Report of the latest Conference : Kenya February 2017 Awakening the Bride in Kenya and the Call to Cry Come!

‘Mission accomplished’ was what we both heard as we took off from Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta airport last Sunday Feb 26th. Both Mike Pike and I were not particularly looking forward to the 28 hour journey home from Kenya  to our homes in Cornwall, England but that was nothing to endure compared to the joy of seeing the one hundred plus Kenyan strategic leaders joyfully embracing the message we had brought from the Lord that this was the time and season for the Bride of Kenya to awaken and prepare Herself for the coming of the Bridegroom King and to join together in crying out in one heart and soul….Come Lord Jesus Come!

Gods hand was clearly upon this conference right from the initial introductory meeting we had had with the ‘gatekeepers’ of the nation of Kenya several months before at a hotel in the city of Nairobi called Hadasseh (Esther’s Jewish name – Esther the interceding Bride) and their final choice of venue for the conference in a hall in a large church in the city called McBride’s Hall. All this was chosen quite arbitrarily.

So it was that this network called the Intercessors for Kenya had asked us to partner with them in bringing the message of the Bride – our true and end time identity to a conference of key leaders of the Church of Kenya.

 

Day One two and three of the Conference: 23rd, 24th, 25th Feb

We met together with the delegates who had come to Nairobi for the conference from many regions of Kenya and several other nations, under the leadership of intercessor Rev Phoebe Mugo and her team. We gathered together at 8.30 am each morning for two and a half days, from Thursday 23rd to 25th February sharing the revelations that God so graciously had downloaded to Mike and myself over the past few years about the Bride, as we traveled our own journey ‘towards the Bride’.

We began the conference by laying a scriptural rationale for the bride being the central theme of the bible and set that against 1) Gods eternal purpose for planet earth and 2) the history of the mortal Church. We wanted to show how God moves in times and seasons and we encouraged everyone to see how important it was to understand the times and season that we were living in now, in order for them to arrive at the understanding that we had entered the Season of the Bride. Now was the time to ‘make ourselves ready’ for the coming of the Bridegroom King and because God in His grace had restored the fivefold ministry and the Holy Spirit back to the Church, we can now become mature and without ‘spot or blemish’.

Mike gave us wonderful insights into the journey that the Bride must make as she prepares herself and that will include often a wilderness experience of testing just as Jesus himself was tested. The Bride is like the moon is to the sun. Her glory is a mere reflection of Himself but she can only reflect Him as She positions Herself in alignment with Him. She must experience too those things that He endured. She must become more and more intimate with Her lover, Her Bridegroom as this is always the key.

My own task was to lay the foundations of Understanding the Times and Seasons and about the necessity for unity for there is only one Bride. Jesus does not have a harem. Both he and I taught about the woman in the bible who give us types of the Bride both in terms of character and function.

Mike painted a picture of the Glorious Bride…..A wonderful session. I charged the Church/Bride to ‘Come out of Babylon’ showing how like the Jews of old we the Church has been in Babylon too long and compromised the Kingdom of God trading it for another. Leaving our worldly (Babylonian) ambitions behind and laying down our worldly methods and schemes, we go on a journey towards Jerusalem, to rebuild the city “coming down out of heaven dressed like a Bride”.

At one point in the Conference we had the joy of commissioning Benson Nyamgor and his dear wife for ministry to Jesus’ Body. It was a great privilege.

 

 

 

 

 

At another time we had the joy of praying for all the Pastors who were attending the Conference.

Finally on the last day, the Holy Spirit brought the conference to the place of readiness to accept our mandate to call Come Lord Jesus!…. a cry that only the Bride can cry, for it is “the Spirit and the Bride” alone that can cry Come!

We were both crying out to the Holy Spirit to Come and make us ready, and to the Lord Jesus to Come for us …His precious Bride for we had come to understand that in the very act of crying Come we were shifting into position and aligning ourselves with the heart of the Father. We were indeed beginning to get dressed and Jesus was beginning His journey from heaven to collect His Bride and to take Her to the Wedding of the Lamb.

What a joyful response from all the delegates at the conference. What a cry of “Come” rang out with shouts of faith and prophetic declarations voiced into the spiritual realm. The worship band picked up the rhythm and the beat of the drums could be heard. The Warrior Bride was standing up….standing up in Kenya and She was beginning to march.

But God the Son it seems was also singing over us the Songs of the Bridegroom and the Bride was singing the Songs of the Bride. Gently the sound of “Come Lord Jesus! Come Lord Jesus! Come! Come! Come! was being sung all over the auditorium. It was like a mighty army. It grew in sound and rhythm. Some were swinging their arm in time to the drum beat, the march and the song. IT WAS AWESOME!

And so….having hoped for and dreamed about the whole conference assembly crying Come we saw it happening. The Call2Come had happened! And it happened in Kenya.

Day Four: Sunday 26th Feb

  1. The next day we were invited to preach at City Revival Centre, Nairobi and both Mike and I shared a Word after which in the afternoon we spoke to the ladies meeting and ministered in prayer to them. God moved in much power and healed, anointed and empowered many. There was such an impartation of His Spirit. The air was thick with His presence. This is a strategic Church and we are looking forward to working more closely with them.
  2. Then in the late afternoon we went into the centre of Nairobi to Government House and the clock tower that stands beside it and like we were privileged to do beneath Big Ben in Westminster, London, some months ago, (the clock that regulates the time around the world) we blew the shofar and declared that this was the Season of the Bride for Kenya right now. It was a powerful moment.

Outside these building were some large trees that had had some of it branches cut off and yet was sprouting new life. The ground beneath the tree around the protruding roots was red like blood and it was what Mike had seen in a mind picture previously. Kenya is a well-watered garden and new life within her boundaries was sprouting. The blood shed upon Her soil in times past which even now cries out to the Lord, was being cleansed by the shed blood of Jesus. Mike made a cross of some wood he found as he had seen in his vision and laid it beneath the tree on the red soil as we prayed and prophesied and blew the shofar.

https://www.facebook.com/howard.bodyandbride/videos/1232976023465608/

It was a special moment! With this done our mission was complete and we returned to collect our cases and head for the airport…….. and home to England.

Understanding the Times and Seasons Part 1

Understanding Times and Seasons – God’s Eternal Programme

 

Part 1

 

God’s Eternal Purpose

Introduction:
We are living in exciting days! I hope that you think so. In fact we are in unprecedented days, days that the prophets of old saw and spoke about and longed to experience in their day.

