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.

About the author: Howard Barnes

Howard Barnes was born in England in 1944 to Salvation Army pastor parents. After secondary education he went to university and studied Theology and subsequently become a Secondary School teacher and served in several London schools as the Head of Divinity. During these years he also was a youth leader and then served as a pastor of a local church in Cornwall, England. In 2003 he retired from teaching, after 37 years’ service, to take up a position as director of an evangelistic ministry called Harvest for Christ but in 2008 he became Co-director of Time Out Mission International and more recently director of The Body and the Bride Network Ministry International (UK). These last two ministries which he co-directed with his close friend and ministry colleague, Michael Pike (Apostle), were deeply passionate about two things. 1) to see the worldwide Church discover the meaning of real unity and so fulfill the prayer of Jesus in Jn 17 v 21 and 23 ….“that they may be One even as we are One” and 2) to understand and embrace its end-time identity as the precious Bride of Christ and to prepare her for the coming Bridegroom King. These experiences have paved the way for the creation of this new ministry called The Call2Come which, while still holding to these emphasis, calls the Church to prepare Herself as His precious Bride and so position Herself to cry the prayer that only the Bride can¬ pray. It is only the “Spirit and the Bride” that can cry Come. Howard has received two honorary doctorates in recognition of his mission and reconciliation/peace work in over 70 nations around the world. He is also an official representative for Foundations for Biblical Farming (FFF) which comes out of Zimbabwe, Africa and for the World Prayer Assembly (WPA). He is a regular speaker at international church conferences and operates under an apostolic mantel. He has been married to Tricia for 50 years who was herself a music teacher, and they have two lovely married children and four beautiful grandchildren. He is both a musician and a gifted artist.