We have been building all wrong. No wonder our churches are often such a mess and most often somewhat impotent. Statistics in North America indicate that we are not winning the lost – often we simply shuffle the saints. Percentage-wise we are not winning the lost as fast as the population is growing. Therefore, the percentage of the overall population that is born again Christians is smaller than a decade ago.
You read the book of Acts and wonder how the church has become so pathetic and often apathetic. It is because we have not become prophetic and apostolic.
Ephesians 2:20 (The church) built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.
We have built the church on the ministry of the “pastor”. This is the chief role or ministry in the average church today. God never meant the church to be ‘pastoral’; He meant for the church to be prophetic and apostolic. As you look at the church in the book of Acts we see a church that was directed prophetically. They received revelation on and about prophetic words spoken many centuries before – such as the prophecy in Joel about the Holy Spirit. They also received ‘now words’ from the Lord that brought direction and insight. Ananias ministering prophetically to Saul who later became Paul (Acts 9) would be but one good example of many we could choose.
And, of course, the early church recognized and was built upon the (teaching) ministry of the apostle. Acts 2:42 states:
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
The ministry of the apostle being key to the stability and the growth of the early church. Apostles working in the supernatural with miracles, signs and wonders following their proclamation of God’s truth about the Saviour Jesus.
The early church was built on the foundation of the ministry of apostles and prophets. Jesus Christ was the centre of the their focus and message – the chief cornerstone. This led to a healthy and vibrant church that was neither pathetic nor apathetic. It was flowing over with Holy Spirit life and power attracting many new believers and spreading rapidly around the known Roman world. As it spread it had a major impact on the society actually turning the world “upside down.” Referring to Christians, the Bible states:
Acts 17:6b (NKJV) “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.”
It is time that we began to welcome the current move of the Holy Spirit as He reintroduces the supernatural ministry roles of apostle and prophet to His church. In the early 1980’s we saw the role of the prophet reestablished in the church. Many today still do not recognize the current role and ministry of the prophet. However, the ministry has been reestablished and many networks and associations have embraced this ministry gift.