For example:
Never has there been so much praise and worship going up from the face of planet earth as there is today. e.g. …singing the same worship songs right around the world….the love language of the saints of God.

Never has there been so much prayer and intercession ascending to God’s throne as there is today. Illustration: Small and large 24/7 Houses of Prayer (Kansas City, USA), Prayer mountains in South East Asia, the rise of organisations such as the Global Day of Prayer coming out of S Africa), various Child Prayer Movements ( e.g. The Royal Kids’, India), Youth prayer…USA recently where 100,000 youth met recently for a day of prayer and fasting to seek God to forgive their nation particularly over the murder of innocent babies through abortion.

Recently the World Prayer Association (WPA) held an event in Jakarta, Indonesia, where over 100,000 people including leaders of government, market place and Church leaders, Youth and 20,000 child intercessors gathered to pray and testify about examples of national transformation. They met to worship together for four days whilst 373 other city stadiums throughout Indonesia were filled to capacity and over 400 million others linked up around the world to watch the pre-televised event on Pentecost Sunday.

Never has there been such an increase in the revelation and understanding of the counsel and wisdom of our God as is being revealed today as He seeks to restore His Church.

Never has there been such a release of the prophetic ministries, of vision, of dreams, of declarations, of visits of angels to the saints or visits to heaven by the saints.

And finally never has there been such an acceleration of the fulfillment of biblical prophecy as there has in these last 100 years.

We are privileged to be alive today. We are certainly in unprecedented days!

However all this is taking place against the backdrop of intensifying darkness in the world. But that’s consistent with world conditions at the time of all major moves of God. It was so in the coming of Jesus to earth as a man. Just as the prophet Isaiah prophesied about His first coming so it will be in the world at the time of His second coming when He comes to take His Bride.

”Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the face of the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and His glory appears over you” Isaiah 60:1,2

Many of the signs recorded in Matthew 24 are being experienced repeatedly today ….. earthquakes, famines, wars and rumours of wars. We are certainly in the “beginnings of the birth pangs” but that darkness, as in the days of Noah, must yet reach its full measure before He comes. Jesus said that…. ”As it was in the days of Noah so it shall be at the coming of the Son of Man”  which refers not only to the unexpected timing of His coming but to the evil darkness that would envelop the world in the day of His coming as it was in Noah’s day. This darkness will be like the trumpet that heralds the glory of the hour. It points to the glory that is yet to come. The fact that we are aware of the seriousness of the hour we are living in, at all, is a privilege indeed.

But this privilege comes with a responsibility.

Scripture reminds us in Eph which 3 v 10  that it was “His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms”. God has given us the responsibility to ‘understand the times and seasons’ so we can cooperate with Him in the fulfilling of His eternal purposes. God does nothing unless it has first been revealed to His prophets…… Amos 3 v 7. The Church should be the prophetic ear and the prophetic voice in  the world today.

So how can we best understand the times and seasons we are living in  in?

There are two scriptures that will help us to discern correctly.

  1. a) “The Son’s of Issachar that understood the times and seasons” 1 Chr 12:32
  2. b) Acts 3 v 21 that says….”He (Jesus) must be held in heaven until the restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of His holy prophets since the world began”. 

The ’Sons of Issachar’…Who were they? ……..it does us well to understand their gifting and their role in ancient Israel.
Their importance and role for Israel is demonstrated by the fact that they were recorded in the scriptures here. Their contribution was appreciated enough to be recognised above the other tribes.
According to Jewish writings such as the Targum, the sons of Issachar were also biblical astronomers and astrologers who kept track of the times and the seasons. Although the Targum is a collection of Jewish traditions and not necessarily historical fact it does serve to suggest that the Sons of Issachar had a particular role in Jewish society. So much so that they were singled out for mention in 1 Chr 12:32.

The Targum says of these people…”and the sons of Issachar, who had understanding to know the times, and were skilled in fixing the beginnings of years, the commencement of months, and the intercalation of months and years; skillful in the changes of the moon, and in fixing the lunar solemnities to their proper times; skillful also in the doctrine of the solar periods; astrologers in signs and stars, that they might show Israel what to do.”

Their knowledge of the Jewish Torah and their understanding of the times made them keepers of the biblical calendar.

Consequently, they were the ones who made known the appointed times and seasons of when Israel should observe the feasts of the Lord (Lev 23).

Since the Lord’s Feasts reveal God’s plan and timing of His redemption in the Messiah (Jesus was to be the Passover lamb to be slain) I believe it is clear that the sons of Issachar had an anointing which gave them a unique insight into God’s timing of things past, present and future.

The Sons of Issachar often advised the Kings of Israel. For example, during Israel’s first civil war, when God was transferring the kingdom of Israel from Saul’s ruler-ship over to David, eleven of the twelve tribes were divided amongst themselves as to whom they would serve. The 200 chiefs of tribe of Issachar discerned the times and rallied the people to the point that “all their kinsmen” followed after David. Whether or not their action was decisive in turning other’s allegiance over to David is uncertain but what is clear is that the sons of Issachar were able to totally commit themselves to David, because their wise men understood that it was the time for God to fulfill His prophetic word given by Samuel 17 years earlier (1 Sam. 15:28). The Lord granted them an anointing to understand the prophetic timing for when He would… ‘tear the kingdom of Israel away’ from rebellious Saul and give it over to his servant David (1 Sam. 15:22-28).
We should be like the Son’s of Issachar.
If we too will heed the prophet Word and seek to understand the time and season of God then we too will find ourselves able to fully cooperate with God in bringing to pass the things He wants to do in our generation. In fact it is imperative that we do listen. Scripture insists that we do. The kings and Israel herself were judged because they had not listened to the voice of the prophets. See Daniel 9 v 6 …”and we have not listened to your servants the prophets”. God for Daniel was the “revealer of mysteries” and for Joseph God was the interpreter of dreams.

In the N.T. Jesus warns His disciples to understand the signs of the seasons. In Matt 16:3 Jesus rebuked them for not doing so. “You know how to interpret the signs in the sky but you cannot interpret the signs of the times”. In Luke 19:41- 44 we read of perhaps the saddest indictment upon Israel that Jesus ever gives. He felt the pain of it so much that He weeps over Jerusalem as He prophesied its destruction because …“You did not recognise the time of God’s visitation”

Certainly we are not to understand the dates and days of present and end time events as Jesus clearly said in Acts 1:7 “It is not for you to understand the times and dates that the Father has set by His own authority” but we are to know the times and seasons.

