Article by Teresa Chang
At the moment of his salvation, the apostle Paul received what he called a “heavenly vision” (Acts 26:19). One encounter with God, and the course of his life changed forever. His ministry shifted the world—and it all began when Jesus encountered him on the road to Damascus. Years later, Paul described himself as a master builder, which essentially is a general contractor who has primary responsibility for the blueprint of Heaven. Let’s look at a few elements that are important to consider when you as a church leader are seeking God’s blueprint for your church:
1. Discover God’s vision for your church
and make it known to them.
What births apostolic vision within a church leader? Consider the following components:
- Fasting and prayer
- Seeking the Lord
- Listening to His voice
- Paying attention to prophetic dreams, visions and other encounters
The church leader is responsible to communicate vision to the congregation, letting them know, “This is where we are going as a church. This is what you can expect. This is what you can be excited about and be a part of.”
One true apostolic test is if you can take a beautiful, inspiring vision and create strategies and structures (church small groups, ministry teams, children ministry, etc.) to make it reality. What steps does your church need to take to see the blueprint become a real “building,” with life and form off the page? Know how to set goals, priorities and objectives and be able to mobilize your team to fulfill these things. An apostolic leader also needs to be a great implementer—or at least know how to recruit and partner with great implementers.
2. Be aligned with a movement
and apostolic oversight.
At Pastor’s Coach, we recommend that every church have some form of outside apostolic oversight from a specific denomination or movement. If this isn’t an option for whatever reason, the church can enlist a few proven apostolic overseers to guide them and help them troubleshoot any problems that arise.
Here are two reasons alignment is incredibly important for any church:
- As a leader, your personal alignment with an apostolic “parent” will empower those you lead to be more aligned with you.
- Alignment inspires “tribal vision,” which gives your church a larger picture of where you are going. Being joined to a larger family or “tribe” of churches gives your local vision greater context.
3. Understand the Church’s overall vision.
The ultimate vision of the Body of Christ is to reach the unreached with the gospel, transforming lives, spheres and regions in the name of Jesus. The ultimate apostolic vision—the vision that encompasses all other visions—is releasing the Kingdom of Heaven in such a way that every other kingdom is brought low.
Therefore, the apostolic urgency is to mobilize as many believers as possible and help them understand their unique gifts, callings and authority in Christ. As they are empowered, they are released to impact the spheres God called them to influence, so the Kingdom of Heaven can continue to advance on individual and societal levels.