plants, super highways, super markets, etc. We wonder how our ancestors survived without them. Technology has changed everyone’s lifestyles.

The church often associated new technology with being the devil’s tool and wanted no part of it. The Amish still hold that standard. Church services still feature hymns written by composers who have been dead for over one hundred and fifty years, an order of worship that is no different than when the Puritans landed on Plymouth Rock, and has maintained the same leadership structure for almost seventeen hundred years. I think it is safe to say that the church does not embrace change as quickly as the secular world does.

Some look at this lack of change as stability while some minimally embrace it as an attempt to be relevant with current culture. Those who have embraced wide change are called heretics, and historically they were burned at the stake! The secular world expects change; the church is threatened by it. Why? For a group that believes that “I can do all things in Christ Jesus who strengthens me,”(Philippians 4:14) why are they so threatened by change and fear of the unknown, and fail to adjust?

If anyone should understand change, it is my generation, for we demanded it. I was raised in a well ordered church life of going to Sunday School and Church, Mid-week Prayer Service, Choir Rehearsals, and church Youth Activities weekly. Leave It To Beaver, Father Knows Best, and the Ozzie & Harriet Nelson television shows depicted the sterile, clean, family lifestyle I knew. Then came the rebellious ‘1960’s with Woodstock, hippies, the Civil Rights Movement, the Women’s Liberation Movement, segregation of schools in the South, the Viet Nam War, assassinations of political figures, and even the resignation of a U.S. President under a corruption scandal. America’s moral and ethical infrastructure was challenged at every level, yet the church remained primarily silent, not sure how to address such rapid change. They even resisted the Jesus Movement and Charismatic Movements with in their own ranks during this time.

If church change is so cumbersome, what challenges does the 21st Century church face in a connected world shrunk by the Internet?  We still have to ask, “Does my local church want to remain status quo, stable, orderly, and predictable, or will it accept the challenges that come with change? What changes are affecting my generation? In the next upcoming blogs we will look at the current winds of change that are blowing over the church steeples of America and the world.


The Five Fold Is Already In The Church!


Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XXXV

In the 1980’s and ‘90’s, my family was active in Lay Witness Missions through the United Methodist Church, a powerful lay ministry composed of pot-luck dinners, small group activities, while staying overnight in local parishioner’s homes. A lay coordinator would be assigned to invite a team of visiting missioners to come share their faith journeys. He would also help establish committees to involve the local parishioners in participating in the weekend.

The weekend featured several covered dish dinners, adult small group sessions, Youth activities, and a Children’s Ministry. In Friday night’s small group adult session, only three questions were posed: 1) What do you expect for your church this weekend? 2) What do want for yourself this weekend? and 3) Why did you come tonight? Some came for the food and fellowship. Some confessed they came because their spouses made them. The answers to these three questions were quite insightful.

Some wished to get closer to God, to grow in their faith, or to hear how the Lord was working in other’s lives. One wanted to see others get saved while another hoped for more Bible studies, prayer groups, and small groups to be established in the future. The need for the five fold was prevalent in all these groups: to win the lost, to nurture the saints, to study the Logos Word and transform it into the Rhema Word, to get closer to God, and to see the church as a whole unite and come alive.

Even though the weekend had a formal schedule, it still remained fluid. The Lay Witness Coordinator functioned as an apostle: he did not “control” the weekend, but counted on the Holy Spirit to lead it, monitoring the Holy Spirit’s activities through visiting missioners and in local parishioner’s lives. Flexibility was a key to the weekend’s success.

My wife and I were part of a 23 member team of Americans to participate in Lay Witness Mission in Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Capetown, South Africa in 1993, while under the watchful eye of local South Africans. They wrote to us what they learned about the experience, “There is safety in following the Holy Spirit.” Wow! They got it! The Holy Spirit was in charge, we are only vessels of service and obedience to His voice.

In every Lay Witness Weekend that I have participated, I have met a local believer with an evangelistic zeal. “You must be born again” was understood in every local church. There were believers with pastoral, shepherding hearts who wanted to see spiritual growth among their members. The desire for simplistic biblical truth was prevalent. Yearning for more intimate worship and drawing closer to the Lord was evident individually and corporately. The voices of the five fold were all present. The five fold was already embedded among members in a local church. Believers just needed to be equipped, encouraged, and released in them. As a local church yields to the leading of the Holy Spirit and to the building up of peer relationships in Jesus, the release of the five fold will become more evident. Often the holdback to releasing the five fold through the Priesthood of Believers is the structure. If structure prevents continual revival, then the church must face a metamorphosis, a transitional rebuilding of relationships while being open to new forms or structures.