This is a part of having vision and scripture says that…”Without vision the people perish” and “everyone does what is right in their own eyes”. With vision and understanding there is direction, maturity and forward movement. When the church fails to understand Her destiny and where She is in the prophetic timeline of the Lord then there is participation in the movements of God by default only and at times even down right resistance.

Failure to discern the times and seasons prohibits us from fully cooperating with God and fulfilling our destiny.

God wants partnership in the Spirit with His people. Jesus desires cooperation in the spirit with His Church, His precious Bride.

God is sovereign and omnipotent.

He has no need of our help in fulfilling His purposes but He chooses to work in partnership with man.

What dignity He gives us, what honour He bestows upon us by such a choice.

If, as scripture says Amos 3:7 “Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets”… then we need to both know the prophetic word and understand the times and seasons or if you like to understand where we are in the prophetic time line, in order for us to respond and participate fully with the Father, by influencing the conditions that must be in order for that prophecy to come to pass.

How do we, as the Church, influence those conditions that will anticipate the fulfilling of the declared prophecies in line with God’s ‘time and season’? Part of the Church’s response is by prayer and intercession.

The place of prayer in this process is crucial. Intercession is the means by which the Church births the prophetic word.

 

Example : The Revelation in Nairobi,  Kenya

This revelation was given to me when I was asked at short notice to address a meeting of some of the leading national intercessors in Nairobi, Kenya in 2006. I quickly asked me to explain the function of an intercessor and He took me through the scriptures from the Old Testament to the New and showed me that no prophecy was fulfilled or movement of God was birthed without the ‘travailing’ of an intercessor, known or unknown. He took me to 1 Samuel 1 and the prayer of Hannah and showed me, that because of her ‘travailing’ in prayer over the request for a son released not only a son to her but birthed the Prophetic Movement in Israel. It was the time and season for this to happen and her availability and ‘travail’ initiated the ‘first prophetic movement.’ Then he took me to 1 Kings 18:42-46 and showed me Elijah, who after the famine in Israel which had devastated the land for three years, discerned the ‘time and season’ and got down in the Hebrew birthing position seven times to birth his own prophetic word that the drought would end.

Then I looked at Daniel and was reminded that when he realised the ‘time and season’ he was in, the seventieth year of captivity, and that it was indeed that year that the prophet Jeremiah had declared, would see the end of their captivity, he set himself to prayer and intercession to usher in the fulfilment of that prophetic
Intercession is the means by which the Church births the prophetic word.

Daniel knew that God always uses a human instrument to participate in bringing a prophecy to fulfillment. This was
to see the restoration of GOD’s people and the rebuilding of their temple of worship in Jerusalem.

Finally, He took me to Luke 2:26 and explained that even His own Son’s incarnation had to be birthed by the intercession of Simeon and Anna to whom it had been revealed by the Holy Spirit…”that he (Simeon) would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ”.

  1. b) Acts 3:21 that says….”He (Jesus) must be held in heaven until the restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of His holy prophets since the world began”.

This is the second of the verses that help us understand more clearly what God means by discerning the ‘Times and Seasons’ and I find this verse humbling, very sad and exhilarating all at the same time.

Jesus must be ‘held’ in heaven.

That Jesus would submit himself to being held in heaven against His heart’s desire is humbling. He is longing to return to sweep up His precious Bride in His arms and to present Her to Father but He will not until “the restoration of all things”. He submits to the Father’s will awaiting His command “Go get Her my Son!” and the Father will not release Him until the ‘time appointed’ when all things are restored. I find it humbling that the King of Kings and the Bridegroom King submits Himself to both the will of the Father and the conditions that He has decided must first be met. This is reflected in John 14 when Jesus at the betrothal or engagement meal (the last supper) tells His disciples that He has to leave them to prepare a place for them, the marriage home, but that He will return when all is ready. John 14:2ff …”I am going to prepare a place for you and if I go and prepare a place for you I will come back and take you to be with me”

Now in Jewish custom the marriage home was built either on the flat roof of the father’s house, or as an extension of the father’s house or on the father’s land. AND only the father knew when the home was completed well enough. He alone gave the signal for the son to go get His Bride. Jesus said, when asked when the time was that He would come again, said “Only the Father knows the hour, not even the Son”.

However the Bride must also make herself ready. Rev 19:7 says “For the wedding of the Lamb has come and the Bride has made Herself ready”. The fact that we can as a Church live in obedience or rebellion or apathy and so hinder the preparation that we must make, causes me to wonder at the humility of God who will humble Himself enough to allow us to hinder or hasten His purposes. It is also so sad that often the Church does hinder the plans of God.

“…until the restoration of all things”.

God is in the business of restoration. Not only has He redeemed mankind but He wants to restore all things. To restore is to bring back someone or something to the original perfection and purpose for which it was designed. The Church, that was designed to “demonstrate the manifold wisdom of God” Eph 3 v 10  had, as we will see in a moment, lost its way. Over the centuries since its birth it lost the fivefold ministry gifts, it lost its anointing and power and it became a human institution “…having the form of Godliness but lacking the power”. But God has been slowly and faithfully restoring all things.

He has been restoring in terms of anointing, spiritual gifts and administrations, understanding and restored truth. He has been doing this through the various revivals, visitations, spiritual movements that taken place over the last 500 years.

Now this scripture in Acts 3:21 refers to all the things that God will restore and of course that ultimately refers, of course, to the renewal of the heavens and the earth in the final phase of God’s restorational programme but as in most prophetic scriptures there are primary and secondary fulfillments of the prophetic Word.

In our day God is restoring many things as witnessed by the restoration of the fivefold ministry to His Church so that the Church can now become mature and make herself ready…”without spot or blemish!”

At that point He will be initially released from heaven to take us to the Wedding of the Lamb and then immediately to return to planet earth with His Church/Bride, to reign with Her for 1000 years. (Call2Come has a pre millennial perspective)

Finally He will judge the living and the dead and create the new heavens and the new earth.

Summary

So, how can the Church co-operate with the Spirit so we can hasten not hinder the purposes of God?

We must:
•    Know the prophecies that are recorded in the Scripture and especially those yet to be fulfilled.
•    Understand the purposes of God as revealed by those prophecies and where in God’s restorational programme we are, in this our generation i.e. Understand the Times and Seasons

  •  Understand what the things are that God still wants to restore and that keeps Jesus in heaven until they are restored.
  •  Commit the Church worldwide and especially the intercessors, to pray and intercede in order to birth the fulfilment of those prophetic words and create the conditions that bring in the necessary movements of God.

