Today, God is raising up many apostles and apostolic-minded churches to network together in order to bring in the end-time harvest. Apostles tend to bring people together around a common purpose, which often involves strengthening local churches, planting new works, raising up leaders, and doing mission work, both here and overseas.
In many cases, an apostle will pastor a local church and the life and liberty of that church will attract other churches and ministries to join together. Apostolic-minded churches are usually connected with other churches who share the same values and vision. However, these networks are not new denominations. Their form and function is different:
1. They tend to gather other churches and people around specific purposes, not just a shared doctrinal or historical background.
2. They realize that the form and function of most present day denominations are not sufficient alone to get the harvest in.
3. They encourage leadership to function with a higher level of authority than what would be allowed in most denominations.
4. They have a higher expectation of what a local church can do to impact the world.
ANABAPTIST VALUES – OUR QUALITY OF LIFE
Most modern church groups draw their primary values from some movement in Protestant history. Lutherans draw inspiration from Luther, Calvinists from Calvin, Wesleyans from Wesley. Many of the people who have joined Word of Grace Network have drawn their values from the early Anabaptists. Here are some of their distinctives that we aspire to do today:
1.They believed that doing what Jesus said is central to our quality of life together. In a day when many people professed to be Christian, the Anabaptists insisted that you must show that you are a believer by actually doing what Jesus taught.
2. They believed that our relationships with others are a way of measuring the depth of our relationship with the Lord. The early Anabaptists seemed to put more of a premium on working at healthy personal relationships than most other groups at that time.
3. They believed in the priesthood of all believers. They did not believe in a domineering form of church government that controlled people’s faith. The Anabaptists caught the value of servant leadership from scripture that where everyone is expected do their part to minister to the spiritual needs of others, even if they didn’t have the education required of priests.
4. They believed that there should be a great importance placed upon maintaining close and well-ordered churches and families. The goal of the first Anabaptists was to get back to the Book of Acts, which meant having a strong sense of community where they shared with each other and stayed close together.
5. They believed that the weapons of their warfare were not carnal. They understood that Jesus taught and demonstrated non-resistance because He knew that this would effectively stop the devil. Ours is a spiritual conflict, which needs to be fought by spiritual means.