Prophet: Prophets as Leaders

A prevailing sense of isolation among prophets and seers, produced, by erroneous interpretations and implementations of “intimacy with God”, leaves us with people operating in a vacuum who should be fully engaged in open, leadership level, public dialogue.

Prophets as leaders escapes us. Some apostles even assume prophets are mouthpieces with no more responsibility than to speak and share and “go back to the cave” and stare at the rocks until you get something else.

Prophet as leader seems far away when it should be as real as Sunday morning sunrise! We need some thunder in the house! We need some oversight for the process of revelation that will move us past the Cracker Jack prize mentality that “Prophecy for Dummies” has produced!

Personal prophecy for those with conferenceitis is another excuse to avoid submitting to leaders so God’s purpose can be pursued with principle, process, and protocol. It is an escape from the process of preparation. It is a magic want approach to destiny. It is as wrong as horoscopes and star gazing when pursued outside prophetic process.

Personal Prophecy Delusions

Personal prophesy dominates the modern lineup simply because the conference-based promotion of prophetic seeks to mainstream the prophetic by fleshly means. The subtle promise that you might get a life-changing word attracts scrapbook prophetic junkies. They hope some word will obligate God to finally get His act together and make their Disney star wishes come true with a personal “bippidity-boppity boo”.

Having prophesied to tens of thousands of people, I won’t stand for anyone assuming here that I have a problem with personal prophecy. But the merchandising of the prophetic is not just a problem for those charging $200 for a good word and $500 for a better word. It is the merchandising that arises when we put the hottest prophets on the circuit on the flyer with the implication that you just haven’t been in the room with the right level of prophet, but if you get to this one…(pay your $75 pre-registration fee today lest you miss this conference and God never get the “set you into your amazing future” prophecy you’ve been hoping for).

Multiple Levels

The Prophet releases revelation with multiple levels of revelation. The Prophet engages in awareness of the opposing views. The Prophet understands the dialogue requires more than mouthpiece function. The Prophet has eldership authority and responsibility, oversight of a scope of blueprinted territory.

The sense in which both apostle and prophet are foundational becomes more clear in this way: the scope of assignment comes from the blueprints they share in leadership function. When prophets (or apostles) step outside the scope of their blueprints assignments or scuttle back into a cave, they abjugate the vitals of their leadership.

They become much less that God intended prophets to be. The idea that a prophet needs to become a hermit and leave the real leadership to others is the very limitation we need to breakthrough. That mentality puts the prophet into performance mode as much as anything else. The prophets begin to see themselves only valuable when they rush out of the caves, to the platforms, release the most recent thing they got in the cave. On the way back to the cave, they fall more deeply under the influence of the faulty conclusion that “my part is now over’.

Of course, sometimes the observable oddity of prophets and their assumed weirdness that cloaks their insecurities makes people want them to live in caves. Prophets as leaders prophesy without wearing flashing bow ties, blue streaks in their hair, half shaven faces, and pony tails, long fingernails, and locust blood on their chins. “Cave slug” fashions are not necessary to prophetic accuracy.

Prophet: The Meaning

We begin with the basic root word, phe, and add the prefix, pro, to arrive at the most basic meaning of “speak openly.” The basic meaning of the prophetic is “to speak what is hidden openly.” Prophecy communicates hidden, mysterious, or unknown into the open, known, and understandable. We forth tell or foretell, but we are communicating something hidden into the open when we prophesy.

The many things and situations that have become “prophetic” in our modern exaggerations make this simple meaning unnecessarily complex. After all, mystery is mysterious enough without expanding the mystery with extraneous considerations. We can certainly understand that prophetic anything moves spiritual into natural in some form, so that dance, movements, sounds, symbols and signs, numbers, and natural events may contain clues to prophetic revelation.

God may reveal mysteries to anyone at any time. God may reveal spiritual reality to a donkey. God may cause a gourd’s life and death to communicate a revelation of a prophet’s temperament. God may use action to communicate a mystery. Or, God may speak plainly with very specific, direct statements. God may also share revelation through a many different voices, requiring that the many voices accept one another as authentic messengers in order for the entirety of the revelation to become available. Inherent in the word, action, and function that the word, prophetes, describes is communication, and that communication is understood to be expressed in words even when the mystery arrives in code, picture, concept, impression, visionary impression, or puzzle. Prophets may speak a message they arises from their spirits, hearing themselves proclaim something known to them only in hearing their own voices speaking. We are speaking here of the prophet in the New Testament, in which the finished work of Christ governs all functions of the kingdom, and of the “prophet” that Jesus bestowed upon the Ecclesia.

We are not speaking of the Old Testament prophets and the broader functions and variations of prophets as described in history before John the Baptist, including John in category, of course, but anticipating in John the shift to the New Covenant function. Prophetic revelation concern past, present, and future, the most common revelation involving the past.

Prophets see, know, hear, perceive, or communicate spiritual reality in natural events and conditions. They have nothing to communicate until they receive revelation. The revelation comes by means of Holy Spirit, communicated with the spirit of the prophet, through spiritual communications, so the prophet can communicate to the targeted or assigned audience.

The New Testament speaks of the spirit of prophecy, the gift of prophecy, and prophets. The New Testament use of the word, “prophetes,” includes many variables. For example, when the leader came to John the Baptist to ascertain his intentions, they were not questioning his authenticity as a prophet so much as seeking to know the type of prophet he considered himself to be.

Identifying Prophets “Are you that prophet?” they asked. Of course, the differentiation was in the minds of the leaders, not God or John, but the question remains valid because it is based upon the Bible and Its predictions of certain prophets assigned to do certain things.

We can benefit from this understanding for all kingdom leadership dynamics. Apostles assigned to do certain things. Evangels assigned to do certain things. Shepherds assigned to do certain things. So also, prophets assigned to do certain things. Add to that personality characteristics of prophets and the wide range of idiosyncrasies prophets develop in response to calling, gift mix, Providential pathway, assignment, and reactions or overcompensations to being continually misunderstood or simply living without a sense that anyone really understands prophetic experiences. Add to that the fact they do not understand themselves or their prophetic experiences, and we arrive at an impression that prophets are different from others.

The reality is that fivefold leaders in any one of the kingdom leadership dynamics are pretty much radically focused extremists in the sense of emphasis, priority, and function. They are specialists, and they should be! That is, kingdom leaders rise to places of specialization, and that specialization resists definitions based upon general “check this box” lists written to determine calling and assignment.

We do err demanding that any kingdom leader fit some prescribed mold as if every prophet has to be like Ananias, John the Baptist, or our several misconceptions about seers, prophets, watchmen, and apostles who prophesy. Add to that the superstitions, odd as well as false ideas about prophets and prophesy ingrained in the kingdom through misinformation, and the absence of a prophetic atmosphere or culture in which to function, and prophets start feeling like oddballs on earth when they are pretty much normal for the atmospheres of the kingdom of God.

Luke 16:16 says, “All the prophets and the Law prophesied with reference to John.”

Something already prophesied gained its fullness with hope of fulfillment in John. So, historic prophetic anticipation culminates with the ministry of John. Because he is faithful to that assignment, Jesus walks into a prophetic fullness, water baptism thus signifying that John’s assignment is legitimately anticipatory of the One who will come as Messiah.

So, John is a prophet with a specific assignment who cannot function as any other prophet while being all a prophet is and should be. This helps us understand that all prophets are prophets but not all prophets are the same. Then, with Jesus becoming the Prophet, we have a new meaning for “prophet” never before available.

Jesus bestows this meaning of “prophet” upon the Ecclesia, as Paul tells us, and the role of prophet is defined by Jesus.

The Function of the Prophet

Prophets communicate speak by the spirit of prophecy, with prophetic charisma or grace flow, and prophet’s function (some say, “office”). While we have general instructions by Paul on the function of prophets and prophecy in an assembled group and these instructions appear to limit prophecy to three very specific modes, prophets are not limited to edification, comfort, and exhortation. Prophets are foundational in function with apostles.

In the function of “prophet,” prophets prophesy with more authority, recognizable in this function by their leadership more than a style, volume, dress, or recognition. That is, we do not recognize the authority by some superstitious or natural sign. They reveal at a depth, scope, and application greater than believers who are not prophets. They give correction, provide words that give direction, and their words activate something hidden that respond to their authority.

We recognize the authority because of what responds to it, not by the fact that they use a title. Prophets are leaders. Jesus bestows, sends, calls, and favors prophets because of His love for the Ecclesia, His desire for Her maturity, the completion of Her as a building, the full function of Her as a body, and the complete preparation of Her in adornment as a Bride.

Prophets, with all that heavenly authorization, remain under authority to those with whom they share assignment, validated and accountable for their prophetic function to leaders and other prophets. Prophets, though pressed into uniqueness, continue to submit themselves and their function to others who all operate according to kingdom principles, procedures, and protocols.

No matter how well they receive and communicate revelation or what level or scope at which that revelation operates, prophets are never operate without obvious, identifiable, and confirming personal accountability for life, living, and communication. Given the very nature of their fiduciary relationship with the kingdom, they maintain a high standard of accountability.

Prophet as Leader

The term “leader” means influence authorized by someone greater than the leader. Prophet is no different. Since the prophet belongs to God in a special way, and the prophetic function is so amazingly powerful, like apostles, prophets must seek a constant and continuous submission point for life, living, and ministry. The operations of prophets, prophetic people, prophetic experience, prophetic worship, and prophetic anything in the kingdom prescribe a process, and that process protects the integrity of the prophetic.

