For generations the focus within the four walls of the church has been on one person's vision. That person was the one in the pulpit. Their vision was exalted above everyone else's vision. The congregation existed to serve the vision of the head.
I have heard many, many times during my years when leading a church, "You can only have one vision. If you have two visions, you have division" or "If there are two heads or two visions, then you have a monster." These are words, by the way, I also used back in the day. Some leaders speak them to control the congregation into serving their vision only.
Many within the church have been given a vision by the Lord. The vision that they have is one part of a divine plan to see Christ's kingdom on display in the earth. What if everyone in the church was doing their God given dream? What would happen in your city if each believer was accomplishing the vision the Lord gave them?
I recently heard apostle Barbara Yoder say, "The local church model gathers the community for a Sunday morning service. We have gauged success by how many we can gather. However the Apostolic Center model sends the believer into the community." What a vast difference. The Apostolic Center model empowers the believer and sends them out to do the work of the ministry.
In 1999, I prophesied to two ladies who lived in the Abaco Bahamas. The prophetic word was that they were to go into their city and heal the sick, cast out devils and save the lost. This was a Matthew 10 commission. They received this word from the Lord and launched into their community. Many were being healed, saved and touched by the Lord.
After great success for a couple of weeks, their pastor called me. "What have you done?" He said. "You prophesied to these women and they're going out into the town and praying for people."
I said, "Yes, That's so awesome!" (That didn't help.)
He said, "No, they were not authorized by me to do that."
I responded, "You're kidding me."
"No," he replied. "They need my permission to go out and do this kind of ministry."
I said, "I would think you would be happy that they are going into the community and doing this. They are doing what Jesus called them to do."
Needless to say, he and I never saw eye to eye on this. However, this was the dream the Lord put in their hearts, but now the dream was being controlled and snuffed out by the insecurity of a church leader. By the way, these two ladies were solid believers with a strong foundation. In this story, the mentality of the pastor was a slave-owners' mentality—his thinking was not kingdom of God, but control. Not all pastors think this way. Many today are empowering the saints to do the work of ministry.
Jesus gave the commission for the work of the ministry to all believers, not a select few. Matthew 28:19 says, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." This is written to all believers. Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. And these signs will accompany those who have believed (Mark 16:15, 17).
Ephesians 4:11-12 tells us, "He gave some to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, for the equipping of the saints, for the work of service, and for the building up of the body of Christ."
For This Purpose
This is what Jesus said to Saul/Paul during his conversion on his journey to Damascus. "But arise and stand upon your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, that I might appoint you to serve as [My] minister and to bear witness both to what you have seen of Me and to that in which I will appear to you, choosing you out [selecting you for Myself] and delivering you from among this [Jewish] people and the Gentiles to whom I am sending you—To open their eyes that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may thus receive forgiveness and release from their sins and a place and portion among those who are consecrated and purified by faith in Me" (Acts 26:16-18, AMP). Do not delay—decide today to step into your purpose.
What if the one in the pulpit, the leader, was to train and empower the vision of each person in the congregation? What would happen if there was an empowerment to do the works of Jesus? If the church leader empowers the congregation then the ekklesia will begin doing the work of the ministry as defined in Ephesians 4:12.
When the commission of a dream occurs (Matt. 10), tremendous authority moves into the life of the believer to achieve Christ's purpose in the Earth. If we empower everyone in the body of Christ, our cities, states and nation will be impacted and we will see cities transformed, lives saved and many works of Christ done.
It's Time to Dream Again
For many believers, their dream of ministry has died in the tomb of hope deferred, has been trampled by insecure leaders and other believers who did not encourage them to pursue their destiny or has been crushed by the trials of this life. However, your story is not over. God wants you to get into His storyline of redemption that will see the prodigal come home and a lost world saved. Dutch Sheets conveys a message of dreaming again in his book Tell Your Heart to Beat Again that should encourage you to live again.
During an open-heart surgery that my brother, Tim, was allowed to witness, the patient's heart had been stopped from beating. But when it came time to restart it, despite repeated attempts, the medical staff was unable to get the heart to beat again. Finally, although the patient was obviously unconscious, the surgeon leaned over and said into the patient's ear, "We need your help. We cannot get your heart going. Tell your heart to start beating." Immediately, as incredible as it sounds, the patient's heart began to beat again."
It's time for your heart to beat again for the work of ministry the Lord has called you to.
Are you ready? Are you ready to take the risk required to see a God-given dream resurrected? God believes in you. He put His dream within you. He is chasing you today to fulfill His destiny in your life. Begin to declare today, That He is my hope, He is my life and He is my source. Tell your heart to beat again.
Malachi prophesied of a day of empowerment. "He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse" (Mal. 4:6, MEV).
The whole purpose of spiritual fathers is to see their sons and daughters excel even beyond themselves. They prophesy, push, correct, call forth, affirm, empower and declare sons' and daughters' God-given destinies. True sons and daughters are not offended by the correction of their fathers; they actually embrace it. Real fathers do not cover or control.
Real fathers come alongside and align themselves with their children, and the children align with their fathers. Covering is not a biblical term, but that's a message for another day.
By the way—the term father is gender neutral. This applies to both men and women. I'm just reading it like the Lord put it in his word. "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, and there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:28, MEV). If I can be a bride, you can be a father.
In my early years of ministry, I longed for a spiritual father to come alongside me to guide, correct and affirm what God had called me too. I was a son without a father. I asked several leaders to come alongside me, but this was a foreign paradigm to them.
The apostolic fathers of today are empowering believers to do the work of the ministry. They train, empower and tell believers what they are doing right and tell you how it went wrong. They do not do the ministry for believers or give them a platform. "A man's gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men" (Prov. 18:16, MEV).
This empowerment will launch you into your destiny and help fulfill His life in you.
As you are connecting with many leaders in the body of Christ, be sure that you connect with an apostolic father. They will push you into your God-given dream and call forth your destiny.
My prayer for you today is that, if you are not aligned with an apostolic father, God would send that alignment to you.
Ken Malone is being used by God to mobilize the body of Christ throughout Florida and the nation. After being a pastor for 24 years, Ken has recently stepped down from a pastoral position which has allowed God to launch Ken into his apostolic role. He is an ordained minister and serves as the founder of Forerunner School and Ministry Inc. and serves on the board of Dutch Sheets Ministries. Ken also serves as one of the leaders of Network Ekklesia International, an Apostolic Network founded by Dutch Sheets. Ken walks in a governmental apostolic mantle that releases the body of Christ into their destiny. He also ministers with a prophetic, seer anointing which enables him to identify activate and release redemptive gifts in individuals, churches and cities.
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