The Apostolic Church, along with other Christian denominations and movements, exists to continue the work that Jesus began two thousand years ago. We learn much about that work by reading the Gospel where his work is described and the epistles where it is explained.
At the beginning of his public ministry, Jesus called to two fishermen to follow him. In time, those two followers, with others, became leaders in their own right. At this elementary level, we see an undeniable template that applies to everyone that follows Jesus – leaders only lead to the extent to which they follow Christ. In simple language: they cannot lead who do not follow.
There are many views as to leadership in the church. In our understanding, Christ leads his Church through the gifts he gave at his ascension. Each leader is graced – that is, each has received gifts without merit – with a small part of Christ’s fullness and that finds purity in expression to the extent that the carrier follows Christ. We follow Christ and we learn from others who follow Christ. We learn from our forefathers, we learn from books, we learn from mentors, we learn from others whose experience is greater or different from our own. In learning from others who have followed Christ, we also follow Christ, seeing his leadership in the lives of others.
Apostolic people recognise that the Lord speaks through the gifts he had given, certainly through apostles and prophets, the gifts that Paul calls the ‘foundation’ of the church. We are better when we are connected to apostolic and prophetic leaders for each carries a unique deposit of Christ. When we are aligned well with apostolic and prophetic leaders the benefit of their insight and perspective can flow through the doors of open, respectful and affirming relationships.
Leaders seek to inspire, encourage, train and equip others, not just for ministry in the church but for life. Leaders should expect that people will follow, not because of appointment to a leadership position, but because Christ has given the gift of leadership and leaders who bring fresh, relevant and vital ministry to the lives of those they lead will always finds open ears and hearts to receive what they carry. Leadership is enhanced when you follow leaders who will inspire, encourage, train and equip you for further and greater ministry.
Copyright Tim Jack 2016©
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