The most obvious definition of “false” prophet begins with the absence of this kingdom protocol of submission. I never listen too seriously to prophets that refuse the process. They are consistently communicating something that smells of flesh, contending with superstitions, and processing their personal issues, the ones that are usually the reason they refuse accountability and avoid submission.

Thinking that their gift is enough—“I hear God and I’m a prophet, so just forget the process and any accountability; my gift is enough proof I’m authentic”—they stubbornly insist that they be heard and given leadership, honor, and attention. However, the real motivation pressing them to demand honor is a deep need to prove what they cannot prove without following kingdom protocol.

In other words, until the prophet submits to the kingdom, the prophet remains outside the kingdom mainstream, speaking at the kingdom instead of speaking from within the kingdom. On the other hand, the prophet is a continuous threat to the status quo of human leadership because they speak from Someone higher than any human leader. At any moment, a prophet, speaking God’s Word, may challenge the leaders to whom he or she is submitted because the prophet speaks revelation. So, this seeming contradiction also confuses some prophets into believing they are exceptions to the rules, that only by maintaining a strong sense of “otherness” from other prophets or leaders can they hear, see, or speak properly. This is the most common motivation for prophetic dysfunction, even to the point of fatal flaws that make some prophets false.

The Meaning of “Prophet”

The rather ridiculous assumption that prophet means preacher and preaching is prophecy arises from the extremes of modern evangelicals who refuse to believe the Bible actually means what It says about grace gifts that operate in all believers. While we usually shrug this off as “people who just don’t like tongues,” the reality is that they don’t like the Bible!

Fact is, not one tiny shred of evidence within or without the Bible hints that God planned for everything to stop working like it does in the New Testament when the last apostle died. With tons of evidence to the contrary, more than a billion people practicing the reality today, and the most obvious evidence that more than twelve apostles lived and functioned legitimately, this silly idea assumes that only twelve lived and only when they were alive did God intend for grace gifts to operate. (Sounds as ridiculous as Mormonism or WatchTower errors when you think of it, but enough Scofield Bibles have been printed, sold, and read that people think the Bible says so.)

When we examine the spirit of prophecy, gift of prophecy, and function of prophet, the meaning of “Prophet” must answer to Jesus. He fulfills the meaning, sets the new meaning, and bestows this grace upon those He calls to be prophets.

Note that prophecy occurs in many ways, involves many people, and weaves into and throughout all that kingdom Ecclesia is and does. We can never separate the direct involvement of Jesus with His Ecclesia within His kingdom from the leadership of kingdom leaders, and the way Jesus remains involved requires revelation. Here is where the evangelicals felt it was necessary to join the ancients rebels of God’s kingdom in killing prophets so they could protect traditions: if Jesus involves Himself in the kingdom at all, He does so spiritually, not physically.

He speaks by means of Holy Spirit, with spiritual communication. But, those who reject the prophetic demand that the only source of kingdom information is the Bible. To know if a person should preach on Jonah or Timothy in a given setting, the person has to read the Bible. Of course, the Bible is prophetic! But, the Bible isn’t exhaustive.

You can read the Bible for years without It telling you what to preach next Sunday, where to live, who to marry, how much to give to a particular mission project, or whether or not to agree to move to China on a mission for the kingdom. Holy Spirit tells you, and when He tells you, He reveals the hidden.

So, add to that the reality that Holy Spirit can speak through a prophet at the level of a prophet’s leadership assignment, scope of authority to reveal revelation, and use the words prophesied to activate spiritual things in people hidden in their spirits, for example. Every time Holy Spirit reveals something hidden, the process of prophecy has begun. In this sense, every believer is prophetic! Of course, not every believer is a prophet. But, spiritual reality is the only reality of the kingdom, and the revelation of spiritual reality is the very definition, technical and working definition, of prophecy.

The prophet enters Into this context to provide leadership for the prophetic process. To involve Jesus more, we increase prophetic maturity. So, the highest order of Divine Providence, since providence is God’s involvement in human life and history, includes prophecy. The most powerful moment of the prophet’s humility comes when he is silent simply because God has asked him to say nothing or has given him nothing to say.

At that moment, he is no less a prophet, and the mature prophet who has outgrown the need to continually self-sooth with gift capacities displays. The mature prophet lives in revelation mode without requiring constant affirmations from God about what to think, breath, say, or do. They expect the prophetic as part of who they are instead of a “entering into a prophetic mode” by charismatic gymnastics. They enter their closet because they live in their closet, not to put on their Superman tights.

Taking the weirdness out of the prophetic vastly improves its purity, empties it of tenacious superstition, and allows for it to mature uncomplicated by distractions.

Since the New Testament prophet is designed and defined to function in a kingdom culture, with apostles and other leaders, the prophet functions in that context, with principles, procedures, and protocols that uniquely distinguish the prophet as leader, citizen, and special representative.

The most powerful moment of the prophet’s humility comes when he is silent simply because God has asked him to say nothing or has given him nothing to say. At that moment, he is no less a prophet, and the mature prophet who has outgrown the need to continually self-sooth with gift capacities displays. The mature prophet lives in revelation mode without requiring constant affirmations from God about what to think, breath, say, or do. They expect the prophetic as part of who they are instead of a “entering into a prophetic mode” by charismatic gymnastics. They enter their closet because they live in their closet, not to put on their Superman tights.

Taking the weirdness out of the prophetic vastly improves its purity, empties it of tenacious superstition, and allows for it to mature uncomplicated by distractions.

Since the New Testament prophet is designed and defined to function in a kingdom culture, with apostles and other leaders, the prophet functions in that context, with principles, procedures, and protocols that uniquely distinguish the prophet as leader, citizen, and special representative.

God’s Big House: God’s Oikos is a Matrix of Spiritual Eco-systems

“You no longer wander as vagabonds outside as illegal immigrants or tourists of God’s kingdom; you are now authorized citizens of God’s oikos.” Ephesians 2:19

God has a big house, the oikos of God. All citizens of the kingdom, born into that citizenry, are authorized to be called “God’s children,” so they live in His big house. The household of God is a big house! It is more than a building: it is a system or matrix engaging all sons in the greater household enterprises that Father has designed, defined, and designated for His children.

The matrix births and sustains what it births so that those birthed become produces within the matrix to the advantage of the entire matrix and each contributing part of the matrix.

God’s oikos is a spiritual eco-system, culture, and kingdom with economic, social, relational, and spiritual subsets that operate according to an appointed order of leadership assigned by Jesus for the benefit of His Building, Bride, and Body. The Ecclesia in its many locations is a kingdom culture assemblage, called together from within the kingdom matrix to function in a place as a cultural influence.

At present, we do not see this matrix in full, healthy, unbroken function. Without apostolic order, we will continue to see subsets rising and falling, elements of matrix in growth and others in decline or disrepair, and the resources of the matrix improperly allocated to produce the household revealed to us in God’s blueprints.

God has a big house. There’s lots of room in that house. This is the oikos into which we are born, the matrix in which our birth connects us to God, and the kingdom culture with its many spiritual systems.

We see apostolic restoration but little reformation because the apostolic fails to mature in function at the foundational level where it is designed and defined to function. Without this order in the oikos, God’s big house fails to run on all cylinders, and the consciousness of individual subsets remains upon their own survival or success without response to the entire household of God.

What structural incongruities have led us to maintain limiting patterns of the past? Why do the apostolic and prophetic remain unrestored and matured in function at the foundational level? What remains hidden below the waterline?

Since they are foundational to the oikos of God, what continues to limit their maturity at the foundational level? Why do we still have so little apostolic order while building apostolic systems?

Apostolic Order

If we maintain apostolic systems without apostolic order, we can see that our problem is one of leadership. While we may continue to answer the myriad objections to the idea of “apostles alive today”, this is but a distraction to be ignored, not a fundamental to be established, for apostolic order answers the objections to the extent they may ever be answered.

Do we who participate in apostolic arrangements with spiritual consumerism as an organizational factor, and burnout bubble that comes with it, settle for apostolic recognition as a goal more than apostolic order as a kingdom cultural norm.

Do we who become spiritual clearinghouses, serving the whole as outside the system like traditional banks of mammon consumerism, and serve as the processers of ministry transactions despite our knowledge that these dynamics are a big part of the problem.

The Oikos of God

When the Bible speaks of oikos, we hear God describe the spiritual matrix of a kingdom citizen, son, and inheritor within his kingdom surroundings.

The Greek root means ‘the whole house’. The complex uses of the word group speak of the matrix of interdependent constituents operating as a living, relationally defined and designed, fully integrated whole. It speaks of natural presence as well as spiritual representation while describing a systematic interplay among those constituent parts that have access by birth, adoption, and authorization to abide in the matrix.

Like a spiritual, kingdom eco-system (complete in cultural connection) whose citizens interact with the spiritual influences, supplies, and relationships they encounter interaction in their surroundings, the cultural, intellectual, relational, and spiritual matrix fully integrates each citizen son where God and His leaders prepare and position him or her.

The oikos is the whole house both spirit and natural.

The kingdom of our generation is God’s oikos, the Ecclesia within that kingdom matrix is a kingdom culture expression of God’s oikos, a condition that occurs within the matrix by design and definition of Jesus. Within the matrix, well-defined and identifiable, independent but interdependent individuals and groups of individuals introduce their own sub-systems to oikos.

Some individuals or groups of individuals bring international, highly-developed and interdependent sub-systems to the oikos that have been developed independent of it for the purpose of that identifiable person or group. These often-complex systems tend to stand alone simply because there is no established apostolic order to integrate them and their complexity alone intimidates kingdom leaders enough that they build fences around them with controlled connection points to the oikos. The tendency to assume they are stand-alone systems is enough to indicate that we have do not function with apostolic order strong enough to produce a kingdom culture.

