The “structure” of the Body of Christ…a family

I’ve sort of had a love-hate relationship with Kris Valloten’s messages (no offense Kris, if I ever meet you! 😉 ). His humor, often self-effacing, is engaging but sometimes one can detect what seems a sort of lack-of-confidence defensiveness in his delivery. I have to overcome that to get to the good stuff of his messages…and there is really good stuff!

At any rate, recently two messages of his were posted at Bethel Church in fairly rapid succession (Bill must have been traveling a lot!) and they really struck me. The first one is on the 5-fold ministry from Ephesians 4:11 and the second was on Fatherhood, which he gave on Father’s Day. For me these two messages really dovetailed together with things that God’s been speaking to me about.

Several times this spring, I’ve heard extended teaching on spiritual parents/children and about the generational transfer of inheritance. Tied with that is the honoring of our preceding generation and succeeding generations. Tied with that is honoring the special graces that God has placed on each individual person. Tied with that is receiving God’s unique graces through each other. This may be one of the key messages that God is emphasizing in the Body of Christ right now. It certainly is one of the messages that is being emphasized to me and in our community of faith here in France.

There is a sense that God desires to pour out a special “grace”, “anointing”, “blessing” (pick your pregnant term) on His Body in order to impact our society more significantly. The amount of this impartation is what is in the balance. The amount needed to really facilitate change and advance God’s Kingdom is more than individuals can handle…it would crush them. Picture someone with no foundation in their life winning the lottery. We see it over and over again with the real lotteries and with young professional sports “first-round-draft-picks”. The enormous blessing becomes a curse. Lives of promise become a parody of success at best and end tragically at worst.

God NEEDS to pour out an enormous blessing on His Church in order for them to be the Kingdom agents He called them to be (way back even in Genesis 1:28!) How does He do it and not crush us? He needs to pour out His blessing “corporately.” This is not of course meaning on a “business.” In fact if you look at the word “corporately”, you see the Latin root “corp-“, which means “body”.

Sum it up:

  • God has chosen to draw the world to Him as a loving Father, King of all Creation, to live in loving, family relationship with benevolent stewardship of His Creation
  • God has chosen to use His Son Jesus as the perfect image of the Father and the only way into relationship with the Father
  • Jesus’ body on earth is the Church…agents of His Kingdom and His image-bearers in Creation
  • His Body on earth is His principal agency of connection between the spiritual and physical realms…those who are tasked with bringing Heaven to earth
  • Jesus put His Spirit in us, the spark of life that gives us the possibility to live and function as members of One Body and to be coordinated with the Head…Jesus

At this point then, we’re only “saved individuals” with simply a potential to be effective agents of God’s transforming power in Creation. It’s a pretty good deal, but it’s not enough. The kind of power we need to wield in order to affect the changes needed in Creation is simply too much for us as individuals. God desires to pour out His power, but He’s made us in such a way that we’re unable to effectively carry His power as individuals. He values family and relationship too much to allow us to simply “do tasks” and be rewarded for it…as individuals.

As a corporate body, however…

As a family, however…

That’s another story and that’s where these two teachings by Kris Valloten come in. I encourage you to learn about the “authority structures” that facilitate the impartations of grace that we need in his teaching on the 5-fold ministry and the “family structures” that establish love in our hearts and honor for one another that cause us to flow together as more than an a well-oiled machine or an organization, but an organism…a body…a family. When this occurs, we become vessels ready for God’s poured-out blessing, His anointing, His transforming power. We, as a body, as a family, are then positioned to live as transforming agents of our Father’s Kingdom…our destiny all along.

Fatherhood (mp3 24Mb) (link to watch as video on Bethel’s site – free registration required)

The role of the 5-fold ministry (mp3 26Mb) (link to watch as video on Bethel’s site – free registration required)