- Dr. Bill Peters
RESTOREing Operational Apostolic Leadership
Part 1: How Special Ops Churches are Apostolic Centers
Why the modern day Christian Church needs to transition into a Strategic Operational Model of this in order to fulfill the Great Commission.
Special Ops Church:
"SPECIAL OPS" is an abbreviation for the military term special operations. They are small, well-trained teams called upon to conduct difficult missions in enemy-controlled territory. Each branch of the military has a special ops group. The U.S. Navy has the SEALS, the Army has the Green Berets, and the Air Force has Para-rescue units. My experience in special operations came as a Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance team leader in Vietnam. Force Reconnaissance was the most elite unit in the U. S. Marine Corps for many years. The Marine Corps has recently merged Force Reconnaissance into an expanded unit called Marine Corps Forces-Special Operations Command, or MARSOC.
These elite bands of warriors perform at high levels of proficiency. When the Marine Corps selects men and women for special ops service, they look for people comfortable with submitting to other skilled leaders. A lone ranger attitude and a lack of team spirit will get special ops candidates in all branches of service quickly dropped from the training unit.
There are three military concepts found in the Bible. Exodus 15:3 says, "The Lord is a Man of War" (AMP), and prominent biblical figures such as David, Deborah, Barak, Sampson, and Gideon were in the military.
Jesus Christ operated His earthly ministry like a special cps unit. He trained twelve disciples to operate in small groups, and they became extremely effective in carrying out His assignment. He used their gifts and
developed them into a team that would take His message, the gospel, to the ends of the earth. Jesus truly used a special ops approach to spread His message to Israel and throughout the Roman Empire. He was in enemy-controlled territory for the entire three years of His ministry. But the special ops warrior runs most of his missions in territory controlled by the enemy. Jesus knew the spirit or potential evil that was in the men. He knew He was in the enemy's camp and conducted Himself accordingly.
Special ops Christians, first and foremost, are disciples who need a special ops church that will train them, but a disciple not only learns but also practices the teachings of Jesus Christ. Among many other things, he must be taught to operate in all the gifts of the Holy Spirit, as described in 1 Corinthians 12. How and by whom the special ops church teaches disciples to observe all that Jesus commanded can be found in Ephesians 4:11-16 (Niv).
It was He [Jesus Christ] who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
The special ops church recognizes that the preparation of God's people for the work of service is a team effort according to Ephesians 4:11. Disciples are "to grow up into him who is the Head, that is Christ," under men and women who hold certain five-fold ministry offices. It is very clear that if the church has not attained to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ, the work of five-fold ministry is still necessary. The special ops church must realize: (1) "the unity in the faith," (2) "in the knowledge of the Son of God," (3) "become mature," (4) "attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ" (Eph. 4:13, NIV). I know of no church, special ops or conventional, that has attained to the fullness of Christ. The church will make great strides toward fullness when it disciples the majority of its members.
Special ops churches are needed in every size. Both small and mega-size ministries can be special ops churches if the leadership is willing to train people to be disciples of Jesus. In small churches, nearly the entire congregation can be trained. Megachurches can train congregants for special operations because they usually have a vast pool of people-potential special ops Christians-from which to draw.
Special Ops Christians are gifted to go places other Christians are not called to. For example, some special ops Christians are called to work in support roles. People in these positions should not be taken for granted, because they are vital to special operators working on the front lines carrying out the mission on local and international fronts. I have seen disciples in their eighties fulfilling their calling in support roles. Military logistics and supply also play major roles in every battle. There are many jobs available in the Lord's plan for His kingdom.
A special ops church is operational. Being operational means the church not only has a kingdom vision but a strong plan of action to carry it out. This book is designed to help churches identify and develop their special ops capability.
According the U.S. military, special ops units have fewer casualties, even though their mission is usually more dangerous. As you read this book, it will become apparent why their strategies and tactics are successful.
Bill Peters. The Special Ops Church (p. 7). Kindle Edition.
Apostolic centers are churches where apostles, prophets, and other five-fold ministry gifts are in abundance. They are places of training as well as places where doctrine is discussed, and through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, strategic plans are drawn up for the advancement of the kingdom of God in the earth. Jerusalem, Antioch, and Ephesus were all apostolic centers in the early church. -ACTS 15:1-2, AMP
In the past, men have tried to work out of a local church mentality where five-fold ministry was not recognized and often quenched. Apostolic centers can give birth to new apostolic special cps churches and new apostolic centers. Often apostolic companies made up of a team of five-fold ministers and believers with other giftings will be sent to establish these new expressions of church. -ACTS 13:1-4, AMP
Apostolic centers arise where God begins to do a strategic work in a given territory. Apostolic centers can be likened to military command centers. Each command center in the military is set up to best serve the accomplishment of the mission and overall objective of the battle. The gifts gathered around an apostolic center will ultimately define its main purpose in God's grand strategic objective. The Marine Corps is generally organized around squads of six men, platoons (thirty men), companies (250 men), battalions (one thousand men), regiments (four thousand men), and divisions (twelve thousand men). In this configuration of personnel, there are command centers set up for communications, logistics, motor transport, air support, artillery, intelligence, and operations, among others. I say all of this to say that you cannot cookie-cut apostolic centers. They will differ in purpose and mission according to the sovereign will of God. It will take the Holy Spirit to get the centers into perfect unity of command in the years ahead. With men, this kind of unity of purpose seems impossible, but "with God all things are possible" (Matt. 19:26).
Bill Peters. The Special Ops Church (pp. 62-63). Kindle Edition.
According the 1828 Dictionary:
APOS'TLE, noun [Latin apostalus; Gr. to send away, to sent.]
A person deputed to execute some important business; but appropriately, a disciple of Christ commissioned to preach the gospel. Twelve persons were selected by Christ for this purpose; and Judas, one of the number, proving an apostate, his place was supplied by Matthias. Acts 1:2.
The title of apostle is applied to Christ himself, Hebrews 3:1. In the primitive ages of the church, other ministers were called apostles, Romans 16:7
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