Others bring simple systems, small groups or individual ministry expression so unique they stand alone for fear integration will destroy their identities. With very informal but deeply-held subcultural dynamics, they fear the integration of their subset to the whole house, requesting quarters and filtered connections to the whole. Although spiritually connected, sub-systems operate without interplay with one another so that the consciousness of those feeding into and from the matrix is fragmented with dysfunction: no discussion, dialogue, design, or definition of the Ecclesia as part of the oikos is provided. We just live with it even though it remains contrary to apostolic order.

This contributes to the clearinghouse separateness of apostolic leadership and ignores the need for apostles to mature at the foundational level of the oikos.

Accumulation or Function?

Our present apostolic discussions have more to do with proving there are apostles than functioning as apostles. This is a carryover from church growth dynamics: the accumulation of believers has become the accumulation of apostles. We have them and continue our attempts to prove they are here, but the matrix of kingdom culture remains distant in our minds.

We are content to dwell in the high-rise bank buildings and serve as clearinghouses instead of becoming the foundational leaders of God’s house.

Do we have a kingdom culture that answers to our most basic assignment, to disciple cultures by influencing them spiritually by spiritual authority and power and influencing them natural by observable lifestyle and cultural expressions of heaven?

Like an isolated eco-system that operates without consciousness of related eco-systems, creating destruction pollution or destroying one part of the system into extinction, kingdom subsets that fail to operate with oikos in mind at any recognizable level break down the apostolic order.  Instead of recognizing the whole of God’s household, the awareness of many sons remains internally focused upon their subparts to the point of neglecting some vital aspects of kingdom into extinction.

The gap between reality and consciousness may well be the most important leadership challenge today – and apostolic order is the answer. Kingdom culture is the remedy that heals the fractures and factions, but apostolic order remains God’s answer to the wholeness of His oikos.

At present, few kingdom leaders and reformers are working to bridge that gap. The kingdom has entered a season we should call, “The New Era of Pioneering,” in which the lost elements of the kingdom culture are rediscovered (as if they are all brand new), and apostolic order is restores. This new era of pioneering restores the principles, protocols, and processes of a kingdom culture to the oikos of God.

When any apostle engages with leaders who share his or her kingdom assignment, operating within the scope of that apostolic metron, collaboration with these leaders produces a common cultural core and moves the whole apostolic metron from awareness of their individual responsibilities toward an extended stakeholder awareness of the greater oikos of God.

 

It is spiritually impossible to maintain the wholeness of God’s oikos without shared culture. While we have always maintained that the divisions in God’s Big House are doctrinal, kingdom divisions occur from fragmented consciousness when no shared “habits of the heart” bind together the whole matrix.

The fathering leadership apostles provide is not based upon turning the minds of the children to fathers but turning the hearts of children to fathers, and fathers to children. The point at which we have prepared the Lord a people is reached when they have a shared kingdom culture, to function as one oikos.

When a group of leaders convenes apostles in order to facilitate collaboration toward restoring apostolic order, (by this we do not mean “barking orders” to everyone else as “order”, but the establishing of kingdom culture), they each may mature awareness and consciousness within their scope or metron of apostolic assignment toward a greater awareness of the entire, extended oikos of God.

Among the many systems the kingdom matrix, the financial or money system of provision remains the one most likely to maintain a separateness in terms of conscious awareness of the overall purpose of the oikos. When the economics becomes a separate consciousness, void of kingdom culture, the mammon of consumerism invests the kingdom with a spiritual condition identifiable with Leviathan. Leviathan serves as an entry point for Jezebel, Python, and Judas to create their particular spiritual conditions.

Economy should serve as a subset subservient in function and awareness to the management of the whole house and not to activities that serve the purpose of “making money,” The commerce of the kingdom is part of the culture of the kingdom; and the culture of the kingdom unifies God’s oikos. The money answers to an apostolic order.

As well, the kingdom matrix has no political spirit dynamics; political spirit dynamics poison the system to the point of separating its vital parts into rivalries instead of integrated subsets of God’s whole house. By separating the economics from the whole house in some way, opening the door to systematic poisons like Leviathan, the political spirit divisions create rivalries that begin to distort the distribution system of the matrix so that rival factions become stronger at the expense of other factions. The norm would be the opposite.

 

Apostolic Blueprints

Here is where apostolic order comes into play. The peacemakers as the sons of God. The sons of God fill the Big House of God. Apostolic order using God’s blueprints to construct God’s house.

At present, apostolic immaturity and not yet restored at the foundational level to produce apostolic order either fails to influence the separateness toward wholeness or uses the present distortions and dysfunctions to advantage certain apostles at the expense of the whole house.

When financial systems no longer serve the whole house, becoming a separate subset without apostolic order to position and create awareness of the end game of the oikos, the influence of mammon upon the oikos as a whole seems to be from “an other than” source external to the kingdom matrix.

Without apostolic order, we see the reverse of “and they laid them at the apostle’s feet,” because the system no longer answers to apostolic order. Money no longer flows toward the construction plans of God’s blueprints. Money no longer serves a fully-operational matrix. We speak of money in this context as an example of separateness of systems that should be fully integrated into God’s oikos.

 

Do we still maintain allegiance to the originating sources of our vision for kingdom? Is there not a forgotten set of trails and trade routes that have been neglected in favor of major highways and interstate replacements that must be re-pioneered for us to restore the specific and narrow ways that lead to life.

We must re-pioneer original meanings and working definitions of ekklesia, kingdom, bride, and oikos. We must fully engage the New Era of Pioneering to re-discover what has been so neglected that its reintroduction will seem foreign to modern believers.

The challenges are great for today’s kingdom leaders as “kingdom come, kingdom culture, and kingdom conquest” become operational, beginning with a restoration of apostolic order at the foundation of the oikos of God, moving the whole to the forefront of our consciousness. As apostolic order implements the best courses of action for healing and integrating all the constituent subsets.

Kingdom economics should be fundamentally redesigned so that the entire oikos operates with full and appropriate supply, with all of God’s objectives in mind. Kingdom culture, restored by apostolic order, points the kingdom toward its commonly-held purposes rather than the political and Leviathan sense of rivalry for resource and recognition.

 

 

 

 

God has a big house, the oikos of God. All citizens of the kingdom, born into that citizenry, are authorized to be called “God’s children,” so they live in His big house. The household of God is a big house! It is more than a building: it is a system or matrix engaging all sons in the greater household enterprises that Father has designed, defined, and designated for His children.

The matrix births and sustains what it births so that those birthed become produces within the matrix to the advantage of the entire matrix and each contributing part of the matrix.

God’s oikos is a spiritual eco-system, culture, and kingdom with economic, social, relational, and spiritual subsets that operate according to an appointed order of leadership assigned by Jesus for the benefit of His Building, Bride, and Body. The Ecclesia in its many locations is a kingdom culture assemblage, called together from within the kingdom matrix to function in a place as a cultural influence.

At present, we do not see this matrix in full, healthy, unbroken function. Without apostolic order, we will continue to see subsets rising and falling, elements of matrix in growth and others in decline or disrepair, and the resources of the matrix improperly allocated to produce the household revealed to us in God’s blueprints.

God has a big house. There’s lots of room in that house. This is the oikos into which we are born, the matrix in which our birth connects us to God, and the kingdom culture with its many spiritual systems.

We see apostolic restoration but little reformation because the apostolic fails to mature in function at the foundational level where it is designed and defined to function. Without this order in the oikos, God’s big house fails to run on all cylinders, and the consciousness of individual subsets remains upon their own survival or success without response to the entire household of God.

What structural incongruities have led us to maintain limiting patterns of the past? Why do the apostolic and prophetic remain unrestored and matured in function at the foundational level? What remains hidden below the waterline?

Since they are foundational to the oikos of God, what continues to limit their maturity at the foundational level? Why do we still have so little apostolic order while building apostolic systems?

Apostolic Order

If we maintain apostolic systems without apostolic order, we can see that our problem is one of leadership. While we may continue to answer the myriad objections to the idea of “apostles alive today”, this is but a distraction to be ignored, not a fundamental to be established, for apostolic order answers the objections to the extent they may ever be answered.

Do we who participate in apostolic arrangements with spiritual consumerism as an organizational factor, and burnout bubble that comes with it, settle for apostolic recognition as a goal more than apostolic order as a kingdom cultural norm.

Do we who become spiritual clearinghouses, serving the whole as outside the system like traditional banks of mammon consumerism, and serve as the processers of ministry transactions despite our knowledge that these dynamics are a big part of the problem.

The Oikos of God

When the Bible speaks of oikos, we hear God describe the spiritual matrix of a kingdom citizen, son, and inheritor within his kingdom surroundings.

The Greek root means ‘the whole house’. The complex uses of the word group speak of the matrix of interdependent constituents operating as a living, relationally defined and designed, fully integrated whole. It speaks of natural presence as well as spiritual representation while describing a systematic interplay among those constituent parts that have access by birth, adoption, and authorization to abide in the matrix.

Like a spiritual, kingdom eco-system (complete in cultural connection) whose citizens interact with the spiritual influences, supplies, and relationships they encounter interaction in their surroundings, the cultural, intellectual, relational, and spiritual matrix fully integrates each citizen son where God and His leaders prepare and position him or her.

The oikos is the whole house both spirit and natural.

The kingdom of our generation is God’s oikos, the Ecclesia within that kingdom matrix is a kingdom culture expression of God’s oikos, a condition that occurs within the matrix by design and definition of Jesus. Within the matrix, well-defined and identifiable, independent but interdependent individuals and groups of individuals introduce their own sub-systems to oikos.