•    And of course, we must walk in greater personal intimacy with the Lord, in a deeper unity with one another, and in righteousness and complete obedience to Jesus Christ our glorious

Building Relationships

God is a community or a family, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Church is a community or a family and its effectiveness depends on the quality of the relationships it fosters within it.

As part of the Body of Christ we are knit together in the one Body which scripture calls the ‘temple of the Holy Spirit’. Jesus desire as head of that Body is to forge us together in such a way that there is complete unity and cohesion of vision and function. Disunity and a spirit of isolationism of any degree within the Body is totally counter productive and prohibits the work of the Spirit and the indwelling presence of Jesus.

The Call 2 Come seeks to build relationships with all those who are born of the Spirit of God. It especially welcomes relationship with those who long to see the Bride awakened and are seeking to be prepared to meet Jesus as their Husband. This is the time of networking within the Body of Christ and we warmly invite anyone to make contact with us individually or as a organisation who have a similar vision and who want to build relationships with us as a ministry. We want to encourage one another and wherever possible to work together.

We will be posting regular updates, mission reports and teaching here on the website and will be sending out to your email a regular ‘Word for the Week’ to encourage and inform. If you wish to subscribe to this please contact us and send us your email address and a brief introductory bio. You can do this by using the website ‘Contact us’ facility.

God bless you all.

 

Prepare the Bride

“I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” 2 Cor 11:2,3

It is so clear from this scripture that St Paul saw his primary responsibility as preparing the Church as a precious Bride, a pure virgin, for the Lord Jesus Christ who was indeed Her husband, the Bridegroom King. In fact he claims to have promised Jesus that and he looks forward to the time when he is able to present Her to Him. He consequently is jealous over Her for he states quite emphatically that She has one husband.

There is a passion in his words and an intense sense of focus. All pastors and ministers would do well to embrace the same clarity of understanding regarding their mission. This is what they too are called to do.

Now if Jesus is returning, as we believe He is, and is returning to take us to the Wedding of the Lamb and He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, then it is to His own wedding that He will go and we too. He being the Bridegroom and we  the Bride. However  scripture also makes it so clear that He will only return when the Bride has made Herself ready.

Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.” Rev 19 v 7.  

But notice it says …”His bride has made Herself ready”. God has not made Her ready.

Privilege always carries with it a sense of personal responsibility.

To be chosen to be part of that Bride is indeed a privilege. It is to be called even now into such a deep intimate and personal relationship with Jesus, who is the King of Kings, the apple of the Fathers eye, the fullness of the Father’s glory, the One who is above all things and in all things, and is very God of very God, creator of the Universe. It is beyond our understanding.

Then, after the Rapture and the Wedding Feast, we will not just be in His presence and see Him as He is, but actually be made One with Him in a way that only the marriage relationship can begin to describe, where the Father declares that…the two have become one.

The mortal history of the Church is heading up to this event. After the wedding feast the Church enters a new dispensation when She has become immortal. She returns and reigns with Him on planet earth in the millennium, in Her new glorified state…..empowered, fully anointed in perfect synergy with Him. As scripture says …this is when…”the Kingdoms of this earth become the Kingdom of our God and His Christ”    This is the destiny of the Bride!

God in His wisdom and because of His grace has sent the Holy Spirit to teach and lead us, to baptize and equip us with His gift and to conform us to the likeness of Jesus by developing the fruits of the Spirit within us.

Jesus when He ascended back to the Father also gave to His Church the fivefold ministry gifts of Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher, to oversee and direct the Church. Ephesians 4 v 11 “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers.” These were given that He might …. “equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”

We have all we need to be prepared and to make ourselves ready.

Call 2 Come is dedicated to firstly 1) Awaken the Church to Her Bridal Identity 2) to challenge Her to “make Herself ready” and 3) to position Her to cry the cry that only the Bride can cry….Come Lord Jesus Come! For it is only the Bride in unison with the Spirit that can cry Come!

This is the end time and season we have entered and our response to it can either hinder or hasten His return.

 

A definition of ‘Leadership’ in the context of Regional Church

 

In my teaching on the Unity of the Church I stated that scripture defines Church from a geographical or regional mindset and not from a denominational or independent one. There is only one Church and that Church is His Body and Christ is its head. Ideally a church should be identified by its location rather than its denominational or doctrinal allegiance.

If Church was seen from a geographical or regional perspective and each cell of that regional church was working together as one then there would be a sharing across the churches of gifting and expertese which would greatly benefit the Body of Christ as it advances towards maturity and its impact on the community would be greatly enriched.

It would also allow the fivefold ministries to be recognised and exercised across the churches and regional leadership would begin to develop.

As I was thinking about the implications of this change of mindset and practice I began to sense that maybe we need to reconsider the meaning of the much used word ‘Leadership’. I seemed to me that this word ‘Leadership’ was being used in so many different contexts and that there was a great difference between the use of the word Leadership when referring to a local church leader or when used as in the title of a conference on ‘The qualities of Leadership’, and the meaning when used in the context of Regional Church.

A conference on Leadership seeks to teach about the qualities that best describe a good leader (singular). It is rarely a conference concerned to teach about the development of regional leadership in the apostolic sense of corporate leadership or oversight.

The distinction was brought home to me when the Lord asked me to send a paper
I had written on ‘The Church, Prayer and Intercession’ to a number of ministers and Pastors in my area. His instructions were clear. I was to write it in the form of a letter and to send it to……”the Leadership of My Church in your city/region/area”. I completed the task but found that I could not identify to whom to send it. Who were the Church Leadership in my area? I was confused. I could find ‘Leaders’ but not the ‘Leadership’.

I sensed that there was a significant difference between ‘leaders’ and ‘the leadership’ and asked Him to define that difference for me because I knew somehow it was so important. I struggled in prayer for a while.

DEFINITION
Then He said…“Leaders are singular. Leadership is corporate”.

Then he described the conditions necessary for a leader to transition from being a leader, however effective or devoted he /she was, into being part of the leadership of a region or area.  He said quite simply that…..”Leaders move from being ‘Leaders’ to ‘Leadership’ when they accept their corporate responsibility for the territory that I have given them”.

