Concerning apostles and saints, elders and deacons…

Phil. 1:1-  Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops (overseers) and the deacons:
This one verse probably best describes what New Testament government, order, and alignment was like in the early church.  “Paul and Timothy” –  Paul found Timothy in Lystra and Iconium and began to father him.  Timothy began travelling as a part of the team with Paul, and they were going to Troas and that is where Paul had the “Macedonian Vision.”
 
Phil. 1:10-12-  Now after he (Paul) seen the vision, immediately we (with Silas and Timothy) sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.  Therefore, sailing from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrace , and the next day came to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, which is the foremost city of that part of Macedonia, a colony  And we were staying at that city for some days.
I wrote that passage to show how important it is for apostles and prophets to be obedient to the heavenly vision when they are sent into cities and regions.  Philippi was a “chief city” and it became one of His most beloved churches.  While he was in prison, they ministered to his necessities and needs time and again.  They were the only church at that point who “communicated (shared and partnered) with him concerning “giving and receiving.”
But verse one sets the stage for New Testament order and alignment: 1)  Paul and Timothy, apostles and bondservants of Jesus Christ; 2)  The SAINTS-  Those holy ones set apart as “consecrated ones to Christ.” 3)  Bishops (overseers) –  These were the “elders”, who had the responsibility to 1) Shepherd (feed/pastor) and 2) serve as overseers to these saints, the flock of God. 4)  Deacons-  The servants, or ministers of the Lord given for the ministry of helps.
This order does not mean the saints are more important than the bishops and deacons, it simply implies that the saints are those that God has chosen to reveal what are the riches of the glory of the mystery of God, which is “Christ in YOU, the hope of glory.”  We are all Saints first and foremost, for our highest calling is what Paul wrote in Phil. 3:10-  THAT I MAY KNOW HIM…
The elders are best described in Acts 20:28 and I. Peter 5:2: Acts 20:28-  Therefore take heed to yourselves (elders) and to all the flock, “among” (simply means with and among) which the Holy Spirit has made you “overseers”, to “shepherd” (feed) the church of God, which He purchased with His own blood
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I. Peter 5:2-  Shepherd (pastor) the flock of God which is among, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain, but eagerly;
So, what is basically the scriptures saying?
The apostles and elders (bishops/overseers) have responsibility to serve the flock, the church of God for (1) apostolic alignment (vision, direction and purpose), and 2) feeding the flock, serving as overseers.  It appears the apostles did not have “local administration” as must as they were the ones who ordained the elders and deacons, had a “fathering Heart and spirit to impart to the sons, and equip the saints for the work of ministry…  (If we are not identifying the saints and putting them into “their”   ministry, we are not doing our job…)
The elders again, had the responsibility to 1) Shepherd (pastor/feed) and 2) oversee the work as a team, primarily made up of those mature men and women, with differing giftings, so as bring the saints to a place of purpose and provision.  They were normally those that were raised up as sons, then to be placed as elders, knowing the people and dwelling with and among them.
The deacons and the saints were called to serve the body of Christ as ministers and set apart ones, who also had responsibility to not only minister to one another, but to the world, with the ministry of love, prayer, evangelism and discipleship.
To sum it up, Paul the apostle, as a father to the leaders, shares in Phil. 4:15-17-  Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated (shared and partnered, partakers of) with me concerning giving and receiving, but you only.  For even in Thessalonica you sent aid once and again for my necessities.  Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account.

JB

Just carrying on a FAMILY TRADITION!!

We are no doubt witnessing a change, No,  a “radical transformation” in the church concerning kingdom relationships, especially among leadership!  I have personally visited with at least “4” men of God the last couple of weeks, all ranging from 70-80 years old, who are not thinking about RE-Tiring, but RE-FIRING for the work of God!

I always known I had an “old-school” attitude with a “new day” alignment in the things concerning the kingdom!  I’ve always related to a generation of older men who have had their hearts opened to stay “new and fresh” in the things of God, but had the wisdom and insight to help the generation coming.  This is INVALUABLE!!

I thank God for a heritage in the gospel, family names that have been linked together through years of relationships, the Becton’s, the Dyson’s, the Glass’, the Grisham’s, the Miller’s and too many others to name that are intricately interwoven!  Right or wrong, good and bad, orthodox and unorthodox, A “wise scribe is like unto a man that is a householder, who will bring out of His treasure things new and old!”  (Mt. 13:52)

If generations are not important, tell me why so much of the Old Testament begins with the “genealogy of families, and the New Testament begins with “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham?” (Matt. 1:1)    

The natural always precedes the spiritual!  We are now the generation of Jesus Christ, the 42nd generation, a “chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, His own special people;  that we should show forth the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.”  (I. Peter 2:9)

Isa. 58:12-  And those that be of you shall rebuild the old waste places;  and you shall raise up the foundations of many generations:  And you shall be called, “The Repairer of the Breach”, and, “The Restorer of Paths to Dwell In!”

TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!!

JB

WHERE THERE ARE NO FATHERS…the church lacks vision!!!

Where there is a ‘lack of Fathers’, the church is sterile and immature!  It is the Father’s kingdom, therefore it is the Fathers that bring adjustment and correction, not just teaching and instruction!  The church many times resists even the presence of fathers because of a feminine, mothering spirit that leads to passivity and apathy!
But when true fathers who know who they are and therefore secure, they bring a gentleness, yet firmness that does not intimidate or lord over, but encourages and affirms.  What hampers a good sense of belonging in a fellowship is when insecure leaders allow opinions and ideas from others to restrict the DNA OF FATHERS!
As my spiritual father says, “You want to drink their blood, but you do not want to eat their flesh!”  In other words, you will take their “revelation” and what flows from their spirits, but you do not want to “partake” of their humanity if it does not suit your purpose!  How we relate to our leaders on the tough times reveal the real motives of our hearts!
I. Thess. 2:4,5-  But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children.  So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives (souls), BECAUSE YOU HAD BECOME DEAR TO US.See More
Photo: Where there is a 'lack of Fathers', the church is sterile and immature!  It is the Father's kingdom, therefore it is the Fathers that bring adjustment and correction, not just teaching and instruction!  The church many times resists even the presence of fathers because of a feminine, mothering spirit that leads to passivity and apathy!

But when true fathers who know who they are and therefore secure, they bring a gentleness, yet firmness that does not intimidate or lord over, but encourages and affirms.  What hampers a good sense of belonging in a fellowship is when insecure leaders allow opinions and ideas from others to restrict the DNA OF FATHERS!

As my spiritual father says, "You want to drink their blood, but you do not want to eat their flesh!"  In other words, you will take their "revelation" and what flows from their spirits, but you do not want to "partake" of their humanity if it does not suit your purpose!  How we relate to our leaders on the tough times reveal the real motives of our hearts!

I. Thess. 2:4,5-  But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children.  So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives (souls), BECAUSE YOU HAD BECOME DEAR TO US.
 
Apostle Derek Brown in a dialogue with Dr. Mark Chironna said something very powerful:  “One of the problems with the transition in the institutional church is that they do not know the current leadership father’s!”

This has been a burden on my heart for several years!  It’s like in the natural children not knowing their grandparents, not knowing their heritage, their legacy, even the future of the bloodline because we haven’t had the blessing and inheritance of the Father’s!

Then, even sadder, in the church, many leaders do NOT want their people to be exposed to their father’s, either because of the 1) fear of insecurity or weakness, and/or  2)  fear of rejection by the people!