Some individuals or groups of individuals bring international, highly-developed and interdependent sub-systems to the oikos that have been developed independent of it for the purpose of that identifiable person or group. These often-complex systems tend to stand alone simply because there is no established apostolic order to integrate them and their complexity alone intimidates kingdom leaders enough that they build fences around them with controlled connection points to the oikos. The tendency to assume they are stand-alone systems is enough to indicate that we have do not function with apostolic order strong enough to produce a kingdom culture.

Others bring simple systems, small groups or individual ministry expression so unique they stand alone for fear integration will destroy their identities. With very informal but deeply-held subcultural dynamics, they fear the integration of their subset to the whole house, requesting quarters and filtered connections to the whole. Although spiritually connected, sub-systems operate without interplay with one another so that the consciousness of those feeding into and from the matrix is fragmented with dysfunction: no discussion, dialogue, design, or definition of the Ecclesia as part of the oikos is provided. We just live with it even though it remains contrary to apostolic order.

This contributes to the clearinghouse separateness of apostolic leadership and ignores the need for apostles to mature at the foundational level of the oikos.

Accumulation or Function?

Our present apostolic discussions have more to do with proving there are apostles than functioning as apostles. This is a carryover from church growth dynamics: the accumulation of believers has become the accumulation of apostles. We have them and continue our attempts to prove they are here, but the matrix of kingdom culture remains distant in our minds.

We are content to dwell in the high-rise bank buildings and serve as clearinghouses instead of becoming the foundational leaders of God’s house.

Do we have a kingdom culture that answers to our most basic assignment, to disciple cultures by influencing them spiritually by spiritual authority and power and influencing them natural by observable lifestyle and cultural expressions of heaven?

Like an isolated eco-system that operates without consciousness of related eco-systems, creating destruction pollution or destroying one part of the system into extinction, kingdom subsets that fail to operate with oikos in mind at any recognizable level break down the apostolic order.  Instead of recognizing the whole of God’s household, the awareness of many sons remains internally focused upon their subparts to the point of neglecting some vital aspects of kingdom into extinction.

The gap between reality and consciousness may well be the most important leadership challenge today – and apostolic order is the answer. Kingdom culture is the remedy that heals the fractures and factions, but apostolic order remains God’s answer to the wholeness of His oikos.

At present, few kingdom leaders and reformers are working to bridge that gap. The kingdom has entered a season we should call, “The New Era of Pioneering,” in which the lost elements of the kingdom culture are rediscovered (as if they are all brand new), and apostolic order is restores. This new era of pioneering restores the principles, protocols, and processes of a kingdom culture to the oikos of God.

When any apostle engages with leaders who share his or her kingdom assignment, operating within the scope of that apostolic metron, collaboration with these leaders produces a common cultural core and moves the whole apostolic metron from awareness of their individual responsibilities toward an extended stakeholder awareness of the greater oikos of God.

 

It is spiritually impossible to maintain the wholeness of God’s oikos without shared culture. While we have always maintained that the divisions in God’s Big House are doctrinal, kingdom divisions occur from fragmented consciousness when no shared “habits of the heart” bind together the whole matrix.

The fathering leadership apostles provide is not based upon turning the minds of the children to fathers but turning the hearts of children to fathers, and fathers to children. The point at which we have prepared the Lord a people is reached when they have a shared kingdom culture, to function as one oikos.

When a group of leaders convenes apostles in order to facilitate collaboration toward restoring apostolic order, (by this we do not mean “barking orders” to everyone else as “order”, but the establishing of kingdom culture), they each may mature awareness and consciousness within their scope or metron of apostolic assignment toward a greater awareness of the entire, extended oikos of God.

Among the many systems the kingdom matrix, the financial or money system of provision remains the one most likely to maintain a separateness in terms of conscious awareness of the overall purpose of the oikos. When the economics becomes a separate consciousness, void of kingdom culture, the mammon of consumerism invests the kingdom with a spiritual condition identifiable with Leviathan. Leviathan serves as an entry point for Jezebel, Python, and Judas to create their particular spiritual conditions.

Economy should serve as a subset subservient in function and awareness to the management of the whole house and not to activities that serve the purpose of “making money,” The commerce of the kingdom is part of the culture of the kingdom; and the culture of the kingdom unifies God’s oikos. The money answers to an apostolic order.

As well, the kingdom matrix has no political spirit dynamics; political spirit dynamics poison the system to the point of separating its vital parts into rivalries instead of integrated subsets of God’s whole house. By separating the economics from the whole house in some way, opening the door to systematic poisons like Leviathan, the political spirit divisions create rivalries that begin to distort the distribution system of the matrix so that rival factions become stronger at the expense of other factions. The norm would be the opposite.

 

Apostolic Blueprints

Here is where apostolic order comes into play. The peacemakers as the sons of God. The sons of God fill the Big House of God. Apostolic order using God’s blueprints to construct God’s house.

At present, apostolic immaturity and not yet restored at the foundational level to produce apostolic order either fails to influence the separateness toward wholeness or uses the present distortions and dysfunctions to advantage certain apostles at the expense of the whole house.

When financial systems no longer serve the whole house, becoming a separate subset without apostolic order to position and create awareness of the end game of the oikos, the influence of mammon upon the oikos as a whole seems to be from “an other than” source external to the kingdom matrix.

Without apostolic order, we see the reverse of “and they laid them at the apostle’s feet,” because the system no longer answers to apostolic order. Money no longer flows toward the construction plans of God’s blueprints. Money no longer serves a fully-operational matrix. We speak of money in this context as an example of separateness of systems that should be fully integrated into God’s oikos.

 

Do we still maintain allegiance to the originating sources of our vision for kingdom? Is there not a forgotten set of trails and trade routes that have been neglected in favor of major highways and interstate replacements that must be re-pioneered for us to restore the specific and narrow ways that lead to life.

We must re-pioneer original meanings and working definitions of ekklesia, kingdom, bride, and oikos. We must fully engage the New Era of Pioneering to re-discover what has been so neglected that its reintroduction will seem foreign to modern believers.

The challenges are great for today’s kingdom leaders as “kingdom come, kingdom culture, and kingdom conquest” become operational, beginning with a restoration of apostolic order at the foundation of the oikos of God, moving the whole to the forefront of our consciousness. As apostolic order implements the best courses of action for healing and integrating all the constituent subsets.

Kingdom economics should be fundamentally redesigned so that the entire oikos operates with full and appropriate supply, with all of God’s objectives in mind. Kingdom culture, restored by apostolic order, points the kingdom toward its commonly-held purposes rather than the political and Leviathan sense of rivalry for resource and recognition.

 

 

 

God has a big house, the oikos of God. All citizens of the kingdom, born into that citizenry, are authorized to be called “God’s children,” so they live in His big house. The household of God is a big house! It is more than a building: it is a system or matrix engaging all sons in the greater household enterprises that Father has designed, defined, and designated for His children.

The matrix births and sustains what it births so that those birthed become produces within the matrix to the advantage of the entire matrix and each contributing part of the matrix.

God’s oikos is a spiritual eco-system, culture, and kingdom with economic, social, relational, and spiritual subsets that operate according to an appointed order of leadership assigned by Jesus for the benefit of His Building, Bride, and Body. The Ecclesia in its many locations is a kingdom culture assemblage, called together from within the kingdom matrix to function in a place as a cultural influence.

At present, we do not see this matrix in full, healthy, unbroken function. Without apostolic order, we will continue to see subsets rising and falling, elements of matrix in growth and others in decline or disrepair, and the resources of the matrix improperly allocated to produce the household revealed to us in God’s blueprints.

God has a big house. There’s lots of room in that house. This is the oikos into which we are born, the matrix in which our birth connects us to God, and the kingdom culture with its many spiritual systems.

We see apostolic restoration but little reformation because the apostolic fails to mature in function at the foundational level where it is designed and defined to function. Without this order in the oikos, God’s big house fails to run on all cylinders, and the consciousness of individual subsets remains upon their own survival or success without response to the entire household of God.

What structural incongruities have led us to maintain limiting patterns of the past? Why do the apostolic and prophetic remain unrestored and matured in function at the foundational level? What remains hidden below the waterline?

Since they are foundational to the oikos of God, what continues to limit their maturity at the foundational level? Why do we still have so little apostolic order while building apostolic systems?

Apostolic Order

If we maintain apostolic systems without apostolic order, we can see that our problem is one of leadership. While we may continue to answer the myriad objections to the idea of “apostles alive today”, this is but a distraction to be ignored, not a fundamental to be established, for apostolic order answers the objections to the extent they may ever be answered.

Do we who participate in apostolic arrangements with spiritual consumerism as an organizational factor, and burnout bubble that comes with it, settle for apostolic recognition as a goal more than apostolic order as a kingdom cultural norm.

Do we who become spiritual clearinghouses, serving the whole as outside the system like traditional banks of mammon consumerism, and serve as the processers of ministry transactions despite our knowledge that these dynamics are a big part of the problem.

The Oikos of God

When the Bible speaks of oikos, we hear God describe the spiritual matrix of a kingdom citizen, son, and inheritor within his kingdom surroundings.

The Greek root means ‘the whole house’. The complex uses of the word group speak of the matrix of interdependent constituents operating as a living, relationally defined and designed, fully integrated whole. It speaks of natural presence as well as spiritual representation while describing a systematic interplay among those constituent parts that have access by birth, adoption, and authorization to abide in the matrix.