Wow! That was so clear and such a deep revelation. It was how He sees Church leadership. It was both territorial and corporate!
There is one Church in any given area, one Head and Lord of the Church, one General of the Army, one Master-planner. Our job, as leaders, ministers, pastors, bishops in any given area, is to become ‘One’ with each other in leadership, with a geographical church identity and then, together, to seek His face until He shares His plans with us for the taking of that territory for Jesus!

The Lord then led me to Ps 133 “Where brethren dwell together in unity there the Lord commands the blessing”….

I asked Him what was a part of ‘this blessing’ in these special end-time days as far as the leadership of a territory is concerned, if the leaders truly are one in unity and love. His reply was remarkable…” Part of my ‘blessing’  for the Leadership in these special end days, is revelation of My strategy for taking the territory.”

The ramifications of seeing ‘leadership’ in this way is enormous. Here are some of them.
1.    Ministers/Pastors would be holding their responsibilities with a greater sense of awe, humility, accountability and stewardship.

2. They would seek mutual accountability and begin to move towards a great openness and vulnerability with one another.

3. Their friendships would deepen

4. Their resources would be shared and increased

5. Their programmes would be planned together under the one leadership and supported by the ‘one Church’ of that town, city or region.

6. The anointing individually and corporately would increase.

7. As a result there would be a sense of ‘open heaven’ and the blessing of PS 133 would begin to flow with miracles and manifestations of His Holy Spirit

Acts Ch 2 v 42 – 47…..”They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.  All the believers were together and had everything in common.  They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.  Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,  praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Unity in the Body of Christ (Howard Barnes)

Unity in the Body of Christ – the prerequisite for Revival, National Transformation and the foundation of the Bride of Christ

 

In this message I want to draw attention to role of the Church in the eternal purpose of God. We will firstly concern ourselves with what the Church is and what the Kingdom is and then describe how, according to Scripture, God sees Church from a territorial or geographical perspective and not denominational which has great ramifications for apostolic or territorial leadership.

God has always desired to reveal His Glory and to live Himself with man on planet earth.

The scripture declares that… “The earth is the Lord’s and fullness thereof” Ps 24 v 1, but God cannot abide sin and so is unable to actually ‘tabernacle’ or dwell with man on earth until man himself is renewed and the society in which he lives transformed. God has a plan for the restoration and transformation of his entire creation. This He will do through the transformation of the nations and He has chosen the Church as His vehicle for that transformation.

Let’s start with some introductory verses.
Paul says in Eph 3:10 …. ”Understand  the mystery of Christ which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. Although I am the least of all God’s people, this grace was given to me…….to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery. This is the mystery which He for ages past kept hidden in God, …….that now, through the Church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known.”

And Rom 8:19-22  reminds us that “ the whole of creation is groaning to see the ‘sons of God’ made manifest on the earth.” The promise is that one day…. “The earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God as the waters cover the sea” Habakkuk 2 v 14

This is God’s purpose and He will fulfil it. God is a God of nations and ultimately His purpose will be expressed firstly in the ‘healing (or transformation) of the nations’ (Rev 22:2) and then through the nations.

God is a God of Nations
The God of Scripture recognises nations and nationhood, not Empires or World Orders. In Gen 17:4 we find God’s first covenant promise to Abraham that through him….“all the nations on earth would be blessed”. … “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, And you will be the father of a multitude of nations.

Gen 18 v18. Ps 22 v 28 and Ps 47 v 8 reminds us that …..“God rules (or reigns) over the nations”

In Ps 46:10 He promises to exalt Israel “above the nations”.
In Ps 66 :7 “His eyes watch over the nations”
And in Ps 96:3 “He will declare His Glory amongst the nations”

Yes God loves the nations and wants to demonstrate His authority and His glory through them but in order to do this He needs to transform them first.
We all want to see a transformation in our own nation don’t we? We pray regularly …..“Thy Kingdom Come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”…….

But the Church is the only plan God has for the transformation of the nations. There is a Plan A but there is no plan B. The Church is God’s plan A.

Let us return to the KEY VERSE  …….”that now, through the Church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known.”  Eph 3:10

This verse tells us that the Church is His only means of bringing about His will and establishing His Kingdom here on planet earth.

However the truth is that we will never achieve it while the Church is in the state it is today. Jesus prayed that we would be one but still today 2000 years later the Church is so divided, so denominational on the one hand or individualistic and isolated on the other.

I came from a Salvation Army evangelistic background. Both my parents were Salvation Army Officers and great preachers. I retired early from 37 years of Secondary School teaching in England and in 2003 went out to preach at Evangelistic rallies in many parts of Africa. What I saw when I first went abroad on mission horrified me and changed the course and focus of my ministry for ever.

I saw the multiplicity of churches, at least twenty or so in the same immediate area, all competing with each other, with either outside speakers of the PA system bellowing out their music to the neighbourhood, or a Pastor preaching with a loud and highly emotional delivery and which was often punctuated by speaking in tongues. This too was broadcast through the outside speakers and served only to confuse and alienate the local community. I saw so many time the untrained and untaught pastors demanding absolute obedience from his congregation and prohibiting any contact with church members from the other churches in their area, on pain of ex-communication.

This is not the state of all churches, of course, and there are some wonderful expression of Church today around the world but it is true that there is so much bad practise and so much corruption too. Certainly the church is not the united force that Jesus prayed for.

ILLUSTRATION
I was entering by car a major town in Western Kenya for a mission when I saw a crusade being held in the market place. “Wonderful!” I said to myself. “The Church is alive here!”

Travelling further down the street I saw another crusade.

“Maybe the Church is not so healthy here after all”, I thought.

Then again I saw another and another as I travelled further along  the main road through the town.

“What is happening here?” I cried out to the Lord. Suddenly Jesus shouted back.

“My Church is like a supermarket here. ‘Come and have my Jesus. Ours is better than yours!’ ”. I was horrified.

Unity in the Body of Christ is the pre-requisite for the transformation of any nation.

You see God wants to bless His Church and pour out His anointing upon His people to do His work but He will not do so, to the extent that He longs to, when there is no real unity.

Ps 133 make it clear that there is a blessing to be received that God longs to download.  However according to this scripture it is only where there is unity ‘that the Lord commands the blessing’.

His will is that we work together as One Body not just within our own congregation but across the congregations. Not just in our denomination but across the denominations. In fact ….. throughout the entire World Church.