Storehouses, Deep Within

Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XXXIV


As believers in Jesus, there is a treasure stored deep within us if we are just willing to just dig deeper.

“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.”     

If the Holy Spirit “abides with you and in you,” then all we must do is dig deeper within ourselves and release what the Lord has stored in his temple. God has a record of building storehouses, a principle we need to tap into.

The foundation for storehousing is founded in Genesis 41, the story of Joseph, whose brothers sold him into slavery, but he rises to power, second only to the pharaoh of Egypt to build storehouses to prevent an upcoming famine. The power of these storehouses brought everyone to be indebted to Egypt, enslaved the children of Israel for the next 500 years, and built an empire!

The prophet Malachi writes, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.” (Malachi 3:10)

I have heard this passage quoted over and over again to justify financial tithing to local churches to meet their budgets and Christian speakers to finance their organizations. This passage has nothing to do with monetary wealth, but is a significant principle for the Priesthood of Believers who are to ”bring the whole tithe into the storehouse.” We are only God’s stewards. Egypt demanded bringing 1/5th, the church 1/10th, but God demands “the whole tithe,” everything! “’Test Me now in this,’ says the Lord of hosts! I will open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.” The storehouses will overflow because everything that is in it, God has put there, not you! He fills His storehouses to overflowing when we give Him our all! Test Him!

The tragedy of Ananias and Sapphira during the first century lay not only in them not ”bringing the whole tithe into the storehouse,” but lying to the Holy Spirit about it. (Acts 5:1-22) You don’t mess with the principle of storehousing or with the power of the Holy Spirit; they are powerful! Because of Ananias and Sapphira’s actions, a ”great fear came over the whole church, and over all who heard of these things.”

Can you not see the potential of this storehouse, this temple of the Holy Spirit that is within you and the many giftings it holds: the gift of salvation, the gift of eternal life, the gifts of the spirit, the fruits of the spirit, patience, kindness, meekness, mildness, love, wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, distinguishing spirits, tongues, interpretations, evangelists, shepherds, prophets, apostles, and teachers, etc., etc. “But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” (I Corinthians 12:7) There are more gifts than our personal storehouses can contain.

Churches today should be ashamed of themselves for not tapping into this valuable resource instead of enabling their laity into passivity and inactivity. The five fold is for the equipping, the building up, and the releasing of the saints for service from their storehouses! Like Williamsport, once rich, then poor, but now alive because of what lies beneath them, the church needs to tap into the storehouses that already lay beneath their laity, the Priesthood of Believers.


Digging Deeper, What Lies Deep Inside

 Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XXXIII

The Williamsport High School band in Williamsport, Pennsylvania is known as the Millionaires because Williamsport once housed an abundance of millionaires, but when hard times hit, the historic luster of its Victorian wooden mansions diminished. Today new life and wealth has again sprung back because of the treasure that lay beneath their surface: natural gas. If dug deep enough, gas will arise, and life has returned to Williamsport.

John 4:7-26, the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman, is a powerful passage about digging deep and what can be found under the surface.

“Jews have no dealings with Samaritans,” yet Jesus asks this Samaritan woman to draw water for him at the historic Jacob’s well. She dig’s deep questioning him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink? Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water? You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?”

Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw.” 

The water that gives eternal life is the water that she desires, but Jesus wants her to dig deep into her well to discover what is there instead. Prophetically, he reveals what is deep in her historical past. “You have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband.” 

 “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet,” so she digs even deeper, “Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” 

Because of her digging, she has struck gold. Jesus reveals more of himself. “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

She believes the validity that he truly is a prophet, but she is willing to dig even deeper as she continues, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.”

She has dug deep enough to discover the source of the well as Jesus reveals his true identity that he has not even revealed to his intimate disciples.

“I who speak to you am He.”

Sometime, to find the answers, the treasures, the sources of life, we just need to dig deeper.


The Tension Between Revival And Control

 Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XXXII

When revivals break outside conventional church boundaries, the church asks, “What covering do you have?” Basically they are asking, “Who is in control?” They feel their pyramidal leadership structure can control to prevent weirdness, cults, and heresies. Ironically, it is the pyramidal control that kills the organism, the life of the movement; it certainly does not protect it. During times of revival, the church needs to learn how to come along side the revival movement, embrace it, not control it, but accept it for what it is, a movement of God, or just leave it alone.