Like a spiritual, kingdom eco-system (complete in cultural connection) whose citizens interact with the spiritual influences, supplies, and relationships they encounter interaction in their surroundings, the cultural, intellectual, relational, and spiritual matrix fully integrates each citizen son where God and His leaders prepare and position him or her.

The oikos is the whole house both spirit and natural.

The kingdom of our generation is God’s oikos, the Ecclesia within that kingdom matrix is a kingdom culture expression of God’s oikos, a condition that occurs within the matrix by design and definition of Jesus. Within the matrix, well-defined and identifiable, independent but interdependent individuals and groups of individuals introduce their own sub-systems to oikos.

Some individuals or groups of individuals bring international, highly-developed and interdependent sub-systems to the oikos that have been developed independent of it for the purpose of that identifiable person or group. These often-complex systems tend to stand alone simply because there is no established apostolic order to integrate them and their complexity alone intimidates kingdom leaders enough that they build fences around them with controlled connection points to the oikos. The tendency to assume they are stand-alone systems is enough to indicate that we have do not function with apostolic order strong enough to produce a kingdom culture.

Others bring simple systems, small groups or individual ministry expression so unique they stand alone for fear integration will destroy their identities. With very informal but deeply-held subcultural dynamics, they fear the integration of their subset to the whole house, requesting quarters and filtered connections to the whole. Although spiritually connected, sub-systems operate without interplay with one another so that the consciousness of those feeding into and from the matrix is fragmented with dysfunction: no discussion, dialogue, design, or definition of the Ecclesia as part of the oikos is provided. We just live with it even though it remains contrary to apostolic order.

This contributes to the clearinghouse separateness of apostolic leadership and ignores the need for apostles to mature at the foundational level of the oikos.

Accumulation or Function?

Our present apostolic discussions have more to do with proving there are apostles than functioning as apostles. This is a carryover from church growth dynamics: the accumulation of believers has become the accumulation of apostles. We have them and continue our attempts to prove they are here, but the matrix of kingdom culture remains distant in our minds.

We are content to dwell in the high-rise bank buildings and serve as clearinghouses instead of becoming the foundational leaders of God’s house.

Do we have a kingdom culture that answers to our most basic assignment, to disciple cultures by influencing them spiritually by spiritual authority and power and influencing them natural by observable lifestyle and cultural expressions of heaven?

Like an isolated eco-system that operates without consciousness of related eco-systems, creating destruction pollution or destroying one part of the system into extinction, kingdom subsets that fail to operate with oikos in mind at any recognizable level break down the apostolic order.  Instead of recognizing the whole of God’s household, the awareness of many sons remains internally focused upon their subparts to the point of neglecting some vital aspects of kingdom into extinction.

The gap between reality and consciousness may well be the most important leadership challenge today – and apostolic order is the answer. Kingdom culture is the remedy that heals the fractures and factions, but apostolic order remains God’s answer to the wholeness of His oikos.

At present, few kingdom leaders and reformers are working to bridge that gap. The kingdom has entered a season we should call, “The New Era of Pioneering,” in which the lost elements of the kingdom culture are rediscovered (as if they are all brand new), and apostolic order is restores. This new era of pioneering restores the principles, protocols, and processes of a kingdom culture to the oikos of God.

When any apostle engages with leaders who share his or her kingdom assignment, operating within the scope of that apostolic metron, collaboration with these leaders produces a common cultural core and moves the whole apostolic metron from awareness of their individual responsibilities toward an extended stakeholder awareness of the greater oikos of God.

 

It is spiritually impossible to maintain the wholeness of God’s oikos without shared culture. While we have always maintained that the divisions in God’s Big House are doctrinal, kingdom divisions occur from fragmented consciousness when no shared “habits of the heart” bind together the whole matrix.

The fathering leadership apostles provide is not based upon turning the minds of the children to fathers but turning the hearts of children to fathers, and fathers to children. The point at which we have prepared the Lord a people is reached when they have a shared kingdom culture, to function as one oikos.

When a group of leaders convenes apostles in order to facilitate collaboration toward restoring apostolic order, (by this we do not mean “barking orders” to everyone else as “order”, but the establishing of kingdom culture), they each may mature awareness and consciousness within their scope or metron of apostolic assignment toward a greater awareness of the entire, extended oikos of God.

Among the many systems the kingdom matrix, the financial or money system of provision remains the one most likely to maintain a separateness in terms of conscious awareness of the overall purpose of the oikos. When the economics becomes a separate consciousness, void of kingdom culture, the mammon of consumerism invests the kingdom with a spiritual condition identifiable with Leviathan. Leviathan serves as an entry point for Jezebel, Python, and Judas to create their particular spiritual conditions.

Economy should serve as a subset subservient in function and awareness to the management of the whole house and not to activities that serve the purpose of “making money,” The commerce of the kingdom is part of the culture of the kingdom; and the culture of the kingdom unifies God’s oikos. The money answers to an apostolic order.

As well, the kingdom matrix has no political spirit dynamics; political spirit dynamics poison the system to the point of separating its vital parts into rivalries instead of integrated subsets of God’s whole house. By separating the economics from the whole house in some way, opening the door to systematic poisons like Leviathan, the political spirit divisions create rivalries that begin to distort the distribution system of the matrix so that rival factions become stronger at the expense of other factions. The norm would be the opposite.

 

Apostolic Blueprints

Here is where apostolic order comes into play. The peacemakers as the sons of God. The sons of God fill the Big House of God. Apostolic order using God’s blueprints to construct God’s house.

At present, apostolic immaturity and not yet restored at the foundational level to produce apostolic order either fails to influence the separateness toward wholeness or uses the present distortions and dysfunctions to advantage certain apostles at the expense of the whole house.

When financial systems no longer serve the whole house, becoming a separate subset without apostolic order to position and create awareness of the end game of the oikos, the influence of mammon upon the oikos as a whole seems to be from “an other than” source external to the kingdom matrix.

Without apostolic order, we see the reverse of “and they laid them at the apostle’s feet,” because the system no longer answers to apostolic order. Money no longer flows toward the construction plans of God’s blueprints. Money no longer serves a fully-operational matrix. We speak of money in this context as an example of separateness of systems that should be fully integrated into God’s oikos.

 

Do we still maintain allegiance to the originating sources of our vision for kingdom? Is there not a forgotten set of trails and trade routes that have been neglected in favor of major highways and interstate replacements that must be re-pioneered for us to restore the specific and narrow ways that lead to life.

We must re-pioneer original meanings and working definitions of ekklesia, kingdom, bride, and oikos. We must fully engage the New Era of Pioneering to re-discover what has been so neglected that its reintroduction will seem foreign to modern believers.

The challenges are great for today’s kingdom leaders as “kingdom come, kingdom culture, and kingdom conquest” become operational, beginning with a restoration of apostolic order at the foundation of the oikos of God, moving the whole to the forefront of our consciousness. As apostolic order implements the best courses of action for healing and integrating all the constituent subsets.

Kingdom economics should be fundamentally redesigned so that the entire oikos operates with full and appropriate supply, with all of God’s objectives in mind. Kingdom culture, restored by apostolic order, points the kingdom toward its commonly-held purposes rather than the political and Leviathan sense of rivalry for resource and recognition.

 

 

 

Sifting, Added-value, and Restorational Leadership: Moving with Momentum from Season to Season

The testing of leaders is necessary, for only in the testing do we measure reality. We don’t test leaders to see if they are called since we’ve determined that before we recognize their calling. We test leaders to measure function and sustainability. Testing is necessary to all concerned with the leadership role they fulfill.

Leaders may talk the big talk from their own vivid imaginations of their faithfulness, but the testing reveals the reality of their intentions, strength of will, and commitment to something other than themselves. That is, when you expose leaders to training, they grasp hold of what they observe in their leaders and the theory the training presents. The measurement of their function and sustainability doesn’t come in theory but in function. Their imagination jumps to a picture of them doing what they have learned; this normal, valid, and desirable since they can’t do anything they lack faith that they can do.

Simon Peter was convinced of his courage and faithfulness, but Jesus says, “You will betray Me, Simon. Tonight, three times you will be revealed for your weakness.”

Simon’s experiences with Jesus has written a movie in his mind. In the movie of his imagination, he was doing the stuff, walking the walk, and being faithful to Jesus. However, without the test, that is just an imagination. Simon does not have an accurate understanding of his sustainability.

A test is necessary to determine the reality. Simon will face the test, and it will not be pretty. He will fail miserably, three times, in the face of servant girl’s accusations.

The Imagination of Jesus for Simon

Yet, at the same time, Jesus says, “You will restore the disciples after satan sifts them all. Everyone of them will be revealed tonight to set a base line for where we really are in this kingdom establishing.”

The language is this: satan has received permission to sift all the disciples. Judas has already failed the sifting and will not be restored. The “permission to sift you” is plural, “sift you all.”

Jesus knows what is coming and the test He will face. The enemy thinks he is going to win when Jesus dies. He thinks that each disciple will fail the test of sifting and the entire ministry of Jesus will be shown ineffective and insufficient to continue into kingdom of God establishing. Jesus knows satan is attacking His leadership because the entire life and ministry of Jesus has been devoted to producing kingdom leaders.

The enemy is out to prove that Jesus has failed in preparing leaders, that after the Cross, it will all fold like a house of cards. His attack on His leaders is an attack upon Jesus and His assignment.

Jesus has a strategy, however, that the test will trigger: “I have prayed for you” – singular – He prayed for one of them, Simon. So, Jesus knows something about Simon that Simon doesn’t know about himself. Jesus is planning for a comeback in His leaders based upon the test results, no matter what the test results may be.