Jesus is desperate to see that happen. He prayed for it to be so in Jn 17 v 21 and 23. …. “Father I pray that they may be one even as We are one. I in You and You in Me and We in them…..That they may be truly one….so that the world may believe”

We will come back to this central scripture later but first we need to understand what Church is, as different from the Kingdom and who it is who builds it.

What is the Church?

  •  It is the ‘ecclesia’ or ‘called out’ ones who are commissioned to pronounce that…….…..” the Kingdom of God has come” Mark 1 v 15. In Matt 10 v 7 we read how Jesus commanded His disciples to go and…. “As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’”
  •  It is the means by which He will express His glory and order.  Eph 3 v 10•    It is the vehicle He will use to transform the world we live in. Even creation awaits the manifestation.  Rom 8 v 19
  •  It is the Body of Christ on earth. It is the total body of born-again by the Holy Spirit believers taken from every race and cultures, past, present and future
  •  There is only ONE Body of Christ and only one HEAD. 1 Cor 12 v 12 and Eph 4 v 15 and Eph 1:23….”And God placed all things under His feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the Church which is His Body”
  •  It is NOT separate from Him. It is HIS BODY. He is the HEAD and we are HIS BODY. The Head is inthe Body.

The Church, His BODY, has separated itself from the Head, both physically (geographically) and spiritually.

This major problem in the Church today came about by the difficulty in understanding the mystery that we, his Church, are both here on earth now in the physical sense but are also ‘seated in Heavenly places’ with Him in spiritual reality. The mystery of the gospel is that we are both “seated in heavenly places with Christ Jesus” (Eph 2 v 6) and that Jesus is also “in us, the hope of glory” whilst we remain as His Body on earth. (Col 1 v 20). This dichotomy has confused our perceptions and inadvertently caused us to see Jesus as in Heaven on the right hand of the Father whilst we are here on planet earth. This has caused a sense of geographical separation in our thinking and faith perception.

It is true that we are both ‘in Christ’ and therefore “seated in heavenly place with Him” and ‘on earth’ with Christ living ‘in us’….. the hope of glory. As the corporate Body of Christ here on earth, Christ is our Head and the head is always IN the body, a part or organ of the Body and is never separate from the Body. A headless Body is dead and non-functional.

The realisation that we have too often separated the Lord from His Body, in our perception and consequent behaviour was a disturbing revelation to me. Functionally, it appeared that too often we had become detached in two distinct ways….1) from the Lord and 2) from one another.

The Church has to remain intimately connected to Christ, its Head, otherwise we become like a headless chicken. What was more shattering to me was the realisation that Jesus feels the pain of His divided Body and suffers because of it.

These truths were brought home to me so very vividly some years ago when I was in an interior village on mission in Africa.  I was watching them prepare my evening meal.

ILLUSTRATION 1:   A poor chicken had been selected as a participant for this honour but was to give more than just a feather. It had been chosen for slaughter. They caught it promptly and soon chopped off its head. To my surprise when they put it down on the ground it seemed to pick itself up and run around the yard in every decreasing circles and then … bang…. fell flat on its side ….motionless.

As I was lying on my bed later that evening, thinking about what I had seen that night, the Lord spoke to me powerfully.
“My Church behaves so often like a headless chicken. It runs around in ever decreasing circles, going absolutely no where until it drops…..lifeless. It will always do this as long as it remains detached from Me, its Head”

ILLUSTRATION 2: Jesus feels the pain of His Body. (The experience of splitting my little toe)

Sometime later I was in another village and after the evening meal we retired to bed. The wonderful hosts had provided me with a small single room round house with grass roof, small shuttered window and a small single door.  How they had got hold of the partially sprung metal bed base, I do not know, but there it was in the centre of the room with a small low table beside it at the head. They had covered the springs with wooden planks and a blanket. It was a very thoughtful gesture!

Now as is my need (which comes with maturity) I awoke in middle of the night with a desperate desire to …’water God’s garden’ (go to the toilet) so I sat up, steadied myself to my feet and tried to get my bearings. It was pitch black. No street lights here!

Oh praise God…. they had left me a candle and matches I remembered and so I reached over towards where I thought that they were on my bedside table and knocked them both across the room.

Ah…. I thought, I have a torch and so, having successfully fumbled for it in my case, I proceeded to flip the switch on the torch with great expectation.

“Oh no” I exclaimed to myself. “The battery is dead”

There was no alternative but to grope my way to the sides of the room in the pitch dark and then to feel my way around the walls till I could find the door. Being unsuccessful the first time, I decided that I had become disorientated and must be facing the wrong way so turned around and began to walk across the room to the other side.

I walked straight into the metal bed frame and split my little toe.

OOOOWWWW!  OOOUUUCH!

I muffled my screams and sat on the edge of the bed nursing my wound……..SILENCE!

”Does it hurt?” whispered the Lord…….SILENCE…..”Where else feel pain?”

I thought for a while, in between my cries.

“In my stomach” was my response. “I feel sick in my body”.

“That’s like my BODY, Howard!, said the Lord. “When one part suffers all the rest suffers. When the Pentecostal Church is suffering, the Presbyterian or Catholic Church is suffering”.

I sat still, trying to take that in.

The silence in my mind was broken by another question.

”Where did you register that pain or become conscious of that pain, Howard”.

“In my head” I replied.

“Yes……. I AM the HEAD of My Church and I feel its pain!”

 

 

  1. What is the Kingdom as different to the Church?

Having now seen what Church is and how it should function in intimacy with Jesus, its Head, and with one another as part of His Body, let us now look at what the Kingdom is.

Definition of Kingdom

  • The word Kingdom describes God’s authority, dominion. It is where He reigns as King.
  •   The Kingdom of God is the eternal rule of a sovereign God over all creation. His Kingdom is eternal since God Himself is eternal.

Psalm 103:19… “The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.

Daniel 4:3….. “How great are His signs, how mighty His wonders!
His kingdom is an eternal kingdom; His dominion endures from generation to generation.

  • The Kingdom of God embraces all created intelligence, both in heaven and earth that are willingly subject to the Lord and are in fellowship with Him. The kingdom of God is, therefore, universal in that it includes created angels and men and all creatures.

