The office of the pastor is set by God and is very important (Eph. 4:11). The flock should be shepherded by a pastor (never domineering the flock, a pastor doing this, is under the spirit of control!). I believe that every believer should have an apostolic mentality and especially (!) all leaders.
The fact is that many pastors are the head of a church and an apostolic mind change has to start from the top. One with an apostolic mentality is simply focused on the (aggressive) advancing of the kingdom (Mat 28:19-20).
A pastor is especially concerned about the security of the flock, however this should never hinder expansion of the Kingdom! Sometimes people are too comfortable and someone needs to shake them to get out of that comfort zone!
A non-apostolic mentality is manifested in a pastor (or leader) that is not truly focused on the activation, impartation, equipping, training and therefore perfection of the believers so that they walk in a higher dimension. More important, so that these believers can be sent out to advance the Kingdom of God. A non-apostolic mentality manifests itself in various ways. This article is meant to equip the saints by creating awareness.
7 Signs of non-apostolic mindset in the church.
- When a pastor is afraid to share his leadership position
Non-apostolic leaders are afraid or insecure of having other (fivefold) ministries working beside them. It is true that there should always be one (in the church) that has the ultimate responsibility (this will often be the pastor as the apostle is usually the founder and overseer of several other churches which the pastors will lead). A non-apostolic leader however will never recognize others beside him at all and will make all the (important) decisions by himself.There is something wrong with the picture if the pastor does all the preaching, teaching, prophesying all by him himself (or his wife) without the counsel for example of a prophet that is set in the church (to guide and direct).If leaders are appointed, they will be appointed to deal only with the natural affairs (do we have enough tea, cookies and coffee in storage? Are the seats nicely set in order for the members? Moses is an example of an apostolic leader in the Old Testament.Whilst Joshua was thinking non-apostolic, Moses was not: ‘And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!’ (Numbers 11:29).
Apostolic people will be eager to push others forward for the expansion of the Kingdom, without being insecure. Insecurity often leads to envy. Beware of the Saul spirit! Insecure leaders, like Saul did, will recognize the anointing on your life and want to destroy it instead of pushing you forward! I believe the most powerful church will have all five ministries in operation (working together).
- When a pastor doesn’t do much to encourage others to walk in their respective callings or offices
Jesus, our chief Apostle (Heb 3:1) multiplied Himself in the 12 and later the 70 because he knew that one day they had to do what He did and even greater works (Joh 14:12). Jesus demonstrated and taught his disciples to walk in a high dimension of spiritual authority (Mat 10:1; Luk 10:19. Non-apostolic people will not encourage others to walk in the same (or higher) level of power.Another example is apostle Paul that encouraged his spiritual son Timothy (an emerging apostle, 1 Thess. 1:1; 2:6) often.
‘Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands‘.
(2 Tim 1:6).Apostolic leaders lay on hands for activation and impartation (like Paul) and encourage the saints to stir up the gift in them. A non-apostolic leader will often look down on other ministries and will not encourage them do stir up their gifts (often because of their own insecurities). Especially prophets are oftentimes overlooked by non-apostolic pastors and are seen as troublemakers.
- When a pastor is hesitant about supernatural (crazy) manifestations
A pastor that is not apostolic will often be hesitant about prophesying, healing the sick, raising the dead, casting out devils in order to ‘keep the flock together’ and not scare them away. Deliverance ministry is par excellence the thing that makes non-apostolic leaders nervous. Non-apostolic people will rather ignore deliverance (or other unusual manifestations even led by the Holy Spirit!) to keep order. Remember that Jesus did deliverance ministry in public (Mrk 1).In my opinion, pastors often mistakingly give too much attention to those that are not willing to grow or go deeper at the cost of others that want to grow. A non-apostolic pastor will often want to keep the numbers of attending people stable. An apostle knows that for extreme growth extreme measures are needed! Where are the days of bold and crazy apostolic prayer gatherings in the streets followed by apostolic preaching? The result of apostle Peter’s preaching was clear!
