Welcome once again to my weekly leadership blog. I hope you are finding some inspiration and spiritual input from these blogs. Please feel free to share them with anyone else you may feel will benefit from them. They can subscribe to be put on the weekly blog sending. If you have noticed, each month is a topic of leadership focus with an end of the moth audio teaching on that month’s topic.
Today I am going to continue on the topic of God’s government. Every believer needs to be empowered by the government of God. The government of God is the empowerment of faith within the body of Christ. Two things have been given to us for obedience to the faith. Those two things are grace and apostleship (Rom. 1:5). Grace is the work of the Holy Spirit within our lives. The empowerment of the grace of the Holy Spirit in the life of each believer reveals the voice of God and activates the testimony of faith within their lives. That faith brings not only direction to the church, but also the power of God’s continued maturation and transformation in the life of each believer. It is the voice of the Holy Spirit within the heart of the believer that empowers the church. We have also been given external authorities that have been sent to us in life. Those authorities also serve to activate the voice of God within the hearts of the believers. Who are the sent authorities in our lives that keep us focused in the right place? A leader cannot lead in a way that violates the hearts of people. He or she must lead in a way that activates the headship of Christ in every person’s heart and empowers the testimony of faith.
The kingdom of God is a theocracy. God speaks and we respond to His voice. I believe that there are five expressions that are essential to any body expression of Christ in order to assure the theocratic direction of God is fulfilled. Any methods of facilitating these qualities can be negotiable, but the principle of these means of implementing a theocracy is a non-negotiable in my life. The direction of a God established work of God is not implemented by the will of people, but the will of God. It is necessary to discern the will of God for His mandate to whatever expression of Him we find ourselves a part of.
Let me explain how I believe a theocratic rule operates in a corporate expression of the Church. Whether it involves the life of an individual Christian, the corporate expression of a family, the corporate expression of the body of Christ known as a congregation, or any divinely called assembly of believers; a theocracy is the rule of Christian faith. In a theocracy, God speaks and we respond to what He wills. It is a governing by God. The result is always life and peace. The result is the abundance of life that He desires for us all to have. The result is also a furtherance and advancement of His kingdom in the earth. This sounds simple enough, but we don’t hear God well alone. We all have dull ears and blind spots of various kinds to His voice at times and we are therefore dependant upon His grace to help us. His grace is not just given to us as individuals alone, but is also given to us as various expressions of His grace to one another. God has joined us in relationship together and has granted various measures of grace in order for us to articulate what He is saying to us.
We are dependant upon one another in order to be able to hear God clearly. I believe there are several aspects for this to happen in any corporate expression of God’s house. God provides a source, a resource, and a means of furthering His generations and purpose in His eternal plan for the Church. He provides a means by which He can appoint the furtherance of His corporate will for the Church. From what has been, God appoints what is and is to be. This is then seen in various corporate expressions of His will. For every father there is a father and for every mother there is a mother. It is the way of generations. I believe those generational authorities are the apostolic authorities of life sent to the Church to release the continued inheritance of Christ in His body.
I believe that God also appoints specific prophetic voices to any and every expression of His body. These are not apostolic authorities, but are an objective voice of God to them. These voices help them hear God’s word for the direction of their lives. There should be a plurality of prophetic voices to every individual or corporate expression of ministry or local church.
God also appoints a leader to provide responsible headship accountable to articulate His will for any measure of His house. This God appointed individual is a gift of God’s grace sent specifically to a corporate expression of God’s family as a leadership gift to them. This is a leader, not a dictator or a controller. This leader is simply a “leader”.
Every God-appointed leader must also be relationally joined to other leaders in the dynamic of leadership in order to articulate God’s voice through a fuller measure of Christ’s leadership to the Church. These leaders are gifts of God’s grace sent to the leader and the corporate body in order to fully lead the corporate house within the boundaries of God’s bigger plan.
God also anoints members of the household to hear His voice in order to respond to His will. These are God’s individual gifts of diversity within the house to fully articulate His expression of life in and through that house for the work of ministry in Christ.
There are five theological names that describe these means of hearing His voice. The authority to appoint a sent leader to any given expression of God requires a source of sending. Something generational must exist to provide the authority of further generations. This is known as Apostolic Leadership. This type of leadership is a source and resource to any corporate expression of the body of Christ. This leadership is plural and diverse. It is diverse to the manifold expression of God to the Church. A plurality of diversity in source provides a fuller resource to the future generations of God’s will.
God appoints prophets and prophetic voices to bring direction to a local body. This is Prophetic Council. These voices help the local church hear God’s direction to them corporately.
God always sends a leader to lead specific expressions of His will to reveal His increasing glory in the earth. The sending, or appointing, of a leader is known as an Episcopal form of leadership. God simply sends or appoints a leader to lead a body of believers. He puts a special grace upon that individual to be a leader of leaders for the sake of the corporate household.
Another aspect is that of a Presbytery. This is a team of diversely gifted leaders working together to function as one team in leadership. Various levels of grace are given by God within this Presbytery to lead. God bestows different kinds and various measures of grace upon each of these individuals to create a fuller expression of leadership to the household. Some members of this team are graced by God to make decisions of a governmental nature. These individuals exhibit a tangible power of leadership to put new direction from God into motion for the body. They release direction and grace to the body to respond to His will and voice for their lives. Some members have a grace to creatively implement the governmental direction and decisions of function given by God. They themselves did not receive the direction or make the decision, but they have a grace to see to it that works are facilitated in accordance with God’s given direction and decision. These individuals have a grace to activate and facilitate works that speak of the faith of the corporate house and its members. Some members of the leadership team have a God-given grace to equip individuals of the house for individual function and faith that leads to the actions of ministry in the house. A plurality of these equipping graces will release a harmonious expression of Christ’s function within the house. Within each of these expressions of leadership there is diversity according to the various measures of grace given by God.
The final aspect of God’s rule to the corporate house is found in the lives of individual members of the household. This is an aspect known as Congregational Function, where every believer carries the responsibility of hearing the voice of God within the corporate expression. God gives various kinds and measures of grace to individual members to reveal His voice in and through His household. Some are graced to prophesy, some pray, some see God’s treasures in others, some draw treasures out of others, and so on. There is an endless supply of diversity in any expression of God’s house. All corporate hearing of the congregation members is subject to the discernment, facilitation, and direction of the Episcopes and Presbytery levels of authority in the Church.
I believe that it requires all five of these aspects divinely working together in order to discern and articulate God’s will for the corporate house. The methods for implementing these truths can be flexible, but the principle of the role of each part is essential for discerning the will of God. I believe that a true theocracy requires the submission of each of these aspects of family life in order to make correct conclusions as to the will of God for any corporate expression of the body of Christ. This is not Apostolic rule, Prophetic rule, Episcopal rule, Presbyterian rule, or Congregational rule. It is these five aspects of body dynamic submitting to God’s grace given to each measure in order to clearly hear Him and respond to Him. It is the active function of Theocratic Rule in the Church.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson