Apostolic churches consist of a set man, presbytery (consisting of various five-fold ministry gifts), staff, department leaders, and various ministry teams. These interact through relationships and ministry protocols established by the wisdom of the leadership and ratification of the apostle.
You already know that all of the five-fold ascension gifts are graced to perfect (equip) the saints for the work of ministry. When it comes to relating to your apostle understand that he is not equipping people to disconnect from the local church, and neither are you. I have seen this disconnect many times where people come to a local church, not with a Scriptural mindset of plugging in but with the intention of learning something that would advance their agenda or personal ministry. This is not a Biblical approach. Scripture says, “Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God” (Psalms 92:13). Planted means deeply rooted, firmly fixed, or held in place. In other words, to be connected with your set man apostle in both spirit and vision regarding the mission of the local church.
THE APOSTLE’S EXPECTATIONS
People come and go in local churches all the time, but the expectation of a set man apostle to his staff and leadership team has a high degree of accountability regarding leadership protocols. A protocol is a code of conduct that defines the scope of ministry, outlines expectations and eliminates confusion. In my ministry, for example, we understand the importance of raising spiritual sons and daughters fully equipped to make a difference in their lives. This equipping process is inclusive within the apostolic model of ministry.
Raising proactive sons and daughters (not spectator sheep) is part of the apostolic grace of a spiritual father. Fathering is one of the five primary attributes of an apostle such as building, equipping, sending, governing, and fathering. Fathers want the very best for their sons and daughters. Good fathers help transition the young into adulthood. Apostle Paul mentioned this saying, “For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel” (1 Corinthians 4:15). “Begotten” (Greek gennao) means “caused to arise.”
THE APOSTOLIC DIMENSION (SENT ONES)
Not only are apostles sent but they also send others (Acts 15:25-27). A set man apostle often discerns the leading of the Holy Spirit to send others out from the local church on various ministry assignments. Sending is the Biblical pattern of launching others into the apostolic dimension. You can see this apostolic pattern here.
“Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.” (Acts 13:1-3)
Notice the local apostolic leadership were praying and fasting when the Holy Spirit issued an apostolic assignment to Barnabas and Saul. This emphasizes the need for corporate prayer. The church leaders fasted, prayed, heard, agreed, laid their hands on them and sent them away. This sending “out from” (Greek apo) the local church headquarters launched them into the apostolic dimension. It should be pointed out that this newly formed apostolic team was not sent out from the local church never to be heard from again. They were still spiritually connected in measure to this local apostolic church.
Still speaking on the proper protocol between the local church’s leadership and the set man apostle, every leader needs a place for his family to be raised up in the ways of Christ. They also need to know that their particular five-fold grace is given to them to equip the saints and the building up of the body of Christ in their local church (Ephesians 4:12). In other words, they are first called to assist the set man apostle with his call and vision in ministering to those in their own house and under the set man’s leadership.
ADHERING TO PROTOCOLS
If you have not been given a delegated position of leadership within the local church by your apostle then you are free to do as you please provided it doesn’t harm the local assembly, but if you have been given a delegated position of leadership then there is an expectation to serve your apostle’s vision within the scope of your particular ministry assignment. This appointment carries a list of duties, expectations and encompasses the protocol for your ministry assignment. Make sure you understand what these expectations are. If you’re not sure, then ask.
So if you are a five-fold ascension gift such as prophet, evangelist, or even a psalmist, singer, or another leader who gets invited to minister in other churches, for example, it is proper protocol to check with your apostle. For those in delegated positions of leadership in a local apostolic church that know the protocols of their set man but continue to violate them, they should be released by the set man from their in-house titles, duties, and assignments.
As a leader in your local church, it is your duty to lift up the arms of your apostle within your local church (Exodus 17:11). This means you should stay connected, serve, protect, communicate, make yourself available, attend leadership and prayer meetings, and be at all church services when not traveling.
In our ministry, I ask those that have opportunities to minister in other churches, my staff, or those in delegated positions of leadership, to clear it with me first before scheduling. They know I need them around to help serve in the local church, but they also know I appreciate the opportunities that open up to them. There are, however, special services that I need them to be at such as major conferences, holidays or other important events that come up.
So then, the proper protocol for those that have delegated positions of leadership and responsibility within a local apostolic church should make it a priority to serve their set man apostle and the needs of those within the local church first and other activities after getting an okay from their apostle. This is proper protocol within the apostolic church model. Scripture declares, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore” (Psalms 133:1-3).
Apostle Jonas Clark STAY INFORMED
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