Apostolic Advancement is about the power of vision and the force of culture, they are the drivers of a great future.
A vision is a compelling image of what is possible.
And without one? We cast off restraint, that is, we abandon the focus and disciplines that are necessary to moving us toward our destiny. Like the man who buried his talent, we are rendered futureless. God promises, that under the right restraints, we will have success in everything we put our hands to.
By definition, ‘restraint’ means to keep something under control, to manage force and movement. Sails, tackle, keel and rudder are restraints that make a sailing ship go where the captain wishes. Vision keeps our time and energy focused.
But that sailing ship, even in perfect condition, will sit like dead wood on the ocean unless a wind fills those sails, strains the ropes, and presses the ship against the rudder.
Culture is the conviction undergirding all we think and do. We are controlled by what we believe, always. Our foundational values will drive the vision to success or failure.
We can’t see the wind, neither can we deny its force. Culture is crafted in the invisible realm of what we believe, and in our world of leadership, we must craft the culture that drives the vision with intentionality, accuracy and conviction. Culture is understood through the stories we tell, so let us tell you some Victory stories.
Because, once upon a time, when visions were rare, God called you to lead a movement.
Oh, and one more thing, our ship needs a ‘Rutter’. A rutter is a mariner’s handbook of written instructions. Sailors must know what they are doing and do the right thing every time. Until we automize the way we do things we will waste a lot of time, energy and resources.
Systems are essential to efficiency and fun. I mean, when ministry is no fun, it’s because we lack systems, and that leaves undue confusion, stress and exhaustion. Systems are the rules by which we get the work done with excellence, and that, dear sailors, will get us to our desired haven of results and rest.
These five chapters are about three things; Vision, Culture and Systems. We see what the future should look like, we know why we must pursue, and we organize our time and resources into systems of efficiency.
Some leaders get it.
Covenant of Brothers is a warm-hearted book about relationships between fellow apostles. It’s one of those short, can’t-put-it-down reads that will ignite new possibilities and equip you with some very practical ideas on how to flourish together as a team.
Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 23
A covenant of brothers puts the Lord in between us. Jonathan reminded David, “The Lord be between you and me forever.” With the Lord in between, God is the glue that holds us together. That’s good, but now imagine the absolute assurance behind the promises we make to each other, and the conviction behind the declarations of our faith; those things we intend to accomplish.
A deal made between men is only as secure as the ability of both men to keep it. But a covenant between brothers is secured by God – God gets in the middle. Same with marriage, the three-fold chord with God himself as one of the strands, is not easily broken. Men are still fallible but with God in the middle there is an anointing that connects the benefits of the covenant to each other with power.
With God in between, the promises and prophecies shared in covenant relationships are much more powerful than those from without. Jonathan declared David would become king, and he did. Their covenant played the key role in bringing God’s plan to pass.
Cooking Thai with Terry is a book full of fun. Actually, 35 years of living with Terry has been a lot of fun – she’s a redhead, and you know what they say, “Behind every good man is a redhead!” Thai food was one of the big confirmations God gave me when we landed here in 1981 that Thailand would be the country of our blessing – this is the best food in the world. Influenced by India, China, and a bunch of smaller countries, there is no end to discovering exciting new flavours.
You’ll find some inspiring photos and stories of family and ministry miracles by this mother of 33 kids. She is ‘The matriarch of the ministry and the defender of Christmas’ so you can count on her for a book full of hospitality.
On to Perfection is our story of success, from fear to faith, poverty to prosperity, and confusion to a clear vision for our lives. Terry says I shouldn’t be charging $20 for it because the printed pages cost about $2. But the revelation of New Covenant power has seen millions of dollars invested in making disciples and planting churches across Asia. Here’s a taste:
Centuries ago, some Bible publisher took the liberty of naming the two parts of the Bible, ‘The Old Testament’ and ‘The New Testament’, sometimes also referred to as the Old and New Covenants. This division takes place between Malachi and Matthew. Malachi was the last book written before the year ‘zero’, actually 400 years before. Then God broke that long silence by the most outstanding events the world has ever known – Jesus’ birth, ministry, death, and resurrection.
If we’re not paying close attention, these two man-made designations of the sections of the Bible can cause confusion about God’s covenant. The cannon of scripture is divided into two parts but the Bible itself does not call them the Old and New Testaments or Covenants.
Our western calendar calls this division “Before Christ’ and ‘After Christ’. The Buddhists have picked up on this to promote Buddha’s teaching as being more valid than Jesus’ because Buddha is about 500 years older than Jesus. Was Buddha before Jesus? No, John said, “(Jesus) was in the world, and the world was made through him, and the world did not know him.” Jesus is forever! The part of the Bible before Jesus’ earthly birth was not before Jesus; in fact, it is full of Jesus.
It would be more accurate to call the two sections of the Bible ‘Before Christmas’ and ‘After Christmas’, because that is the historical and only significance of that blank page stuck between Malachi and Matthew. The content of the two sections is inseparable. They are not, and do not contain, two separate covenants. I think I have your attention.