Rick Joyner’s Word For the Week: Choices Part 18

The times we are now entering will force some interchange and unity, but most important will be the restoration of true apostolic ministry.

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As we continue studying how to comply with II Corinthians 13:5, Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith,” and how we come to abide in the Lord and bear fruit as members of His body, we realize just how crucial it is that we find our place in His body and begin to function there.

Yet in our dominant modern church structure, it is nearly impossible to have more than a superficial relationship with other members. In today’s dominant church structure, the ministry revolves around one person, the pastor, who is capable of equipping only a small percentage of people for ministry, if any. Thus, the Ephesians 4 church life model where the saints are equipped “to do the work of the ministry,” is not even possible in the modern church model. This must obviously change.

The first change should be to recognize that New Testament ministry is team ministry composed of five different ministries: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. All are needed to equip God’s people for their individual purposes, so the whole body can rise to the full stature to which it is called. No one ministry can accomplish this alone.

But how many churches in the world have all five of these operating in their congregations? Perhaps none. Some of these ministries may be based in the congregation but most do work outside the congregation traveling to various other churches with whom they have relationships. The Apostle Paul wrote about how he had planted, and Apollos watered. In Acts, we see the churches received ministry from several apostles and other equipping ministries.

To become the body of Christ the Lord designed, we must see the body as He sees it. When the Lord looks down on a city or town, He doesn’t see many churches; He sees one church made up of different parts. For example, in any given city, there may be a congregation that is strongly evangelistic, another that is pastoral, another that is devoted to teaching the Word, and still another that is more apostolic or prophetic.

Since there is rarely an interchange between these congregations, the people who are evangelistic will leave other congregations to join the one that is more devoted to evangelism. Those who are called to other ministries will be drawn to the congregations that emphasize their callings. Christians may feel more comfortable being with others who are like-minded, but this will not help the body of Christ become what it is called to be. As our bodies are composed of many members that function together as a whole, so is the Lord’s body.

If we saw the church, in any given city, as one body with many members, there would be an interchange between different congregations with different emphases, so each congregation’s members could be equipped and functioning. Just as Israel was composed of twelve tribes and each had their own territories, prophecies, and destinies yet functioned as one nation, the body of Christ is composed of different tribes, spiritual territories, and destinies, yet we are all one holy nation.

Each congregation will retain its own vision and purpose— which should never be compromised to become part of the whole—yet we do need to understand how each part fits and complements the others. Once the essential interchange begins, people will no longer need to leave their congregations to find ones that fit their callings, because everyone in each congregation will be equipped in all the ministries.

How can this possibly happen with the many divisions we currently have in the body of Christ? Always remember, with the Lord, nothing is impossible. The times we are now entering will force some interchange and unity, but most important will be the restoration of true apostolic ministry, which means truly walking in the biblical stature of this ministry.

When one or two apostolic ministries emerge or come into a city with the anointing and power to do this work, it will pull the whole church together and facilitate the necessary interchange for the building up of the body according to the Ephesians 4 model.

It is unlikely any city or town will have all the congregations join in this new move that is coming. Many are “old wineskins” that are too rigid and inflexible to make the necessary transformation. In fact, it will be rare for more than 10% of the Christians and congregations in a city to make this leap, but even a smaller percentage can make the transformation to New Testament church life as it was designed.

Remember, in the Lord’s parable of the wineskins, He did not want the old wineskins to be lost, so we should not try to force new wine in them. They can still have a part in God’s purpose, and the old wine in them is still valuable. Yet a radical change is coming to church life for those who can make this transformation. Next week, we will cover the steps we can now take toward this end.


© 2021 by Rick Joyner. All rights reserved.


This is an updated edition of a post originally published on MorningStar Ministries

Featured Image by Penny from Pixabay

Rick and Julie Joyner founded MorningStar Ministries in 1985. It is a diverse and expanding international ministry that began with the biblical mandate of Matthew 24:45-46:

“Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes.”

Rick has authored more than fifty books, including The Final Quest TrilogyThere Were Two Trees in the GardenThe Path, and Army of the Dawn. He is also the Founder and Executive Director of MorningStar Ministries, a multi-faceted mission organization that includes Heritage International MinistriesMorningStar UniversityMorningStar Fellowship of Churches and Ministries. Click here to take a look at Rick’s latest Rant #ricksrants

The views and opinions expressed by Kingdom Winds Collective Members, authors, and contributors are their own and do not represent the views of Kingdom Winds LLC.

About the Author

MorningStar Ministries is a Kingdom Winds Contributor. They are a diverse and expanding international ministry founded by Rick and Julie Joyner in 1985. MorningStar's goal is to help strengthen the church by helping believers become the strongest Christians possible, and therefore true light and salt in the earth.

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