Today we are witnessing so much confrontation in our world. Islamists are confronting Western civilization and actually the rest of the world as well.
There is an ever-increasing clash between secularists and Christians in the United States… which is considered the most religious and most Christian of the top 40’“First World” countries on earth. There is also a clash found within the Christian world as well. This is not a particularly new notion if you are familiar with‚ and understand‚ the history of the Church.
The clash I’m talking about here is between established religious systems and the new spiritual authorities that God Himself sends to reform existing structures and forms.
The hallmark of its message and #ministry was based upon the restoration of the office‚ the gift‚ and the ministry of the apostolos‚ or “sent” men and women (based on Eph. 2:20‚ 4:11 and 1 Cor. 1’:28‚ among many others).
It was intended and expected to break the hold of the old order and give the Body of Christ a new and fresh beginning with the Lord. Thus instructing us in the way we should operate as church bodies. #Leadership was to focus on activating believers to accomplish the task of impacting this world… the way the Bible seems to have always taught it.
A new era was proclaimed by the prophets and the apostles – the era of a fully-restored five-fold ministry. All working together to equip all believers and activate them individually‚ and together‚ for Kingdom service.
The old “man-made” voting-based church government which dominated denominations for decades was supposedly on its way out. Now‚ apostles who were sovereignly sent and established by God‚ who were helped by prophets and apostolic teams‚ would release the body of Christ into a new Kingdom-first Jesus-centric modus operandi.
Attempts were made to quickly produce evidence of this restoration and the change it would produce; I’m speaking of the gift‚ the ministry‚ and the office of the apostle.
The world leader of this movement became The International Coalition of Apostles. It was started back in 2001 by some prominent leaders in the United States. Their goal was to provide this movement a reference point‚ an accountability structure‚ and a platform to showcase the emergence of a group of genuine apostolic ministries that would impart what they have received from the Lord to the Body of Christ.
I was asked to join the ICA by Dr. Peter Wagner in the fall of 2001‚ after I ministered at the Gideon 2 International gathering in Hanover Germany‚ less than a month after the September 11 attacks in New York.
In the year 200 2 I was asked to join the Apostolic Council of the ICA‚ which I did until the year 201 3 when I resigned.
I don’t believe this is the time‚ or the place‚ for me to elaborate on my experience as a member of the Apostolic Council of the ICA‚ nor the ICA as an organization as well as the movement it was influencing and leading. Rather‚ I will choose to focus on the current state of the New Apostolic Reformation.
And before I say anything else‚ let me just say this plain and simple truth: much good was accomplished through the work of Dr. Wagner and the ICA through the years! Many good men and women were able to connect through this “marketplace” of ideas and information and multitude of blessings has been realized through these connections. There was of course‚ the predictable percentage of chaff‚ which can probably be said just about any organization‚ Christian or not.
The question of interest I’m exploring here doesn’t attempt to be some kind of a critical analysis of an activity I was part of (but was never part of its de-facto leadership since the Apostolic Council didn’t have executive power). It might be formulated as: Is there still a confrontation‚ a tension between the old and the new “way of doing Church” – for a lack of a more sophisticated way to describe the sum total of the way we start‚ develop‚ manage and grow local churches‚ denominations‚ and movements?
Based on my observations in the United States as well as around the world‚ it seems that denominations are alive and well. It also seems that megachurches‚ and their various associations and related movements‚ which operate on corporate business principles‚ have established themselves as authorities mostly based in their sheer size or in a particular sphere‚ such as Hillsong for example in the area of music and worship.
What I also see is that we do not have many clearly defined apostles who are leading Antioch type bases where the fivefold ministry is flourishing and actually doing what it was designed to do. A clear example of an Antioch type operation is Bethel Church in California or IHOP in Kansas‚ amongst others.
There are of course many local and regional apostolic operations‚ but they are not often featured in Christian or secular publications. Therefore they don’t have a Christian “celebrity status” and few people know of them.
To sum things up‚ the new apostolic reformation isn’t really heard about very much at this point. Neither are the churches who were part of that movement proudly touting the label.
Why is that?
[Continued…Click here for Part 2]