 

  • The Kingdom of God is spiritual—found within all born-again believers. The Kingdom of God is therefore the designation for the sphere of salvation entered into at the new birth and is synonymous with the Kingdom of heaven. We enter the kingdom of God when we are born again. It is a relationship “born of the Spirit of God” and we have confident assurance that it is so because the Spirit bears witness with our spirits “that we are born of God” (Romans 8:16)……“ born not of the will of man but of God”

John 3:5-7….” Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’”

In Jesus temptation recorded in Lk 4 v 6 Satan tells Jesus that the Kingdoms of this world have been “handed over’ or ‘betrayed over” to him…….by man. Satan can only steal and destroy. You steal only that which is NOT yours by right, so Satan looks to steal our authority and he can do that when through our own sin, fear, lack of faith or understanding, we betray or hand over our authority, over to him.

The Church is called to pronounce the restoration of the Kingdom of God. It is to declare that the Kingdom of God has come here on earth and to demonstrate its presence. Our aim is to see the “Kingdoms of this world become the Kingdoms of our God and His Christ”…..Amen! We are to pursue that now and we have the anointing and the authority to do so even though our victory will be partial now and only complete in the millennium age to come.

HOWEVER

Even now we have absolute authority over Satan because of the victory won for us on Calvary. Satan has no authority in our lives and over the territory where we exercise Kingdom authority. When we establish the authority of God in a place or over a person’s life, then Satan has no authority there. It has become a piece of Kingdom territory belonging only to God. When Satan dares to enter that ground, he is trespassing. Satan wins by default only when we give him the authority or legal right in our lives or land.

We can understand more about our authority if we think about a national Embassy building in a foreign country.
The Embassy building belongs to another country yet it exists in foreign land.  Only the laws of that Embassy’s foreign nation apply within its walls. In my country our Queen Elizabeth has no jurisdiction, nor our Police Force any authority within that foreign Embassy building. It is a piece of that foreign nation in England. It does not belong to nor come under the authority of the UK. It is sovereign territory.

So when we apply that to the Kingdom of God we can see that wherever we establish the Kingdom of God over a person , a home, a territory, we are declaring the sovereignty of God over that place or person. That is why Jesus commanded the disciples to declare that “The Kingdom of God has come” whenever they entered a village. That is why both John the Baptist and Jesus Himself began their ministries with the words. “The Kingdom of God has come!”

WE ARE AMBASSADORS WITH AMBASSADORAL AUTHORITY WHEREVER WE GO BECAUSE THE “Kingdom of God is within us”, SO……..WE ARE THE KINGDOM OF GOD WHEREVER WE ARE.

GOD HAS ALL AUTHORITY WHEREVER WE ARE AND SATAN HAS NO AUTHORITY.

Lastly, it is necessary to understand the difference between authority and power. Satan does have power but He has no authority unless it has been legally given him by default.

Let me illustrate the difference between authority and power.

Imagine a young, very slender and quite small police woman driving her police car along the main road. She sees a huge powerful truck entering at fast speed, a one way street the wrong way against the flow of traffic. Fortunately there are no other vehicles using that road at that precise moment. What does she do? The lorry is more powerful than her. It is huge and she is small. It could crush her without noticing if it ran her over.

However she does not waver. Without hesitation she drives her car around the block to the other end of the one way road, parks it, gets out and proceeds to walk down the one-way street towards the fast approaching vehicle. She can hear the roar of the powerful engine.

She steps out, raises her hand and cries…… “Stop in the Name of the Law!”.

There is a screech of breaks, a smell of burning rubber and the heavy vehicle shudders to a stop.

You see, she knew her delegated authority and whom she represented….the Law of the land and the government of your nation.

That truck just HAD TO STOP! ….. and so does Satan. He has to obey the Laws of the Kingdom of God and of the King of Kings ……Amen?

So let us now return to the theme of the Church

 

Who then builds the Church and to whom does it belong?

 

KEY VERSES
Jesus said in Matt 16:18  ”I will build My Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it”

Acts 2:47… says “The Lord added daily to the Church those He was saving”
John  16:8…it says that…“The Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgement”

We don’t. He alone does.

Yes we do have a responsibility but our responsibility is to response to God’s ability,

Let us consider Matt 16 v 18 more carefully:

a)‘I’ will build it. It belongs to Jesus. It is NOT ours! It is His responsibility. It is blood bought and blood washed.

1 Cor 6:20 “You were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your bodies.

  1. b) I ‘Will’ build it denotes resolve and intention. There are no mistakes, no ultimate failures. Jesus will do it!
  2. c) I will ‘Build’ it. It will take time for building takes time. It is a process and will be done according to a plan, Gods plan. The Father is the architect and Jesus is the builder.We assist Him as both the material and the co-workmen based upon the foundations of the Apostles and Prophets. SO ….. Jesus is the master builder and owner of the Church. It belongs to Him and because he is ‘cornerstone’ of the building, He is part of the building as well Himself.

We have looked at our relationship as the Body and He as our Head. Now we must look at our relationship to one another within the Body.

What would you say was the greatest prayer of Jesus?
Suggestions:

  1.  The Lord’s Prayer
  2.  The prayer of submission in the garden of ….”Take this cup (of suffering) from me. Nevertheless ‘Not My will but Yours be done’ ”
  3.  The prayer of forgiveness on the cross?…”Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing”.

These are great choices but all these have been fulfilled.

The Lord’s Prayer is recited all around the world

The prayer in the garden was fulfilled and Jesus took the cup all the way to the grave.

The prayer on the cross for forgiveness was fulfilled and we are proof of that since we know that we are forgiven and saved.

Yet there is one prayer of Jesus that has never yet been fulfilled. It is the other prayer prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane or on His way there from the upper room. John 17 verses 21 and 23. says “Father I pray that they may be one even as We are one. I in You and You in Me and We in them…..That they may be truly one….so that the world may believe”

This scripture cannot be read without passion

It is:

A prayer of intense agony of Spirit

A prayer of pivotal importance

A prayer of profound understanding and deep revelation.

For Jesus everything depends on the fulfilment of this prayer.

If this is so then we too should be deeply concerned to see it happen. It still hasn’t yet been fulfilled….some 2000 years later.

Jesus is passionate about the unity of His Body and because He is, then we need to be too.

Why is this do you think?

Well it is because He has a purpose for the Body of Christ, the Church, far beyond the purpose of establishing the Kingdom of God on earth. It is because the Church is chosen to be His precious Bride. It is because the creation of the Bride is the purpose of creation and the central theme of Scripture. But the Bride of Christ, though corporate, cannot be plural. There is only one.  Jesus does not have a harem. He only has one Bride and if this Bride is the corporate body of believers then the essential characteristic of that Body is its unity, cohesion and interdependence.

Finally:
We need to understand how God defines and sees Church.