Leadership Tests

God walks us through the paces of our leadership to set baselines for our preparedness and strength of will.

We are often focused upon equipping people “to do the stuff” when Jesus is focused upon equipping people to be faithful in the tests. There are no tests for doing the stuff because the power to do the stuff isn’t ours; the power to do the stuff flows easily!

Why do we continue to act like equipping the saints is about helping them do the stuff when doing the stuff is easy? Why do we fall into the trap of exaggeration that any saint at any time can do anything anywhere? Why do we continue to give testimonies with the idea that the testimony proves this point? Why do we insist that doing the stuff is the magic wand of kingdom expansion when the real key to kingdom expansion is kingdom culture?

Tests don’t come to see if we can do miracles. Testing comes to measure our character and faithfulness. We don’t develop pure gift operations in the fire of trials. We develop pure gold character!

When we are faithful in the trials, we are ready to take the next steps. The tests create a new baseline.

How often people in training settle into a baseline of immaturity because they can show off their gifting, failing test after test but coming back to do the stuff as proof of their maturity? This is a fleshly imagination, not a kingdom leadership process. Doing the stuff is easy because God is doing the stuff through us. We should continue to wonder at His wonders, but we should not assume that His wonders indicate our faithfulness.

When we are big talk but unable to sustain what our imaginations tell us about ourselves, God starts from that point to restore us through kingdom leaders. If we run from tests, we detour into dead ends. If we run from the restoration of sifting, we remain unprepared for leadership in the next season.

I watch people with gifts fail the tests. They just stop where the test occurs and do the stuff from that point without a thought for how poorly they interact with other believers, how little obedience or submission they have for the assignment, and give themselves permission to revel against the leaders leading them into the next steps of their maturity.

The sifting of Jesus’ disciples revealed the baseline of leadership for the next step, for Pentecost, for the subsequent season of expansion.

As leaders, the tests set baselines. Then, we restore them in the tests. They can only fail the tests when they refuse to submit to the restoration process that follows. Why? Because the whole purpose of the test has to do with the next steps, not the person’s ability to do the stuff.

Testing Leaders

Set baselines with leaders by giving them leadership within your assignment. Test them first on “doing what I do.” If they insist upon “doing what they do,” you know they are not ready for leadership. When any person comes into an assignment to do “what they do,” you can rest assured that you are in for a problem from that person. They are convinced by their imagination that they can do the stuff without testing.

Measure how they sustain the assignment or find justifications for quitting, changing the assignments, or simply sit on their hands and pout when they fail to measure up, short circuiting the restoration. When leaders blame others for failure, the attack to diminish others reveals a baseline. When leaders blame circumstances or you as a leader, the test measures the baseline of their leadership. They are convinced they do the stuff and tests are unnecessary or meaningless; yet, tests are part of God’s kingdom basics.

Then, you restore them from that baseline, from the point of reality the test reveals. You can operate from no other place with leaders than the baselines revealed by sifting.

Revival Sifting

Revival experiences always lead to sifting experiences. Revivals live or die based upon the baselines set by the sifting measures.

When people are into revival for what they get out of it, the sifting soon separates the heart motives for God from the vaulted imaginations of grandeur and fame. The “I sit on the right hand and you on the left” sons or daughters of thunder folks will scatter, blown out by the heated winds of testing. They are interested in the experiences and doing the stuff, and the imagination that being part of revival will cause them to become show-stopping amazing. Anointing comes but they avoid the tests.

Revival without sifting becomes a hyped show.

God will plant royal revival seed in the next season through leaders who can sustain the purpose of revival. Without the sifting, the good and bad experiences of the previous season lack the added-value of providing for greater momentum, and sow the same tares into the next season that were sown in the previous one.

The Fire That Never Goes Out

In case we fail to recognize this in the ministry of Jesus, we can reread the instances in which tests separated those interested in cashing in on Messiah from those interested in establishing His kingdom. Being enamored by the miracles, those interested in what they could get out of it quickly walked away disappointed when Jesus says, “I will not be making fish sandwiches every day for you like Moses manna.”

We read, “Baptize you with Holy Spirit and fire” without reading “He will thoroughly cleanse His threshing floor and blow the chaff into the fire.” That is, we consider and value the spiritual power without embracing and submitting to the spiritual cleansing.

Every harvest will experience “added-value sifting” to separate out what will hinder the next season. Added-value sifting is a post-harvest process that purifies the experiences that culminated in season ending harvest, good and bad, to lay foundation for a restoration of purpose that profits from the good and purifies from the bad.

The added-value process is restorative. The added-value process turns harvest into provision and separates royal seed for planting in the next season. In this way, the full benefits of a person’s experiences in the previous season become available while the work of hell to limit these benefits is removed.

If you cannot stand the sifting, you short-circuit the restoration process that prepares you to lead in the next season. You may even waste the best of the harvest because it cannot serve as spiritual provision to feed momentum while allowing the same problems that limited that momentum a place in the root system of the move of God.

Hundreds of beginnings that were not sustainable as moves of God have been marked by this testing and the failures of the added-value process. They simply did not stand the test of sifting or lacked leaders prepared to bring restoration when the sifting was over. The few – very few – that could stand the sifting sustained something that reset the kingdom!

When satan requests permission to sift kingdom leaders, Jesus selects a restorational leader. Where a restorational leader functioned in restoration, strengthening those tested by sifting, the move of God gained momentum through those leaders. Where the leader failed to restore and allowed for division, or the leader failed to restore by ignoring the purpose of sifting, the move of God suffered. The momentum gained include the momentum of the tares; the problems gained as much or more momentum than the royal seed and harvest God first planted.

Resisting the Sifting

Recently, I assisted in a process of restoration that came from sifting in a kingdom leader’s life. The leader ran from the restoration, so whatever was to be sifted from this leader remains firmly in place and gained momentum by planting that installed the same problems in the root system more completely.

Pride always resists the sifting, limits grace, and invites the resistance of God. Delusion and deception, denial and delight in evil becomes the new norm. The problems planted in the previous season that pride protects during the sifting, believing them to be vital components of a leader’s life and identity, not only survive but embellish themselves in the field.

As a fathering leader, I am used to observing the sifting and the base line of preparedness sifting reveals. I am also engaged in the restoration process. I can be successful with every humbled person. However, when the sifted leader’s pride says, “I have no need for restoration or sifting,” I know that leader is stuck and will carry their weaknesses into the next season as norms, even celebrating them at the expense of destiny, that destiny will be defined in delusion, and the tares will become entrenched in identity.

Leaders who demand to go from one level to the next without the sifting just end up in dead end detours.

Leaders are sifted as the move of God matures, and the leaders who are restored remain in place. If the move of God continues to mature, and the leaders resist the restorations, the move of God begins to turn into something else.

Season Ending Harvests

Siftings come as we move into new seasons; when previous seasons end with harvest, the sifting of that harvest brings added-value and purity of royal seed for the next season. A successful sifting will help produce a greater harvest, but a short-circuit in the process will cause the problems of the previous season to gain momentum over the royal seed.

When leaders experience any measure of success, they are tempted to assume that this success will continue eternally. They assume that the field has no tares, or tares are not that big a problem. They shrug off the sifting process and plant the same seed they harvested without added-value sifting.

Ministries that offer added-value gain greater profit.

Consider how struggling economies suffer from producing harvest but having no capacity or capability for added-value. They sell the product at a very low price to someone with added-value capacity and capability and start the process of producing another harvest that will barely pay the bills. The product gains through added-value processing, and the one who purchased the harvest from them makes a much bigger profit from someone else’s harvest!

Poor farmers grow coffee in the special climates and soils that make it flavorful but sell the raw beans because they have no capability or capacity to roast it, grind it, and sell a cup of coffee. Someone else profits in a much greater way from the added-value processing, selling a cup of coffee for four bucks while the farmer remains poor, waiting for the cycle to repeat itself.

When a ministry is moving forward into a new season, the new baselines of leadership must be set by measuring leaders with tests. The sifting is celebrated. The restorational process is valued as well as the leader who provides it. Ministries that add value to harvests receive exponentially greater profit from the previous season and gain momentum.

Jesus says, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have all of you, that he might sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed for you (singular, only Simon) that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.”

Simon is unaware of his tares. Jesus is praying the sifting will free him of tares and Simon will become a restorational leader to the remaining disciples.

I wonder why leaders resist restoration. I know it is pride. Only the sifting reveals the tares. Only the fire that never goes out destroys the chaff. Only the restoration plants pure, royal seed in the next season. Pride imagines that the field is free of tares because they are so difficult to discern. Many leader learn to live with things God immediately rejects in satan’s sifting.

The presence of tares gives satan unfounded confidence of success: he assumes that revealing his successful seeding of tares will cause prideful leaders to accept them as norm or simply give up because things are not perfect. He hopes to undermine their faith in the field and their ministry by revealing tares they did not realize were sown.

That is why all leaders need restorational leaders in their lives. When a time of harvest comes, and leader anticipate the next season, the sifting reveals the tares and tests faith. When leaders run from the sifting process, horrified or in denial of what the sifting reveals, seeking a new place where they can start without history, or simply giving up on calling because pride cannot bear imperfection, only a restorational leader can bring them back into place.

When the sifting comes, the reason for resisting surfaces. Oddly enough, leaders pridefully include their tares in the harvest with equal value or with a shrug off “that’s what you get with me” instead of a humbled submission to added-value processing and restoration that will purify the seed for the next season and provide fuel for momentum of the ministry in the next season.

Some leaders have harvest but have the same level of spiritual momentum, season to season, because they resist the sifting and restoration process that would move the field they work into greater productivity.

