Twelve Apostolic Principles
The Apostolic Church of Jesus, Inc., Operation Restoration
The Book of Nehemiah is an outstanding book that depicts going from a compelling vision to its activation and implementation. Therefore comes Operation Restoration. Nehemiah was a type of a master builder apostle (1 Cor. 3:10-14) who knew how to utilize teams, motivate the masses, and bring commitment through conviction. His leadership ability resulted in the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem, and important for us to know that his methods can be replicated.
The following are some of the key apostolic principles he used that we will build upon as we bring restoration to the House of the Lord.
- Nehemiah assessed the true conditions of his people and nation (Neh. 1:1-3). Like Nehemiah we cannot be delusional or in denial regarding the true state of our church community. Our leadership must involve itself in bringing self-awareness to those under our care and influence. Without knowing the truth, there can never be a path to true freedom (John 8:32-46).
- Nehemiah was moved inwardly and received a compelling vision to meet the need (Neh. 1:4). Our leadership must be driven and motivated by vision. All true vision must emanate from the heart and with passion. Vision merely articulated via strategy on paper is never enough. Spirit-inspired passion is the engine that drives a heaven-sent vision.
- Nehemiah prayed his vision through before he attempted to implement it (1:4-11). Godly leadership is a partnership with the divine, since we are living both on the Earth and in heavenly places (Eph. 2:4-6). Like Nehemiah, as leaders we must pray our vision through in the Spirit before attempting to implement it in the natural. Without consistent seasons of individual and corporate prayer, vision will fail because the spiritual warfare and natural circumstances of this world will offer too much resistance without giving God opportunity to speak and move. We will write the vision and make it plain.
- Nehemiah gathered all the human resources he needed based on his relationships (1:11--he was cup bearer to the king). To be successful as leaders we must pull all of our relationships to gather the supplies and connections needed to implement the vision. We all have a constellation of relationships, and within that circle is usually the provision for the vision. Instead of always looking on the outside for our answers, most of the time the people and resources we need to fulfill our vision are already in our midst. We will seek out the gifts that God has given us within the Apostolic Church of Jesus, Inc. to fulfill the mission of Operation Restoration.
- Nehemiah succinctly articulated his compelling vision in a few sentences (2:17-18). Our Chief Apostle has forecast his Vision in three words. Membership, Fellowship, & Friendship and we will fulfill that mission by bridging the gap and establishing an Apostolic Culture. God told Habakkuk to write the vision down and make it plain so that the reader could run with it (Hab. 2:2). Hence, every person in this organization should be able to convey the vision of the house. Consequently, when people do not have the vision or know the vision, they are scattered and aimless (Prov. 29:18).
- Nehemiah refused to be distracted by opposition (2:19-20; 6:2-4). As leaders and as an organization we will have to contend with competing voices and loyalties that demand focus and attention. One of the great keys to the vision is to be able to stay focused and keep the main thing the main thing, and keep first things first. If Satan cannot destroy us, he will try to distract us with good or appealing things that can lure us away from God's best plan for our life. (Satan doesn't come in a red suit and pitchfork but appears as an angel of light according to 2 Cor. 11:14.) Let us stay focus through this restoration period.
- Nehemiah utilized a team of volunteers committed to the cause (3:1-32). No growing organization can survive if it depends merely upon a few people. Every successful vision requires a team of committed people to fulfill the dream. We must find members in our organization who desire to see the church grow and are willing to sacrifice there efforts and their time without the expectation of pay. We must build a strong team of volunteers who are willing to give of their time and resources for the better good of the church.For example, the two model churches of the New Testament (in Jerusalem and Antioch) both had a great team of leaders and layers of other leaders who worked together; and their reward came from a God who owns the houses and the land!
- Nehemiah instilled courage during times of testing (4:8-12, 14). We as a membered body must remember there will always be opposition, high stress, drama, unforeseen events and crises that oppose godly vision. It is imperative as leaders that we have remain calm, speak peace, have courage and continue to function with high capacity during those times of stress, duress and testing. It's our time ACOJ, Inc. If you want a church or organization without stress or spiritual warfare, then ask God to take you home to heaven right now. (That's the only place where there is no more crying, sorrow or pain).
- Nehemiah set up systems of communication to unite all for battle (4:13, 16-22). The people were not only committed to their vision but were committed to protecting and advancing the vision. To fulfill our vision of Membership, Fellowship, & Friendship by Bridging the Gap and Establish An Apostolic Culture, every person on the team must be trained for battle and be mobilized instantly when an attack comes that threatens the vision. We as an organization especially need intercessors in place that can be contacted instantly, and all our leaders need to be able to mobilize for strategy with little notice.
- The people were all bound together with a written covenant (9:38; 13:1-31). People need to be bound together by a written covenant that lays out everything expected. Whatever people don't sign on to, they will not be accountable to. The Apostolic church of Jesus, Inc. has a Church Covenant and we must renew that Covenant and make it a part of our day by read it and reminding others of it.Generally, people don't do what you expect; they do what you inspect. Nehemiah had to follow up on the covenant by inspecting and enforcing the application of the covenant in chapter 13. We must understand that our leaders are not primarily called to be our friends; they are called to push you, hold you accountable and to challenge your complacency if you are not growing. The leaders were all committed to living in the place of their mission (11:1-2). Nehemiah made all the leaders live within the walls of Jerusalem even though it was dangerous. Leaders are called to live in the community they are ministering to, so they have the same care and concern for the well being of the people they serve. So we as your Apostolic Leaders will vow to live a life among you that acceptable in the site of God without reproach. That our labor will not be in vain. So that the ministry can advance.The duties of The Apostolic Church of Jesus, Inc. include lifting up the fallen; visiting the sick; strengthening the weak; encouraging the faint hearted; comforting the feeble-minded; pointing the lost to the way of Salvation; encouraging all believers to seek after and live a spirit filled life; and preparing ourselves and others for the coming of the Lord. The bible says charity starts at home. Our Evangelism field is among us, so let's get to work.I believe Nehemiah demonstrates that our goal should not be comfort but conforming to the will of God in our lives.
- He was a great fundraiser for the house of God (13:10-12). Without provision, the vision is only a dream and will never be a reality. If we are going to be successful as leaders we have to be successful in raising funds for the vision! The Apostle Paul only wrote one chapter devoted to love (1 Cor. 13) but wrote two whole chapters devoted to raising funds for his ministry (2 Cor. 8 and 9).
Furthermore, I believe every church should have enough income from tithes and offerings so that the lead pastor does not have to work outside the church. This way their time is not divided, and they are not too tired to serve the congregation. We must grow to this level.
Finally, there is much more in this incredible book that God gave us to teach the principles of organization, teamwork and community building. Nehemiah illustrates that preaching the word isn't enough for our Church to be transformed.
If that were the case, then all he needed was to let Ezra, the biblical scribe, do his thing, and it would have happened automatically. No, we need to have a partnership between the marketplace and committed church leaders for our church to be built.
Will you partner with us today? Donate Now to Operation Restoration. The first phase financial goal of Operation Restoration is to build a Financial Storehouse of $250, 000, to pay down our National debt of $250,000.00, to have a Annual Income of $250, 000, and to invest $250, 000 in to the restoration of all the properties of the Apostolic Church of Jesus, Inc.
Will you partner with us today!
Donate today in this effort.
$ ______ other