Creating synergy by our coming together relationally
This is a distinctive feature of an apostolic ministry; the aspect of forming an apostolic team and gleaned from the book ‘Apostles Today’ by Banny Coombs.
It requires an apostle to have the ability to gather a skilful team of builders around him.
We shall use the picture of a Chief Contractor, who ‘sub-contracts’ certain parts of the building aspect to others, like Carpentry, Electrical, Plumbing etc. and that’s makes the building process to be done according to the master-builder’s plan (1 Cor. 3: 10).When Moses was building the Tabernacle, he sub-contracted the construction work to a skilled team of ministers (Exod. 30: 30-35; Exod. 36: 1; 38: 22-23, 39:43).
Why the Apostolic Team?
The intensity of the Apostle’s burden for the churches, the restriction of time on his hands and insufficient resources leads the apostle into forming teams who will cover for him in his absence and in his limitations. (Phil. 2: 19, 25, Col. 4:7-9, 1 Cor. 16:10, 12; Rom. 16:1-2).
Seven Purposes of an Apostolic Team:
- For strategic attacks on strategic places where God is moving.
God uses the apostolic team to invade the spirit realm of that city and pull down the strongholds and principalities.
Apostolic Teams helps to create a greater momentum into the work by releasing a greater measure of the Holy Spirit into the hearts of the people affected by God’s initial work.
Many great moves of the Holy Spirit could have gone further and lasted longer if we had had Apostolic Teams who would descend on that place and provide sound teachings to establish the people in the experiences and also in the truth of God’s word.
2.For cross pollination of Seeds
The Apostolic Teams are able to plant new seeds of revelation truths and impart gifts. They are also able to germinate the seeds of ministry in the hearts of those they are ministering to.
When the apostle plants new seed, the local minister(s) must nurture it, while the people need to allow it to take deep roots into their own hearts.
E.g. Paul took Judas and Silas from Jerusalem to Antioch and Silas remained there for a longer period of time while Judas moved on.
Paul took an Apostolic Team to Thessalonica and Timothy returned later to continue apostolic input in that local church (1 Thess. 3: 1-6; Acts 17: 15). Paul left Silas at Berea (Acts 17:10-15).
The main thrust of Paul’s apostolic ministry into Asia seems to have been through sending team workers whom he had trained in Ephesus.
3. For lifting local church to a higher level.
An Apostolic Team should not duplicate what the local elders are responsible to do or else they could override or even undermine local authority God has already set in that place; (not doing counselling, visitations, follow-ups etc.).
Apostolic Teams are not to mirror them but provide strong apostolic input into areas that the local elders are not capable of or are unskilled in.
Their work is to help churches breakthrough and function as strong governing churches.
The visit of the Apostolic Team refreshes, vitalises and repositions the local churches for more effective ministry.
- For radical reviews and fatherly recommendations.
The Apostolic Team can take the spiritual temperature of the local church. This function is recommended only for the mature apostolic team that is working closely with the local church.
The bonds of relationship between the apostle and the local church must be cordial for this function to be carried out.
An apostle who speaks into the life of the church should also be allowed to make appropriate recommendations not only on governmental issues, but also on every aspect of its church life that could be lifted into a state of excellence.
The apostle’s advice guards the church, provides protection and covering for the lives and ministries of the local church.The radical reviews should be given to the senior minister and his co-leaders in a wise and considerate way, even when it is dealing with rights and wrongs.
5.For identifying ministry gifts in the local churches.
Apostolic Teams should scout and be on the look-out for ‘would-be’ ministry gifts.The team need to know the dominant anointing operating among ‘key players’ and stand alongside these ministers and help them into full maturity.
Apostolic Team can go further by honouring these men and women through Apostolic Ordinations or prophetic presbyteries and the laying on of hands. This boosts morale as an apostolic concept that we are willing to practise.
- Providing a place of training for the senior ministers to embrace apostolic call and grow.
Our goal is to raise each church to become a resource church.The senior minister should be the apostolic team’s referral point. He is the local church’s representative who will remind others of the apostle’s ways and nature (1 Cor. 4: 17; Phil. 2: 19-22)
The training can also be done through books, DVDs, CDs and other manuals. The Annual Apostolic School is a critical forum for this team.
- For mentoring and fathering
The Apostolic Team should develop different dimensions of strength, skills and expertise so that they can complement and supplement each other effectively.Different types of ministry gifts will attract different types of crowd.
When the hearts of the fathers are turned to the sons, then the hearts of the sons will be turned to their fathers (Mal. 4: 5-6).We must demonstrate unity and a harmonious working together because unity attracts and draws people, attracts God and God commands a blessing (Psa. 133; Gen. 11:6).Fear, suspicion and jealousy must be broken for true apostolic team spirit to function among us.
The covenant relationship within the team sets a precedent for others to be absorbed into its bonds.Barnabas and Paul split up from their team ministry because of John Mark (Acts 12: 25; 13:13; 15: 37-39). Paul was not just relational, but also strong on principles, but Barnabas had a soft spot for his cousin (Col. 4: 10).
The purposes of our apostolic ministry can be destroyed when we do not observe godly principles, and just observe our own emotional evaluations.
Finally, nothing stands that is not built upon the word. Sinking sand is all we get for neglecting the word.