Added Value Leadership

The kingdom needs leaders who can successfully restore. They will not be successful with leaders who run from or resist the restoration. That is not a fault of the restorational leader. Just as Judas resisted restoration and ended his life in dishonor, even Jesus couldn’t save someone who rejects His strategy.

However, restorational leaders bring added value to the kingdom harvests in ways that produce sustainable spiritual momentum.

I was directly engaged with the restoration of a young man with entrenched delusional pride. The sifting came because of a small but viable harvest, A season change was upon him, and he realized it, but his pride was Mount Everest tall and Dead Sea deep. He was convinced the tares were golden ears of heavenly corn.

I immediately recognized that he had surrounded himself with leaders willing to celebrate the harvest of tares and excuse the resistance to restoration. The sifting revealed deep inclusions of sin, fraud, misrepresentation, and finally open rebellion. Sadly, he turned to leaders with no capacity or capability of added-value who sent celebrated his tares with him and sent him back to plant in a new field, hoping to show everyone that his harvest needed no sifting.

Sadly, he was helped along by wolves and false prophets, teachers, and apostles, who all possessed no restorational leadership. They were not interested in restoration but in normalizing a new hybrid seed and harvest, the new “wheat and tares” product that requires less work and no confrontation. (A hybrid now celebrated in many harvest fields.)

End product? A young man growing older but less mature, celebrated for and celebrating with a hybrid seed, sowing it into other fields with the promise of beauty and plenty. A seed that requires no added-value processing that can be bought and sold at a cheap price because it is so common.

Ministries that restore do not include tares in the next planting. They recognize from the test that the harvest needs processing, the sifting satan brings with hopes of destroying faith reveals what the adversary has planted to corrupt the harvest.

In this young man, tares became his harvest, a hybrid with much more tare than wheat that appeals to the entire construct of many shallow and rebellious believers because it produces the same harvest they celebrate.

If you process the sifted harvest and plant pure royal seed, you will experience an attack of friendly fire that will shock you to your toes! But, you will also gain spiritual momentum from season to season that gives the kingdom its greatest and highest opportunity for success!

 

Do You Control Your Focus?

Always be Sober

In a Leviathan-dominated spiritual condition, controlling the focus of your thinking is vital to maintaining your leadership and representation of heaven.

“Always be sober, Timothy,” Paul says.

Some people say, “Focus on the positive.” That can also be a dead end of avoidance where responsibility requires us to be problem-solvers. Of course, problem-solving should be a focus on the positive process because we remain focused upon the purpose or goal; but many people interpret focus on the positive as ignoring what is negative. That is, to properly focus on the positive, we have to deal with negatives.

Some people say, “Focus the mind for peace.” This may be a cop-out on responsibility as well because it often leads people to assume peace is the goal. It is not a goal. Peace is a fruit of the goal. I have known people who rebelled against God and assumed the peace they experienced from avoiding the wrestling match they were in with Him. Peace that comes from avoiding obedience and submission isn’t the goal.

The Bible says, “Focus upon what matters to God.”

“Always be sober,” speaks to a focused mind that responds to revelation. It is a word Paul and Peter use in Scripture to charge us all to maintain control of the focus of our mind.

“Focus on what matters” is important thinking as long as we have a revelation of what matters from God, not ourselves or others. We will experience a continuous effort upon the part of hell to move us off of “what matters” according to God.

Recognize that you are in a strong wind of distraction at the present time, that Leviathan has used this opportunity to establish a systematic delusion in the minds of millions, and that you are charged by God to maintain controlled focus upon what matters to God.

The word group from which the term, néphó, comes is used only in the figurative sense in the New Testament. While the root word means “not under the influence of intoxication,” the figurative sense suggests a state of focused control in the mind, the mind that is so submitted to God and God’s purposes that it remains undistracted by influences that deter. The influences that deter would be characterized by the influence of strong drink.

The word is used five times by Paul and Peter.

A focused mind answers to an acknowledged revelation and in discharge of ministry, worship, hope, love, and warfare that results from that revelation. This is a spiritual condition established by the spirit.

Alert to Revelation

1 Thessalonians 5:6-8

So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. [ESV]

Comparisons between being awake and being asleep with the added mention of being influenced by a clear mind, are Paul’s charge to believers. But the sense of sober here isn’t that we don’t have a beer during the daytime but that we meet the day with full focus upon purpose.

Intoxication measures the influence upon the mind of something foreign. It operates opposition that which stimulates the mind to bring greater focused control to thinking. The Bible commands us to develop and maintain focused control, to have the revelation of God in focused control upon our thinking.

The sense of the phrase, “while it is day” is “what matters to God in Father’s times and seasons.” Daytime speaks to the time when we are most aware of what He is doing so we can do it with Him. How do we know what He is doing? He reveals what He is doing so we can represent Him in the earth, bringing an authentic heaven and earth collaboration through Holy Spirit.

The challenge comes for us to maintain focus.

Jesus maintained focus in Gethsemane and said to His inner circle of leaders: “The flesh is limited but the spirit is willing. Watch and pray.” He was pointing out their inability to maintain focus, to experience the same passion of the Father that motivates Jesus. They were not experiencing a body limitation but a mind limitation. They simply were not aware of what He was aware of.

In the day means that we have our eyes wide open to what God is doing and we are fully focused upon what matters to God.

He ignores many things. Jesus clarifies that His focus is always, constantly and consistently upon what Father wants, to do the will of the Father in heaven, on earth. Jesus is producing what Father wants in the earth through His kingdom people; the variable to that success is His representatives. The variable to their success is their focus.

Alert to Ministry

2 Timothy 4:5

As for you, always be sober, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, bearing the work of your ministry to the fullest extent.

The on-task, on-purpose lifestyle that wakes and sleeps what you are, that empties your mind with other distractions and targets all things toward calling and destiny.

Afflictions can be strong distractions. Suffering can turn us inward at the very time we should be outward. Recognize the connection between being an announcer of good news while enduring suffering. This is not a random listing but a direct tie-in of competing mental conditions: Can you announce good news while you are experiencing bad news?

Paul says, “You never have an excuse with Jesus to do less than full steam ahead in serving. You don’t get a day off from being a believer. You don’t get a day off from taking things right in the gut and continuing to do what matters to God.

That takes focused thinking! The distraction of horror should not shut you down! The distraction of suffering should not shut you down. The distraction of sickness should not shut you down. Not that you shouldn’t take care of your body or that you shouldn’t have rest or time from the formal, scheduled setting of ministry. No! You should. However, you understand in all that the distraction must be continually confronted and contended with.

You won’t get a reprieve from God for your assignment because you have it tough. Grow up. Man up. Stand up. There must be an inward strength of will greater than the effort of hell to limit you from fulfilling your ministry.

Do you really think Jesus is sympathetic to the claims you use to justify comfort over serving, your way over submission, your pride saying, “I can’t serve in that situation until things are put in order; I deserve a better circumstance to show off my anointing?”

I have seen ministry pride so severe that the leader refuses to fulfill ministry unless the setting makes them appear more than they really are. If you can’t serve twenty people like you serve 20,000 people, you have failed miserably in your understanding of the ministry of Jesus.

The most powerful messages of Jesus on new birth and spiritual worship were given to one person in a very obscure place, time, and way.

I understand that some ministry needs the proper order! Believe me when I say that ministry must set the agenda of ministry, not people or demons, so order is vital. My point is that some people have a pride level that says, “I’m just too anointed to be involved in something like that.” That is a great limiter that hell will use to shut you down in the very places where you need to serve.

You have probably lost your sober mind by distraction because you no longer focus upon what matters to God as much as you focus upon what matters to you.

Observe the person set upon becoming a famous minister who can’t lay down a sacrifice bunt to move another runner to second base. They are ready only for hitting home runs, winning games in dramatic fashion, and being a prima donna of kingdom performance. That is a mind so distracted that it has accepted a substitute for what matters to God.

Alert to Hope

1 Peter 1:13

Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

The mind that targets hope requires intentionality. You have to work at it. You have to reject some thinking in order to embrace some other thinking. You cannot allow thinking from yourself or hell or the world to conflict and contend with God’s thinking if you wish to remain in hope.

You hope in grace. That means you do not attempt to develop hope from any other source except your spirit. “Set your hope” speaks of intentionality. To “set your hope fully” is level of trust that comes only by surrendering to grace flow. The verse speaks of a level of grace that ultimate, so we speak of reaching for the ultimates while experiencing limitations. This is not unusual Scriptural perspective.

“Hope that makes us not ashamed” remains hope in something we have not yet experienced but know is available in God. The thinking of ultimates lifts our hopes from what we can experience from this world and ourselves to a source of grace that is eternal and infinite. The thinking of “set your hope fully” is the level of the miraculous!

This leads us to discussion of “the ultimates.”

Alert to Prayer

1 Peter 4:5

The ultimates are at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober for the sake of your prayers.

Peter creates urgency for how we focus mentally in order to prayer properly. Prayer should be intentional as well. The strategy of prayer must always turn upon what matters to God more than what matters to us. Without sober minds we hope for much less than what matters to God. We hope we can just get through the month when God is working on something eternal!

We invest in prayer for fifteen dollars when God is working on a wealth transfer of trillions. We invest in survival when God is investing is overwhelming victory over chronic conditions.

In maturing prayer, we require a sober mind. Mature prayer seeks what matters to God. Mature prayer arises from people submitted to purpose so that when they pray they are focused upon God’s purposes even while they are experiencing suffering, limitations, and persecution. They are praying for millions of dollars while considering how to eat lunch with what they now possess. They are praying for cancer victims to be healed while struggling with debilitating pain in their knees. They are praying for a harvest of souls while their own children waiver.

