Globalization is occurring in the Church and in the earth. This divine act ends the mentality of independent local churches and causes a convergence of the corporate man (the Christ) that is helping to redefine the “City Church” the apostle Paul spoke about.
“For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:” (Titus 1:5).
“And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city (City Church) where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do.” (Acts 15:36 brackets mine).
The City Church is the operation of the Body of Christ in a locality coming together with a singular vision and purpose for the Kingdom of God to advance and be established. This unity is not a denominational form of structure, but it is a work of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of the people to model the City Church in the New Testament where there is no divisions and lack, but all continued in the apostles’ doctrine, breaking of bread, fellowshipping together, praying and worshipping God without any negative motives of personal gain. The City Church will help establish an apostolic community within the city – God’s little unit that has a scope in His Kingdom.
The City Church will establish an apostolic community in the city. In every community, there is a culture and lifestyle. The establishment of an apostolic community will bring about Kingdom ways. Apostolic culture will oppose inaccurate structures and beliefs, positions and patterns in the Body of Christ and develop proper order.
God is beginning to redefine His Church in this new season to align with His purpose. A shift from “local church” to “City Church” will result. The City Church is not geographical but is corporate in focus. In the book of Acts, the smallest unit of Church was known as the house Church.
“And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.” (Acts 12:12).
“And they went out of the prison, and entered into the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed.” (Acts 16:40).
“But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.” (Acts 17:5).
“For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe,”
(1 Corinthians 1:11a).
“I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,” (1 Corinthians 16:15).
“Plurality of elders” ends domination and dictatorship. If one man claims to be the apostle of the City Church there will be lack of checks and balances in the doctrine taught and the authority exercised. The governmental order of the City Church does not lie in the hands of one man, a Bishop or an apostle, but in the hands of a corporate eldership set in order and positioned by God. A presbytery of apostles and prophetic elders that oversees the City Church confers, monitors growth and brings correction and direction.
The formation and operation of the City Church establishes the apostolic council of elders. Apostolic presbytery brings balance in Church government and administration and strengthens the assembly. A council of apostolic and prophetic leaders with a Kingdom mindset gives room for consultation. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, balanced biblical revelation and teaching can be presented. The Church in Jerusalem had a council of apostles, prophets and elders who conferred together to bring forth balanced truth in regards to the issue of circumcision for example (Acts 15).
The Greek word for “presbytery” is “presburion” which means governmental order of elders. The early Church was established upon presbytery. The Antioch Church, a prototype of the apostolic structure of Church government, operated in this manner. Leaders imparted to apostolic teams under the direction of the Holy Spirit and released teams into the regions and nations.
Copyright © 2017 by Israel Onoriobe
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