OF THE PRINCIPLES OF
BIBLICAL CHURCH OPERATION
1. Christ is the Head of the church, and the Head of every individual believer.
2. All Christians are brothers and sisters in the Lord.
Christ has all authority over the church--His body in the earth.
No one believer is to exercise authority over others within the church.
3. Every Christian possesses the gift of ministry.
All the church is a priesthood.
We are all saved by a free gift (Jesus' blood sacrifice at the cross)---the
Holy Spirit is a gift
The functioning of the church is thru the gifts of ministry (service) in every believer.
4. The focus of the church is to witness Jesus Christ to the world.
The central purpose of the church is to carry the Gospel out to the world by every
means possible, with all the gifts that are available.
The Gospel is.....
a. Salvation by faith in the name of Jesus.
b. Healing--in the name of Jesus
c. Deliverance--in the name of Jesus
d. Feeding the poor---acts of charity (love) out to the world--care for the homeless-- visiting people in prison--visiting and praying for all those in need.
e. Release---"apostolic liberty" --the free release of all new believers to serve God and participate in the functioning and ministry of the church. (Luke 4:18-19)
5. The ministry gifts are the gifts by which God grows His kingdom--which is the central function of the church.
They are (in order of importance)....
a. apostles--Groups of people who work together to carry al the Gospel out to the world.
b. prophets--Anyone who speaks the word of God in any way, including all the prophetic gifts of the Holy Spirit.
c. evangelists--Individuals that operate in the same way as apostles.
d. pastors--Groups of people whose function it is to guide others toward their own ministry. "Gates" which lead others to release.
e. teachers--groups of people that teach individuals directly and with the purposes of God.
The gifts of ministry are anointings---the "gift of Christ" which is found in everyone. All people were created to serve God with their own particular gifts.
Any Christian can function in any of the gifts at any time.
The gifts of ministry are NOT titles of authority or rulership.
6. Authority. Christ gave all believers authority over all manner of
sickness---over Satan and all his devices--and the authority to preach
Authority is NOT to be exercised in any way one over another, amongst ourselves. There is to be no hierarchy within the Christian church. All formats and traditions of rule, human authority, and human government must be avoided within the operation of the church.
7. Operation. Apostleship is the functional plan of the Christian church.
Apostleship is a network of operation--small groups working together in their gifts, under the direct leadership of God--in order to further the Gospel.
All types of ministry (including teaching and pastoral) operate thru apostleship.
Jesus operated in apostleship in order to demonstrate the principle that no one individual had authority. Jesus operated under the direct authority of the Father. We as the church are to operate under the direct authority of the risen Christ.
Bring the Gospel to the poor, the brokenhearted, the captive, the oppressed. (Luke 4:18-19) Feed the poor, care for the homeless, visit prisons, take in strangers. (Matthew 25:34-40)
8. The Rules of Christian Meeting.
a. The meeting place can be anywhere. ("wherever 2 or 3 are gathered--there I am in the midst"). The Christian home is the gathering place for believers. The Christian home and family are the "pillar and ground of the truth".
b. At a Christian meeting, everyone may speak (prophecy), worship, or
teach. The Holy Spirit is to lead. If a word is in tongues, seek the interpretation--and
be ready to act upon it!
The prophetic gifts of the Holy Spirit are to direct the Gospel. (Acts 13: 1-4)
c. Meet as often as possible (daily) in these small groups. Work toward the purposes of the Gospel.
Work in the Spirit, with all the intelligence and resources available.
"Break bread" together often---meet and talk with one another--with the purposes of the Gospel in our hearts.
d. Speak (prophecy or teach) one by one--and no more than 2 or 3 at any one meeting.
e. The prophecy or teaching of any individual can be questioned by any other individual. The word of God in it's own context, is the ultimate source of doctrine.
Honest disputes are perfectly fine--contentiousness should be ruled out.
Assemble all the church together occasionally--as the Spirit leads--not by ritual or tradition.
9. Leadership---is service to all and NOT authority over others within the church.
a. bishops/elders---Groups of leaders in the church whose job it is to organize and encourage the ministry of all the others that serve God within the church.
10. Giving in the church is Spirit-lead directly to the needs of any within the church.
The giving and collecting of money is for the poor within the church, and for the ministry needs of any group or individual within the church.
No one individual or group controls the giving of the others within the church.
11. Apostleship is the humble working of Christians carrying the Gospel, in small groups, that no one may be exalted but Christ the Lord.
Apostleship is in all the ministries of the church, that no one individual can be exalted above the others and Christ can truly be the Head of the church, and that all believers can truly be brothers and sisters in the Lord.
Unity of the Spirit thru diversity of gifts of service---with the common bond of love.
Brotherhood is the functional plan of the church.