Flipping the pyramid
Transformation will require a radical change, for those who have been still thinking UNDER the old paradigm of the corporate pyramid structure
Article: Christ Incorporated)
For those who are just starting a new body of believers (or re-structuring a current one),
the Biblically re-aligned view of Church structure and leadership will be exciting
as it has massive potential in the fullness of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. The primary objective being: quality before quantity
Please pray and wait for the presence of the Holy Spirit to fill you, before continuing.
(You will know His presence when you have His Peace and the confirmation of His Word.)
And do not be conformed to this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
STEPS FOR TRANSFORMATION (Individual and Church):
Our First step is always: Humble Ourselves & Pray Seeking GOD's agenda
We must admit/confess any and all of our aspirations for Title and Position - in the world and in the church.
Then, bring those aspirations to the Cross.
Casting down imaginations,
and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God,
and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
2 Corinthians 10:5
(Honesty Check: Have we ever held thoughts of being up on stage and admired by the audience for our performance?)
- BRUTAL HONESTY
Though it may not be intentional, it is by virtue of our worldly authority structure, that the person in the pulpit is commonly VIEWED
as being greater than the person in the pew. More often than not, the preacher's stature is esteemed higher than their knowledge of the the subject.
It is an unspoken and subtle mindset that simply accepts that the pastor is the Master.
For both the teacher/preacher as well as the listener, it is a danger that many fall prey to.
Biblically, of course, the pastor is NOT the master. Jesus is the ONLY spiritual authority (covering) over everyone of us (every knee shall bow).
Yet at the same time, we must respect and honor the position and authority of any government (either in the church or in the world).
It's just that we never let any man or woman stand above God. We simply love and respect them for who they are and where God has placed them in our lives.
We see the best example of this in the prophet Daniel, as he stood before kings who had the governmental authority to take his life, yet at the risk of his life he never honored the king over God.
Proper submission frees you from being subdued.
“Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder.
Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility:
for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.”
1 Peter 5:5
Try to imagine a church WITHOUT a "pulpit"...
NOW, CHECK YOUR FLESH: What was your first reaction to that challenge?...
- Did you draw a blank? Can you imagine a church without a pulpit?
- What kind of reaction did you have? Emotionally positive or negative?
Try to imagine a church that isn't centered around a teaching format.
Can you imagine a church that would still stand just as strong, even if the main pastor left?
Now, imagine a properly assembled body of believers that is not a hierarchy
nor a democracy but the monarchy where Christ is the King of Kings
not only in our hearts but also in our fellowship... under His Leadership, and under His Authority.
Leadership in the Kingdom of Heaven
is quite the contrary to what we see in the world.
Problem with Verticle only authority
Verticle + Horizontal Authority
(The Kingdom of God is difficult to receive as we have been trained by the world to see it).
Repentance is the process of turning around and doing the opposite of what we were doing before.
This requires us to identify what specifically it is that we have been doing, and stop it.
Then we must identify
what new thing we will be doing in its place and begin doing that new thing.
Whether intentionally or unintentionally, and to varying degrees, the pulpit has been
SUBLIMINALLY elevated beyond being just a stand from which to speak.
And we must examine our hearts and be honest, before the Lord as well as ourselves,
where we have simply complied and conformed without question to this subtle form of idolatry.
We must admit/confess
any and all ways (intentionally and unintentionally) we have held the MINDSET
of the TRADITIONAL hierarchical pyramid structure of leadership and authority
(see previous Article: Christ Incorporated)
We must replace the old structure, with one constructed from the original design: A
VINE of Life!
- Imagine a body of believers that does more than sit inside an entertainment format.
- Imagine a body that truly ABIDES together in Him.
- Imagine a body of believers drawing out the Kingdom of Heaven within each other in practical, real ways
....every time we get together.
- Imagine those who lead – as servants who follow Christ and assist/train others in doing the same.
Imagine the synergism that occurs when the gifts of a only few are truly connected, they result in a much greater effect than when they are only counted together.
- Imagine the new church (not new-age) as tree of Life and as a family of families.
Not just a schoolhouse or a hospital or even a military training camp.
But a FAMILY where true mentorship and training is passed down from father to son, through young man to father
1 John 2
1 Peter 5
God's command is for us to grow and multiply: from the Garden in Genesis 1:27-28 and echoed by Jesus in John 10:10.
Real Discipleship enables that to happen beyond what we have seen this far...