Does He see it from 1) a denominational, independent viewpoint or 2) from a geographical or Regional Church paradigm?

The Spirit of the Lord, according to Luke 18 v 8 is looking for faith on the earth, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

“However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

The Lord Jesus will not be looking for Methodists, a Presbyterians or Pentecostals. He will be looking for those who have a living faith in Him as the Saviour, and He looks across the whole earth.  He sees it as one body of His Son right across the earth.

 

  1. God sees Church geographically and not denominationally. It is geographically defined.

God is the creator of the physical earth. God blesses the land. He recognises nationhood within certain borders. God Himself has a geographical mind-set. He thinks and acts territorially.

Scriptural Rationale:

Notice that:
1.    The first mandate, the great commission, was geographical. In Matt 28:19 and 20 Jesus said…” Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

  1.  The letters of Paul were written to geographical or locational churches. The book of Ephesians, Romans, Galatians and the letters of Jesus in Rev 2 and 3 were also written to churches in geographical locations.
  2.  Some angels were appointed geographically

Daniel shows us that the angels (or Archangels) have territorial responsibility.

Dan 10 v13…. “But the prince of the Persian kingdom (a ruling demonic spirit) resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia”

The Archangel Michael was the protector of Israel and God’s people Israel.

  1. Satan has organised his troops geographically also. In Matt 5 v 9 Legion, the demoniac, cries out… “do not send me out of this territory” suggesting territorial ownership. In the previous reference (Daniel v 13 10) the angel Gabriel was hindered by this ruling demonic spirit, referred to as the Prince of Persia, who exercised control over that region.

It is clear that Satan seeks to control personalities and exercise authority over territories. God exercises territorial authority but has delegated that to His highest creation, man. Satan wishes to usurp that authority and he does so by wrestling that authority from man by deceit and by causing him to sin.

Satan has stolen and taken control of the kingdoms of this world by manipulating man. God has plans or strategies for taking those territories back and wants to do so through the Church and He desires to reveal his strategies for taking them back to His Church.

If Jesus builds His Church Himself then what do we do?

We preach the gospel “in season and out of season” and “make disciples of all nations”.

We do not make converts. We could not ‘save’ anyone.

We build the kingdom. That is…. we teach the principles of the Kingdom of God in order to remodel that alternative yet pre-ordained God centred society that He wants to re-establish.

We teach the saints the principles of both personal and corporate Godly behaviour and righteousness, making the converts into disciples of Jesus.

  1. God sees Church as One Body. Its local expression therefore cannot operate in a spirit of isolation or independence

We are all a part of the same Body of Christ. No limb of the body can function in independence

ILLUSTRATION
Imagine your legs being determined to walk in different directions at the same time. Imagine trying to eat or trying to comb your hair when your hands and arms simple will not work in coordination. The smallest task would become impossible to complete.
Now what are the implications of Regional Church for pastors in any given area (Town, City, Region, Nation)?

So I want now to talk about ‘Leadership’ in the context of ‘Geographical Church’?  But what is leadership?

First I’d like to give you a personal testimony:

ILLUSTRATION
I had written a paper at the Lord’s instruction, on The Church, Prayer,  Intercession. It was about seeing the Church in an area (town or region) as a city with Walls and Watchmen (Prayers/Intercessors/Prophets), Gates of entry, City elders etc.
I was instructed to write it in the form of a letter and to send it to……”the Leadership of My Church in your city/region/department”.

I completed the task but found that I could not identify whom to send it to. Who were the Church Leadership in my area? I could find ‘Leaders’ but not the ‘Leadership’. I sensed that there was a significant difference and asked Him to define that difference for me because I knew it would be so important. I struggled in prayer for a while.

DEFINITION
Then He said…“ Write this down. …..Leaders are singular. Leadership is corporate. Leaders move from being ‘Leaders’ to ‘Leadership’ when they accept their corporate responsibility for the territory that I have given them”.

Wow! That was so clear and such a deep revelation. It was how He sees Church leadership. It was both territorial and corporate!
There is one Church in any given area, one Head and Lord of the Church, one General of the Army, one Master-planner, one strategy. Our job, as leaders, ministers, pastors, bishops in any given area, is to become ‘One’ with each other in leadership, with a geographical church identity and then, together, to seek His face until He shares His plans with us for the taking of that territory for Jesus!

The Lord then led me to Ps 133 “Where brethren dwell together in unity there the Lord commands the blessing”….

I asked Him what was a part of this blessing in these special end-time days as far as the leadership of a territory is concerned, if they truly are one in unity and love. His reply was remarkable…” Part of my ‘blessing’  for the Leadership in these special end days, is revelation of My strategy for taking the territory.”

The ramifications of seeing ‘leadership’ in this way.
1.    Ministers/Pastors would be holding their responsibilities with a greater sense of awe, humility, accountability and stewardship.

  1.  They would seek mutual accountability and begin to move towards a great openness and vulnerability with one another.
  2.  Friendships would deepen
  3.  Resources would be shared
  4.  Programmes would be planned together under the one leadership and supported by the ‘one Church’ of that town or city.

The anointing individually and corporately would increase

  1.  As a result there would be a sense of ‘open heaven’ and the blessing of PS 133 would begin to flow with miracles and manifestations of His Holy Spirit

Acts Ch 2 v 42 – 47…..”They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.  All the believers were together and had everything in common.  They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.  Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,  praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

FINAL THOUGHTS
God has restored the governance of His church back to His Church.

He has now restored back to His Church the fivefold ministry of Apostle, Prophets, Evangelists Pastor and Teacher. We are now in a new season.

There are new wine skins being grown and we are in transition. New leadership structures are appearing. New apostolic leaders are being raised up. Regional authority across the denominational structure is being created. These are exciting days but it will demand change and we will either hasten the move of God in these days or hinder it.

The heart cry of Jesus in John 17, his unfulfilled prayer and His dream was that we should be ‘One’. It goes beyond unity to a ‘Oneness’ that only God can create. It is a reflective of the ‘Oneness’ that is experienced in the Godhead between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. It is a union described as a ‘cleaving’ together as in Gen 2 v 23 and as in marriage. It is a synergy known in marriage where God has literally joined them together. We should pray, plan and work together as the one Church in any given locality. To create this Jesus gave His very life. Our overriding desire should be that the Lord Jesus might receive the full reward for His great sacrifice and as Isaiah 53 v11says that He might see …’the travail of His soul and be satisfied!’