If You’re Reading this You Might be an Apostle

30 05 2008

If I were to fault just one factor that is leading to the decline of Christianity in the West it would be this –

Men who have been given apostolic gifting in the West settle for growing large churches

and in our generation

Men who have been given apostolic gifting in the West settle for starting and growing a “new model” church.

This has and is devastating the movement of Christianity in our day.

And who are these apostles? One easy place to find them is guys who like to read and write blogs that discuss church structure.

I want to ask and answer 3 simple questions –

1. How do you know if you’re in Apostle (a good modern word would be architect)?

  • NOT because you’re a superstar (a huge misconception)
  • You enjoy studying church structure
  • You understand the implication of structural changes on an organization
  • You want to spend more time using your gifts for the Kingdom rather than anywhere else
  • You’re pretty good to excellent in the business world
  • You feel uncomfortable with the idea of being a life-long pastor in a particular church
  • You can read an appreciate a good organizational chart

2. What should an Apostle do

  • Adopt a model of church that allows you to plant a work quickly (under 6 months) where it will grow without your (or any paid person’s) constant involvement (this will create a pattern of exponential growth).
  • Start 2-6 new works per year
  • Form a team of 6-10 5-fold people (by releasing other 5-fold people that grow up in your new works)
  • Constantly network with other Apostles (read, write and debate)

3. Why shouldn’t I just plant/pastor a church

  • You will turn what is supposed to be a balanced organism into an organization around your gift (or other 5-fold gifts)
  • You will deprive many churches of your help that need apostolic assistance
  • You will contribute greatly to the decline of Christianity instead of enflame its exponential expansion
  • You will always feel somewhat stifled in the pastoral position

I believe the main reason why thousands of apostolic teams are not criss-crossing the globe is because our current unbiblical model of church has replaced itinerant Apostle with Senior Pastor. And if your church is lucky enough to land and domesticate an Apostle as your Senior Pastor then he will out think and out grow the churches around him making your church the happening place in town.

So instead of Apostles building hundreds of works in their lifetime that release thousands of people, today they suck the life out of hundreds of churches releasing only themselves and a few others. It’s been a poor exchange and God wants it to change.

I believe there will be a re-emergence of Apostolic ministry in our day that will reverse this effect. So, if you’re reading this, begin preparing.

(check out Len’s excellent article on The New Apostles)





Five Questions for my “Missional Community” Friends

25 05 2008

So I’ve been pondering this recent iteration of church many I know are developing which seems to go like this –

  • Start a worship-service(s)
  • Identity leaders
  • Have the leaders form “missional communities”
  • Create advance training programs for leaders
  • Use missional communities to create the small community feel for your church and serve the city/neighborhood (which is the missional part)

Most likely an oversimplification but here are my questions about the overall approach

1. Why apply the word “church” to your network instead of the missional communities themselves?  If people are living 1 Cor. 12 body life in these missional communities, then why promote the worship service expression as a church instead of the body?

2. Isn’t using the phrase “missional community” itself a reactive statement?  Most people in our generation feel the biggest problems with the modern church is a lack of community and a lost focus on mission.  But when you create a model designed to counter-balance the mistake of one generation you’re doomed to over correct and miss other essentials (see below).

3. In this model isn’t discipleship destined to become the 3rd wheel?  Your typical member will be attending weekly worship services and weekly missional community gatherings, so how can discipleship training be a primary focus for 100% of your people?

4. Are you sure that a worship service is the best way to gather people?  I fear many of you guys almost immediately outgrow your ability to disciple and enfold the people you are gathering.  The minute you achieve the “new cool church in town” status I’m concerned the maintenance requirements for these numbers will begin to tweak your model in an unwanted direction.

5. Are you designing a church that you (or some other paid person) will have to indefinitely maintain?  If you could structure a church that could grow and reproduce without paid staff and those of us with 5-fold callings could build new works isn’t this better for the Kingdom?  Paul did it this way why shouldn’t we (or have we found a better way than Paul)?

I’m writing this because I feel closer to you guys than any other group I know but I can’t figure out why we differ on these things.  Your help is appreciated!





A Typical Night at the Story-Formed Life

11 05 2008

The 10 nights we do the Story-Formed Life need to have a certain tone or vibe.  Here I describe what that is intended to be and how we try and create it.





How did the Story-Formed Life Start

3 05 2008

This video is a description of my quest to find an effective disciple-making strategy and the ideas and experiences that started me down the path toward developing the Story-Formed Life discipleship training and using it as the foundation of our training centers.





What is the Story-Formed Life Discipleship Training?

2 05 2008

If you know anything about what I actually do you know I spend a great deal of time training disciples and training trainers of disciples and all of this begins with a course called “The Story-Formed Life”.  I’m spending so much time in fact that I’m thinking about creating a site that will help equip people to use this training and the center of that site will be a video course.

So from time to time I’ll post videos here that I’m making for that course.

Here’s my first shot at it –