“And He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into a mature man with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness.” Ephesians 4:11-13 (HCSB)

Recently I had a dream where a prophetic and an apostolic person were in a car traveling somewhere. They did not have clear instructions, or directions as to where they were going and had to stop. They even had to back up a bit to get their plan in order, before heading on aimlessly. This past Thursday night at Prayer for Athens we prayed into this dream.

We felt the Lord is saying that He desires the apostolic and prophetic to work more closely together in the days to come. In fact, there is a change coming to the paradigm of how we “do” church, which includes a restoration of the five-fold leadership on a citywide level. For too long the weight of church leadership has fallen upon the pastor/teacher pillars. This was never Jesus’ plan. Pastor/teachers are not meant to be the sole leaders of the local church. As a result, churches have become places of protection, comfort and nurturing, after all, pastors are called to shepherd their flock! So, churches have become fortresses, or if I may, sheep pens! That is not what the Church that would invade the gates of hell (Matthew 16:18-19), and disciple the nations (Matthew 28:18-20) is supposed to look like! Jesus envisioned something much more dynamic. As a result, pastors are overwhelmed with the weight they have to carry. Btw, the senior pastor was never meant to be the CEO, the administrator, the lone leader! Their role was always meant to equip others to do the work of the ministry, not for them to do the work of the ministry!

Nevertheless, the pillar of evangelist has been somewhat accepted, but mostly pushed outside of the leadership, even outside the church to do their thing! But the apostle and prophet are held at arms distance. The evangelist, the apostle and prophet are not meant to operate on their own, outside the church, but as part of the overall leadership in the Church. The church model has evolved into a divided sect of local churches in any given city. Denominations have risen around this or that doctrinal point. But we are meant to stand in unity, to operate in humility, and this requires the five pillars. Look, this is not my idea, but via the Holy Spirit, Paul spoke of these pillars. He said it was Jesus who gave His Church these pillars. We absolutely need this unified citywide leadership structure re-established in our day!

Pray for humility to lay aside our old wineskins, our control, our models and ways of doing things, to take hold of what the Spirit of God is saying and doing in this hour. Cry out that we would be the Church that has ears to hear what the Spirit is saying today (Revelation 2-3). Pray for your pastor and your church to be willing to be a part of something much bigger and greater than an individual part of the body! Ask God to raise up evangelists to equip the body to evangelize in our city. Ask God to raise up prophets and apostle to be a part of the leadership, and to hear what God is saying to the church in our city. Pray that the citywide church would operate as the Holy Spirit intends us to, in unity, humility, vulnerability, cooperation and intention, as one body!