Focused prayer is never about myself.

Can you mature to the point at which you are much more focused upon God and others than yourself and your own experience? Can you be as involved with what other prophets say as you are with what you see and hear? Can you be as passionate for preaching that you are not preaching? Can you can as thrilled for others to release anointing as when you are in the flow of release?

That is sober minded maturity.

Alert to War

1 Peter 5:8

Be sober, on alert. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to drink down, or swallow, and devour.

Anticipating attack isn’t unhealthy. We aren’t so enamored with hell that we see demons in every word people say to excess or obsession; we aren’t secluded to avoid confrontations with the prowling adversary.

We live in a litigious environment. The enemy operates as one bringing charges against us at every turn. He is at work with evidence gained through our vulnerabilities to establish a case against our purposes. He wishes to devour us so that we become nothing more than fuel for his fire, breakfast for his gut, a bit of drink for his thirst for destruction.

Be awake, alive, and alert to this constant and consistent effort to strike a death blow.

Peter essentially says, “Do not allow the enemy to sneak up on you. Do not allow yourself to deviate from the lifestyle that a champion lives. Do not skip the steps you establish as habits to secure your life. Remain in the understanding that a lion hides around the corner, hiding in the foliage across the street camouflaged by the world around him.”

 

 

 

Blueprint Leadership: Executing God’s Strategies

The Blueprint Room

I once visited a construction company’s offices to review blueprints, and the company had an entire room dedicated to blueprint storage. Large-drawered cabinets dominated the room, clearly marked, collecting a vast museum of proposed and previously constructed building projects.

The person I was with went to a drawer and lifted a set of blueprints from a stack stored in one drawer, throwing them out like a sheet on a bed upon a large table so we could review one section of the prints that were pertinent to my responsibilities.

Considering this situation today, I was struck with the analogy: perhaps we have such a room filled with revelations of God’s construction assignments as well, properly catalogue and often mentioned in terms of “we received a prophetic word.” Yet, the room is filled with God’s projects as if the blueprints He has revealed await God’s implementation. They do not. God has representatives on earth to build what He designs in heaven; waiting on God to do what God is waiting on us to do might be considered the greatest rebellion of kingdom history because it is a massive collection of disobedience!

Voicing Vision without Implementation

Beware the tendency to shout loud about a prophetic revelation and to do nothing about it, anticipating the God will enforce His judgments when the reason for the revelation has more to do with how His representative people will enforce them. Beware the immaturity of apostolic and prophetic leadership that hears and sees but fails to prepare and position.

The operative word for kingdom leadership says, “Prepare and position the saints.” To apply the physical body meaning of the word for “perfect” implies both preparation and positioning. A prepared body part must be put into place for the operation it was prepared to do, in concert with other body parts. This is the metaphor of Ephesians 4.

The operative word for kingdom leadership says, “Apostles and prophets lay foundations that align with the Chief Cornerstone, Jesus Christ. The master builders have blueprints for the entire building from site preparation to finish work.” The metaphor of building implies that the revelation is the approval for the plans and the authorization for the construction. Blueprints leaders have a much greater assignment than merely voicing a revelation or calling people to a vision. They must do something to implement the revelation!

Right now, kingdom blueprints remain in storage racks as accumulations of Divine assignments await apostolic and prophetic maturity. The point is that until we have an apostolic and prophetic people prepared and positioned to implement, the beauty of artist conceptions for kingdom construction become a gallery show of conceptualizations for us to ooh and aah over instead of a working blueprint calling every believer in a region or nation to their destinies.

“Accurately Anticipating” Applied to Alignment and Assignment

We are still making prophetic announcements of revival and Awakening now as if these are new and novel insights to be celebrated or general invitations to anyone and everyone to parade and party. They are a call to identify the authentic apostolic and prophetic leaders who can found things, kingdom representatives who can tell people what to be and do so that what they are and do builds a body and building.

After spending (almost wasting) time identifying bricks and piling them in neat stacks, we have yet to complete foundations for revival and Awakening, hoping that God will do it for us. He will not. After spending inordinate amounts of emotional energy identifying vision that paints the artist conceptions of the edifices, we have yet to identify the subcontractors or even properly assign the site preparation work that matches the finished product.

We revel in our vision and neglect our assignments. We are like Noah preaching a flood while staring at the timbers that he must assemble to save his family! We assume declaring something obligates God to build something when God reveals so we can do the work!

We may also assume that praying and worshipping will make things magically appear that only the grander kingdom leadership functions can bring to pass. That is, prayer and worship do not form physical things or transform people without the complete functional leadership of the kingdom in full implementation. Praying without preaching or worshipping without discipling won’t produce a mature body. Praying won’t lay bricks or install windows. Without prayer it won’t be right, and we know that. But, the idea that we wait on God to do what God waits upon us to do fills the blueprint with uncompleted assignments.

King Saul discovered quickly that God wasn’t interested in a leader who could offer a sacrifice but fail to obey. King Saul lost what prayer and worship provides because he thought 99% obedience would be enough. King Saul was replaced with David because God found in David someone with His heart, and God defines “has My heart” as “he will finish what I assign him to do.”

Identity: Ministry, Marriage, and Family

An observable pattern in ministry often reveals a pathology in the leaders: many ministry marriages and families fail to the point of discrediting or destroying ministry, and many ministry leaders ignore the more important and fundamental foundations upon which kingdom leadership rests.

For example, a preponderance of leaders who find identity in ministry undermine the foundations of marriage and family.

1. Your spouse didn’t marry a preacher. They married a lover. They didn’t marry a prophet or deliverance expert. They married a companion. THey didnt’ marry a life coach. They married a completer.

When the foundations of kingdom culture are ministry, and the identity of leaders comes from calling, as a first point of reference, marriage and family suffer. While some international leaders assume Paul meant to remain married because it takes away from ministry, thus postulating that calling trumps marriage and family relationships, they are wrong. They are missing the more important foundation of kingdom culture in their rush to spiritualize personal identity.

When fathering kingdom leadership, we do not begin with calling. We begin with creation. God began creation producing marriage. Then and only then, did He say, “Multiply and take dominion.” You ministry will only be as strong as your marriage, and you will only be as happy as your children as you grow older. All attempts to prioritize ministry over kingdom fail because of the obviously unBiblical idea that marriage and family are personal, none of anybody else’s business, and distant all considerations of calling, gifts, anointing, and leadership. A foolhardy supposition!

2. God doesn’t base identity on calling. The Son of God is the Son of God. He has a calling and assignment that He is perfectly fulfilling, but Father does not identify Him by ministry. He is Son representing Father. When the vision of John recognizes Him as Lamb, we still do not see a change of identity but a fullness of identity to which He arrives by obedience and submission.

The reality is if Jesus doesn’t finish His assignment, He remains Son of God. That is a purely ridiculous fantasy considered for the sake of discussion alone, for He is perfectly obedience and submissive to Father because that is what being His Son means.

So, none of us gain identity from calling and gifts since we receive identity in creation. Attempts to behave in ways consistent with ministry always damage the soul and all the relationships that join with it. Thus, a pattern of diminishing may be observed among ministers who gain identity from ministry, and their priorities turn from kingdom culture to performance at the expense of their spouses and children.

They find it easy to justify this by pointing to the benefits of ministry in others while dismissing discussions of diminishing marriage because they assume their spouses and children to be sacrifices to their higher calling. No higher calling exists. It is delusional to assume higher calling when God creates marriage and family as priorities!

Kingdom Culture

This is a good example of attempts at kingdom that ignore kingdom culture. Ministry becomes something odd and out of step to kingdom because it ignores kingdom culture. The resulting dysfunction piles up on the side of the road as wreckage: tens of thousands of leaders lying about too wounded to fight.

To assume we know better than our Maker is high dollar stupidity.

When we accept the world as a framework and its culture as a filtering system, our kingdom performers, like famous movie stars, singers, and cultural icons, experience two, three, and four marriages with children that act like hellish hooligans. Suicides in ministry occur. Children on drugs mar our private lives with pain. Leaders empty of soul turning to adultery and pornography as outlets for coping while maintaining the empty hallelujah of performance.

It is the reality of the kingdom we hope to ignore, or worse, as has now become pandemic, to justify with exaggerations of love, honor, and grace.

There is no amount of grace that makes adultery something we can ignore. There is not amount of love that gives God’s people a preacher addicted to porn. There is no honor that covers perversion. Marriage and family dysfunctions are not personal problems to be privatized; a kingdom leader’s marriage and family are everybody’s business because kingdom culture asks for integrity.

Ask Questions

As a fathering leader, I ask questions. I expect accountability about a leaders personal life to be the business of leadership, and I assume anyone running from those questions to be hiding something that should be available for inspection.

Really? Yes, really. I know that would empty most platforms of leaders. And, I know you are assuming that have expectations of perfections. You would be wrong. The point of being accountable isn’t about not having any problems but being teachable and transformable.

So, I can work with people in ministry with imperfect marriage and family realities as long as they are teachable and transformable, fully submitted to a process of improving kingdom culture in their personal lives. I cannot abide the most anointed leader for ten seconds who disdains accountability by offering me, even selling me, on the power and authority of ministry.

“A hundred were healed,” says very little to me when the hotel room pornography after the meeting answers to long ignored marriage issues.

Come off the road and prioritize your family instead of using the needs of people and the expectations of ministry performance to excuse you from being the man or woman you were created to be as the only healthy basis for representing God.