The abundance will really begin when we truly learn WITH the Holy Spirit,
specifically how and why He made us with specific primary motivational gifts.
And not only that, but how we can recognize and encourage them in others through the same seven ministries.
(something that has not been able to properly implemented in the Body because of traditional leadership rather than true apostolic leadership). A tighter more functional Unity will yield a greater flow of the supernatural gifts - because the Holy Spirit can do alot more with a body that is not only willing, but able to move with Him.
- THOSE WHO WILL LEAD: MUST BE THE FIRST TO FOLLOW
Transformation must first be done in the leadership. The best leader is the one who follows Christ.
As each leader seeks the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33), they can begin to come together in the format
the Apostle Paul described in
Please keep in mind that the "five-fold" ministry of leadership is a dynamic structure of how the offices work together,
but the offices may depend on those available.
In other words, this is not a basketball game where you have to have five (or four) players.
It could start with as little as two people. (Note: that the leadership is not meant to be only one person).
You need at least two people for confirmation, prayer and encouragement backup, perspective, and accountability.
New leadership formation might take the following process:
The apostolic minister and the prophet must first team-up in prayer with the Holy Spirit.
Then they can set out a plan to implement the vision that the Lord has given them
for the people and the area where God has assigned them.
Then they must find elders who are seasoned believers among them as described in
1 Timothy 3
who would best become part of the leadership team.
Then Pastors and Teachers must be chosen from the leadership team to set up the discipleship training programs
from child-care, Youth, Adult and all needs of the congregation.
Now the additional support of the deacons, etc. can be added to handle the functions and
maintenance of a growing body that is moving towards it's ultimate destiny in Christ both individually and synergistically as a local Body of Believers.
Finally, now that "home base" is fairly established, the evangelist can be given the green light to bring in “the harvest.”
This is a solid plan for not only increase, but also for maintenance and generational longevity.
It is important to keep in mind that each church is unique by virtue of its different members, location and purpose given by the Holy Spirit. Specific strategies of how discipleship is implemented must first be developed (or modified)
and tested within the leadership team first, before putting into practice for the rest of the congregation in order to maintain a healthy environment. To ensure this safeguard does not "evolve" into a control structure, There needs to be a means of transparency and feedback - not to create a Democracy, but to keep EVERYONE accountable to the Holy Spirit as well as each other.
Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel,
“It is the spirit that gives Life; the flesh profits nothing:
the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life."
2 Corinthians 3:18
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord,
are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory,
just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
- REAL DISCIPLESHIP
As God has created us each uniquely, He has also given each local body of believers their unique synergy.
But the foundational (anatomical) structure that should be common can be understood by following the generic 4-step discipleship path of a believer:
- 1. Salvation
- 2. Orientation and "Deliverance" (Learning the spiritual realm and overcoming demonic strongholds)
- 3. Building Godly our character WITH other believers
- 4. Fulfilling our destiny in Christ. (Some 30, 60, 100-Fold)
(That format is what this on-line discipleship tool as been built from)
Of course there is so much MUCH more that must be integrated into the facility of a church like:
Praise and Worship, Counseling, Workshops, family groups, Mens groups, Womens groups,
Youth groups, Children's Ministry, Deliverance, Prayer and Healing, Financial training,
interacting with other ministries and churches, etc.
Billy Graham's was asked the following question:
Billy Graham's answer:
What would you be doing if you didn’t have the large evangelistic ministry that you have now, but were rather a local minister?
I think one of the first things I would do would be to get a small group of eight or ten or twelve men around me
that would meet a few hours a week and pay the price. It would cost them something in time and effort.
I would share with them everything I have, over a period of years.
Then I would actually have twelve ministers among the laymen who in turn could take eight or ten or twelve more and teach them.
I know one or two churches that are doing that, and it is revolutionizing the church.
Christ, I think, set the pattern. He spent most of his time with twelve men. He didn’t spend it with a great crowd.
In fact, every time he had a great crowd it seems to me that there weren’t too many results.
The great results, it seems to me, came in his personal interview and in the time he spent with the twelve.
(Quoted in “Billy Graham Speaks: The Evangelical World Prospect,” Christianity Today, vol. 3, no. 1, p. 5, Oct. 13, 1958).
Hopefully, the Holy Spirit has already been giving you ideas on how to implement a new strategy for growing stronger at your church. If you would like more help putting this into practice in your group or church, Please come to one or more of our Workshops...