Article by Stephen Cullingford
We want to see revival, yet how do we think it will happen? Not through a church where people just attend and are just part of the congregation. We need to grow a church congregation that is known to send out leaders that know who they are and take what they have to use it in the world. But how is this done? How can we move and build a culture that is the Church in her fullness and not just local congregations filled with attendees? How do we build powerful people and leaders who will not divide the church but bring unity, as well change the culture outside of the church? Through Michael Brodeur’s Pastor’s Coach courses, I realize more and more how important it is to build a culture of apostolic leadership and the five-fold ministry. This is essential for church health and growth.
I went church all my life, where I would just attend and participate in works in the church. But I never built up potential for growth and influence; rather, I built an image of attending and being a good Christian who will go to heaven. I was given tasks in church and served a lot there, and with it I was a great “Christian.” Then there were some people in my church who wanted more and had a calling to make a difference somewhere in the city. Because there were no opportunities in the church, they went and built their own church. We have to learn that Christianity does not happen in the church, but in our lives. But how do we empower people in the church to influence and be leaders and not leave the house where they are covered?
Apostleship is one level with the gifts of the pastors, teachers, evangelists and prophets. We need all five gifts and ministries that Jesus has empowered us in, with the grace gift of the Holy Spirit. As the church leader we must be able to function in apostolic gifting, building up our church leadership to build leaders. We just have to learn what leadership actually means and how it builds an effective and powerful church. Apostles build disciples who learn from him and let the followers grow into whom they are called to be. He calls out the greatness of his people and builds destiny and empowers them to move in authority to bring the vision that the apostle received from God to pass. The vision always has to be connected with the vision that God wants to expand heaven on earth. Like Jesus, the apostle develops his disciples in a measure he is able. He teaches them to the point where they outgrow him so they can continue on to carry out the vision.
In a church you will need to develop pastors, teachers, evangelists and prophets so you can bring to pass what God sees for you. Pastors will unite the congregation and make sure they are well. The teacher helps to increase the knowledge and wisdom in the church as it’s needed, depending on where the people are at. He increases the quality of the church with the pastor/shepherd. The evangelist brings in new people and increases the quantity. The prophet is the one who imparts vision and passion to people to move into their identity. They also make sure that the church stays in tune with what God has said and is saying for the church, so that they can become what God wants for each individual and the church as a whole. The apostle is the one who oversees and brings it all together. The apostle will connect the people to their responsibilities and giftings. He sees what needs to be changed and brings the leadership to grow where growth is needed. The apostle also applauds the greatness that is happening throughout the church and culture.
As a church leader start to empower your team and get a team around you that compliment each other. With unity built in your core team, you will start to build a force that can accomplish whatever God gives you! Learn to hold each other accountable, and don’t make this just about church, but about how God really sees you and what He wants for you. Encourage each other and teach each other, start to live a culture of family like God lives with you. A father to son, mother to daughter, friend to friend, sibling to sibling, grandfather to child relationship. This is a change that is doable in the beginning. Get your leadership team to build disciples as you are discipling them. Through that, a generational growth and a sustainable revival in which vision increases in quality and quantity can become possible.