We believe in the inter-dependent relationships between believers, particularly those who are gathered relationally together in other emerging simple house church communities and networks and other expressions of body life (traditional church, cell churches, emerging churches, and others) within the Body Of Christ within geographical regions.
In the Book of Acts and the Epistles we read of “the church in the city of …” whatever the city happened to be. Many times the letter was addressed to “the body of Christ in the city of …” It was in this manner that the church was viewed by those who as brothers and sisters who “functioned” as elders (just an older and wiser brother or sister) gave servant leadership and guidance and wisdom under the guidance of the Spirit as the community came to unity and agreement in dealing with issues related to community life and expanding the Kingdom of God. It was through community agreement within the church gathered together (people face to face interacting and relating), and through the leading and guidance and wisdom of the Spirit that they called out and commissioned and sent those whom the Lord separated to go forth and expand the relational Kingdom (such as Barnabas and Paul, and later Paul and Silas, and others). These were the people, brothers and sisters, whom the Spirit gave servant hearts and Kingdom vision and a calling to go and proclaim and abundant life in Christ through the gospel in those places, and through the conversion of people to Christ, and forth to establish new relational Kingdom communities in the Roman world.
Those servants were the ones “sent with the message” (apostles), the message of the Kingdom, and they were equipped by the Spirit for that task. Many of these servants were “elders” (mature brothers and sisters, not a title or position of leadership) and operated in the five ministry gifts listed in Ephesians 4:11-12. These included apostles, prophets, pastor, teachers and evangelists. All of these functioned in these five servant gifts, but brothers and sisters in relationship to the body of Christ, and these people came alongside to bless and equip and release the gifts for the work of the ministry in the Priesthood of all Believers, who were ministers to the Lord, and are the people of God in the church! These servant apostolic and prophetic brothers and sisters “networked” in relational community in various city states and geographical regions throughout the Roman Empire building up and equipping and releasing body life in churches that met in homes.
Likewise we de-construct our old paradigms and re-envision what Jesus and the Early Church meant, when it dealt with these issues of ministry. As an emerging apostolic people, we too embrace this New Testament ministry of apostolic and prophetic servants who “network” between simple house churches and all various expressions of congregational and body life, as well as other believers within the Body of Christ and minister through revelation, teaching, equipping and releasing, so that the whole Body will be edified and built up and strengthened to be able to fulfill their calling in emerging, relational, redemptive, revolutionary community and the Kingdom vision in God for the nations.
These emerging communities (relational networks) serve as a means of connecting and blessing the Body of Christ through times of worship and celebration as well as vision casting, teaching, apostolic and prophetic ministry. Apostolic communities are built upon strong inter-dependent relationships that seek to see the Kingdom expanded through connecting people with one another and through like vision and action (partnering in mission and ministry). They also see the Kingdom in the city and region as bigger than any one expression of the Body of Christ. We need one another as believers. We are more effective together than apart from one another, and the synergy created when we partner together, fosters greater love of the brethren and glorifies Christ, the head of the body of Christ.
Emerging apostolic communities coordinate and help equip and release believers, simple house churches and networks, as well as other expressions of congregational life, in their calling and destiny and in furthering and extending the Kingdom through relational, redemptive, revolutionary community church planting.