RELATING TO YOUR APOSTLE
Apostle Barry Powell
The relationships between apostles and other five-fold ministry ascension gifts in a local church are important. An apostle in a local apostolic church is one that is called and sent by the Holy Spirit to pioneer a local assembly in a particular territory (Galatians 1:1).
(The apostolic leader is different than some denominational church leaders that were hired by a pulpit committee.) Once the apostle engages his assignment and enters the territory, the anointing on his life will begin to draw others to the ministry.
Some of these will be other five-fold ascension gifts including apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. Fundamentally, all five-fold ascension gifts are called to work together in perfecting the saints for the work of ministry and the building up of the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12). As the local church matures, the set man apostle will be led by the Holy Spirit to identify, activate, and set in places of delegated authority the various leaders. The set man knows he is not called to do everything that needs to be done in the local church but is called to see that everything gets done. This process of setting in place other leaders will vary in scope and time, and is never rushed.
DELEGATED POSITIONS OF LEADERSHIP
It's also important to understand that all other five-fold ascension gifts in a local church are part of the helps ministry in general set in the local church by the Holy Spirit to assist the set man in carrying out his particular Kingdom assignment (1 Cor 12:18). This means that all other five-fold ascension gifts in a local church setting are given delegated positions of leadership, authority, and responsibility, according to the leadership of the set man (Numbers 27:16-17). These delegated positions of leadership responsibilities can be changed from time to time according to the direction of the set man as he follows the Holy Spirit and in meeting the growing needs of the local congregation.
THE APOSTLE'S ROLE
One way to understand the apostle's role is that of a general contractor coordinating the various sub-contractors working with him such as the shell contractor, electrician, plumber, roofer, painter, landscaper, etc. All these various sub-contractors have important roles, but they are all coordinated by the general contractor.
Another way that might help in understanding the role of the apostle in the local church is that of an orchestra conductor. The conductor of an orchestra, for example, has a large instrumental ensemble containing sections of string, bass, and percussion instruments. In this sense, the conductor gathers the various minstrels to create a symphony or harmony of sound that minister to the listeners. So you can see in these examples the role of an apostle is to coordinate the various five-fold ascension gifts in the house to assist him in ministering to the needs of the people.
THE FINAL DECISION
Sometimes it's easy for leaders to forget that they have delegated positions of authority and responsibility within the local church. This is something the enemy can use to hinder the work of the Holy Spirit. Typically, everything goes well until a leader thinks the set man apostle should be doing something different. Perhaps you have seen or experienced this. "So how should this be handled", you ask? The answer is simple, "Talk to your apostle, tell him what you think and be done with it." It's that simple because the final decision is his, not yours. Remember, you can't make your apostle do anything.
Again, it helps to understand the ultimate responsibility of a local church rest firmly on the apostolic set man. Just as in our examples above, you might be a highly anointed electrician (or prophet), but you are not the general contractor, you are the sub-contractor. This means your responsibility forms only a measure of the whole. Do your best to stay within the scope of your spiritual assignment and get into agreement with your apostle. If you don't think you can submit to his leadership, then you need to leave the church. Scripture says, "Can two walk together, except they are agreed?" (Amos 3:3).
MATURE GIFTS IN THE HOUSE
I am blessed to have several gifted five-fold leaders around me that have great ideas. I am always amazed at the maturity and sound counsel they offer. Understanding that there is wisdom in a multitude of counselors I appreciate their various spiritual gifts and input. Needless to say, we don't always agree on everything. Sometimes their counsel needs to be fitted into the bigger picture of what the Holy Spirit is showing me. In most instances, they understand, but sometimes they don't. At other times, their advice is something I need to pray about or just don't get a witness to in my spirit. Regardless, at the end of the day the final decision with the direction of ministry is mine. This lets them off the hook so to speak. The mature leaders around me appreciate this because they know I listen to their input but once they have told me what they think the burden is on me and not them. Of course, it helps if you have a track record of success. We have been in ministry now for over thirty years. (Only 10 percent of church leaders make it 20 years.) James wrote, "My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation" (James 3:1).
UNITY OF THE SPIRIT
Apostle Paul gave us great counsel saying, "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ" (Ephesians 4:1-7).
Thank you for serving Christ, your local church, and supporting the vision of your set man. Do everything as unto the Lord and everything will work out great.
Apostle Barry Powell