Acts 5:34-40  records, “A Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the Law, respected by all the people, stood up in the Council and gave orders to put the men outside for a short time. He said to them, ‘Men of Israel, take care what you propose to do with these men. For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a group of about four hundred men joined up with him. But he was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing. After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census and drew away some people after him; he too perished, and all those who followed him were scattered. So in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God.’ They took his advice.” (Acts 4:333-40)

Revival exposes the church’s tension for control. The religious institution always has asked who is in charge, who is responsible for the actions of this radical movement? The revivalist claim the Holy Spirit is in control.  Being outside established religious norms, the Holy Spirit moves anyway he chooses, often looking like chaos to the institutional church, so they take control to establish order, but usually at the price of the life of the organism.

Only if one is willing to give up total control to the Holy Spirit can they become part of the revival spirit. If not, tension and a battle may ensue. One could find themselves in the same position as Gamaliel and the Sanhedrin. Is is smart to take Gamaliel’s advice, or you too could be taking the risk of “fighting against God”? 

I realize that what I am proposing with the five fold is a challenge to current church leadership structures, accountability structures, the clergy/laity belief system, while advocating for a Priesthood of Believers and the restoration of the five fold for everyday believers. The question is am I, or are we, willing to embrace this movement of God or will we oppose it?



Consensus and Accountability

 Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XXXI

The first century church was governed by consensus as recorded in Acts 15. At the Council in Jerusalem, the Church came to a consensus over the “gentile question.” They agreed that gentiles received the same Holy Spirit as they did and were a part of the Body of Christ. There would be no room for divisions or classes in Christ’s kingdom. Peer brethren were sent to verbally proclaim their consensus and blessing. The apostles did not dictate or manipulate the outcome; they allowed the Holy Spirit to work among the brethren which brought a consensus, a unity, a positive move forward.

In the kingdom of God, accountability does not come from the top down from leadership that demands unquestionable submission to their authority, but instead is a body ministry of believers standing beside one another, taking the lead or adding support through their strengths and talents. Leadership is from a linear plane of being peers, equals in Jesus who accept and receives from one another. Unlike pyramidal structures were decisions are often dictatorial, leadership is consensual. It is not being “told” what to do, but to willingly give what you have for the common good. Apathy becomes archaic as every believer is active in this giving and receiving process rather than be passive. A community is built as a living organism that produces life.

Respect does not come by being in an office with a title, but by being an accepting friend, a brother or sister who not only is willing to stand beside you and with you through the good and bad times of your life, but who is willing to lay down their life for you in spite of who or what you are. If Jesus is your Lord and Savior, you are my equal, my peer, in Christ! Respect comes through service, and the five fold is all about serving.

Accountability to an organization is dictated by position and office. The question is always, “Who are you under, who are you accountable to, who is the authority above you?” Basically they are asking what leadership do you have “over” you, as if that authority is your protective umbrella.

Accountability to an organism is built on peer relationships. Their question is “Who accepts you as an equal by walking beside you in your journey? Who is protecting your back? Who is walking before you in the lead? Who are you surrounded by who will nurture, care, teach, and fellowship with you on a daily basis in practical ways? That is linear.


The Accountability Round Table: Hypothetical Situation


Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XXX

Recognizing that today’s church is one of the most segregated institutions, your five fold group asks, “Since we live in a community that is multi-cultural, how can we get believers of different races and cultures to worship and fellowship together?”

The evangelist pipes up, “That’s easy. They all just need Jesus. Let’s introduce each and every person in our community to Jesus. It is that simple. (The evangelist’s limited point of view sees only the lost in need of Jesus, spiritual birth.)

The believer with a shepherding heart comments, “The challenges lie in how we care and nurture in the context of different cultures, social norms, and traditions. I’ve experienced a White church that started Sunday services mid-morning, while the Black churches arrived an hour later, and it took another hour just to get it rolling! The Hispanic church didn’t even think of starting until noon or later. How are we going to integrate these cultures and worship styles together?” (The shepherd’s limited point of view is his concern for spiritual growth.)

The teacher interjects, “What really matters is their need to get grounded in the Word, the Bible, and truth will work itself out. One has to know what they believe, and that knowledge will be unifying. We will have to make the Logos Word an active Rhema Word that touches their daily lives, no matter what culture.” (The teacher focus is on the Word.)

The prophet shakes his/her head, “Drawing all men to Jesus is the answer. If people focus on Jesus, their focus on cultural traditions will be diminished. The Holy Spirit speaks all languages, earthly and heavenly, so we must teach all our believers to listen to the Holy Spirit for themselves, He will direct our path.”” (The prophet’s point of view is to spiritually draw near to God and seek His will.)

The believer with an apostolic leaning has been quiet, listening, validating each person’s voice while listening to the Holy Spirit for wisdom, understanding, insight, and guidance. The apostle’s vision is for an united family under the headship of Jesus, but can not attain that unless the other four are “on board” with him. (Networking is the apostle’s passion.) He begins, “I hear us saying Jesus has to be central in this endeavor. He has to be the creator who births this project. Jesus, as a Jew, also reached out to gentiles like the Samaritan woman at the well, and Peter who had to experience the vision that ‘what was unclean is now clean,’ meaning the Church must be inclusive, so how do we get each culture to accept one another in Jesus? Can we trust the Holy Spirit to speak in any language? He did at Pentecost! We may first have to meet around a table, the Lord’s Table, to eat together. There just may be grits, beans, and rice served with our cheeseburgers. The Lord wants us to not only draw near to Him, but also to each other. As we ‘accept’ one another no matter what sex, race, nationality, culture, passion, or point of view, the more ‘receptive’ we will be towards each other.

To my evangelistic brother/sister, I ask, ‘How can we birth this multicultural endeavor?’ To my pastoral shepherd friend, ‘What cultural experiences can we have to break down barriers, then instead of building new structures or barriers, build meaningful relationships between us? How can we build one another up by walking beside each other? Finally what will it take to get us to a point where we are willing to die for one another?’ To my teaching brethren I ask, ‘What will it take to make a Logos Word a multi-cultural Rhema Word, where we are all of the same race because we have been transformed into the image and likeness of Christ?’ To my prophetic friends, I ask, ‘What is the Holy Spirit telling you individually and corporately, so that we may be obedient to His will and His way?’”


The Teacher, Prophet, Apostle Connections


Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XXVIII

Let’s examine how the teacher, prophet, and apostle can relate to the five fold to bring maturity to individual Christian growth and unity to the Body of Christ. Strong relationships are reciprocal, so lets see what the teacher, prophet, and apostle can give to the others and receive from them and why they need each other.

Teacher/Prophet: If there was ever two giftings that augment each other it is the teacher and the prophet because they both major in the Word of God, Jesus! The teacher’s passion is to study the written Word, the Logos Word, the Bible, which is foundational to everything he does. The prophet’s passion is to live out this written Word through the Rhema Word, the living word. Jesus, God in human flesh, “lived out the Word” because he was the Word. The question for the ages is how do we, as believers in Jesus, live out the Word? The living out the Word is central to the Jewish faith, but it has become legalistic. Man has failed to live out the Logos Word on his own; he needs the living Rhema Word and the Holy Spirit in order to live it out. The teacher and prophet working together is a powerful tool to help believers in Jesus to grow into a “mature” man in the image of Jesus.

Teacher/Apostle: The teacher and apostle can be a great duo as the teacher grounds the Church in foundational truths and the apostle sees the overall picture. The apostle must prevent the teacher from being legalistic or over zealous in his desire to live out the Word. Ask Saul of Tarsus, a Pharisee of Pharisee, taught under leading rabbis of his day, a zealous defender of his Jewish faith and the Torah. Only when he embraced both the written Word, the Torah, and experienced the living Word, Jesus, did he qualify to become an apostle for this new Church. Every teacher develops his own personal theology and methodology, but he needs an apostle to bring simplicity to the gospel. The restoration of the Apostle’s Teaching is mandatory to prevent doctrinal sectarianism that divided the church for so long.

Prophet/Apostle: You are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord.” (Ephesians 2:19-21) The believer who sees the Big Picture of the Church as a whole is apostolic, while the believer who yearns to draw nearer to God, who seeks to commune with his God, who listens to the voice of the Holy Spirit is prophetic. What better foundation upon which to build the Church but on the vision of an apostle, the guidance of the Spirit, and Jesus as the cornerstone! The apostolic sees the strength of individual pieces and how they fit together in support and encourage one another. The prophetic hears the voice of God, senses his heart, and always leads himself and others toward Jesus. The two together become foundational.