‘Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls’. (Acts 2:41)
- When a pastor preaches and teaches only the ‘safe things’ in the Word
There is nothing wrong about preaching and teaching the basic safe things of the Word (the milk of the Word, Heb 5:12-13) but this should not be the main thing and the only focus. To stir up something and activate believers to do new things so that the Kingdom of God will advance, apostolic topics should be covered. Apostolic teaching and preaching (topics that are concerned with the aggressive expansion of the Kingdom) for example about healing the sick, raising the dead, casting out devils and .. the demonstration thereof! (teaching and demonstration, Acts 1:1, Jesus did and taught and this was passed on!).Apostolic preaching and teaching has this penetrating power that will make the ‘spirit of complacency’ flee. The spirit-of-we-have-already-arrived. The ‘settling down spirit’. Apostolic people are pioneers that are not satisfied with “settling down”.Apostolic people must advance until all the land is possessed until the end of the world (Mat 28:20). Apostolic people as pioneers preach and demonstrate things that seem new for even those that are attending church for years. Someone must have the courage, ability, and power to break through the obstacles set up by the enemy.
- When a pastor puts a strong (and wrong) emphasis on training people to serve in the house only
Your pastor loves to only train people to serve in the house only. A non-apostolic pastor will only train people to walk in the ministry of helps, needed to provide service and keep the order in a church, like ushers and deacons. There is nothing wrong with these important ministries but remember the order in 1 Cor 12:28. Apostolic leaders create leaders, non-apostolic leaders will create followers.Someone that is not thinking apostolic, is often not busy with activation, impartation and training to build up powerful believers. Although the pastor is often heavily involved in teaching, this will be often be basic teachings just to keep the flock attending church and staying in the faith. Deep teachings, for example, about the offices and gifts of the Spirit (and maybe more important teachings about the activation and impartation needed to walk in these also is lacking when the pastor lacks apostolic vision).
- When a pastor lacks a clear long term vision (and strategy)
A non-apostolic leader will only focus on the present (and not on the long term). Whilst a apostolic leader has a broad long term vision a non-apostolic leader will often have a narrow-minded focus on the house. Your pastor lacks a clear (long-term) vision (and strategy to fill in the vision). Although there will be a general church vision on paper, there will still be a true lack in clear vision.I believe that the vision and strategy of a true apostolic leader can be even explained by a 5 year old that regularly visits his meetings! The vision and strategy, although not seen on paper, will be easily recognized. I believe if you have a strong vision, everybody without even seeing one letter of it on paper will know it All churches should follow one general mission, and that is the Great Com-Mission (Mat 28:19-20) This lists the broad goals for which every church is formed. But what is the strategy how will you fill this in? What is the plan of execution?
- When a pastor loves the comfort zone and often disregards ministry outside of the four walls (especially evangelism!)
A non-apostolic pastor is too focused on keeping the flock together and therefore is often not attentive to the souls outside. ‘And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature
(Mark 16:15)Believers are encouraged to stay faithful to God, obey and behave nicely, almost on a natural level. Strong spiritual edification (deep teaching, activation, impartation) is often lacking. The meat of the Word is not offered in the menu of the believers and therefore they are malnourished.Non-apostolic pastors are comfortable with the situation how it is and has ever been. It has been said that in business the most dangerous words are “We have always done it that way!”’ I think in Kingdom business it is the same!A non-apostolic leader will often say that they want growth but will lack the burning desire and aggressive expansion plans to go along with these statements. A non-apostolic pastor will feel good when people are just attending, paying their tithe and behaving nicely. The comfort zone of a pastor includes sticking to the program too much (in order to stay panic free and comfortable) and is afraid to ‘let things go out of hand’, sadly often at the expense of the free flow of the Spirit of God! There is nothing wrong with setting up an program, as a matter of fact is it good to plan but non-apostolic leaders will rather flow with man’s agenda than with the Spirit of God.An apostolic leader is always busy with pioneering, trying something new and is not afraid to make bold statements (wake-up calls) that could stir up people (this often offends those that are stuck in their own religious system and feel good about themselves). Apostolic leaders are always focused on the encouragement and equipping of saints to (go out and) preach, prophesy, heal the sick, raise up the dead and cast out devils! We should all be apostolic! Remember that the Holy Spirit in us is a sent one (John 14:26)! With this Apostolic Spirit, we should all be apostolic.