A DEVELOPING NETWORK OF APOSTOLIC LEADERS IN SCOTLAND COMMITTED TO FULFILLING THE GREAT COMMISSION AND THE TWO GREAT COMMANDMENTS
““So they signalled to their partners in the other boat to come and help …”
CONNECT – 5-fold; leaders; apostles; marketplace; church; individual and corporate, people, spheres, churches, ministries
RELATE– building relationships, collaboration, alliance, covenant
EQUIP – Teach, train, impart
RESOURCE– Develop, disciple, envision/strategise
RELEASE – “send”, impact, influence
First steps …
Catherine Brown received a blue print from the Lord during a time of prayer in 2008 in which God spoke to her about the formation of a new apostolic network in Scotland. She shared the blue print for the apostolic network proposal with a number of leaders with whom she had relationship and found agreement with many leaders on moving forward to explore what a new apostolic network in the nation could look like and how it might function.
A small core team was formed for the purposes of apostolic unity, fellowship and accountability – Catherine Brown, Gordon Cowan, Bert McKaig and Jim Ritchie being the four initial core team members. Bert took some time out to recover from a bout of ill health and is now recovering well and involved in other ministry endeavours. Jim and Gordon have also moved on due to other pressing ministry commitments and our team is now joined by Gary and Kim Carter, leaders of Life Church International. They are originally from Canada and are now based in Arbroath.
Out of this micro-consultation emerged a need to consult and share the vision with a wider group of leaders and request their input and counsel. To this end a vision casting/consultative meeting was held in Glasgow in January 2009, with a cross section of leaders from various parts of Scotland. Rev Lukas Njenga kindly hosted the network meeting for us at Strathclyde University.
THE PROPOSAL/MAIN OBJECTIVES OF THE VISION
The Scottish Apostolic Network is a fresh wine skin to connect apostolic leaders, i.e. “sent ones” in the harvest fields of Scotland, providing an exciting and bold opportunity to explore apostolic function and effectiveness together. It will enable Christian leadership in Scotland to interact, exchange and nurture ideas and together develop on-going Kingdom strategy. As an apostolic network it will seek to embrace the five-fold ministry gifts of apostle, prophet, teacher, evangelist and pastor (Ephesians 4:11, 1 Corinthians 12:28) and unite apostolic leaders in Scotland across the market place, mission field, multi-faceted networks and denominations regardless of ethnicity, age or gender.
- Strengthen and develop existing Kingdom alliances and nurture new ones
- Provide a forum for ministerial fellowship and prayer with others in apostolic leadership
- Encourage relationship-based collaboration between apostolic ministries along with the sharing of resources
- Emerge a new generation of united apostolic leadership in the nation
- Develop understanding of what Biblical apostolic ministry is and how it functions in the Body of Christ
- Develop ongoing apostolic strategy through prayerful and humble exchange of revelation, experience and resource
- As an eventual outflow of the network, emergence of apostolic/prophetic council(s) or “round table” both regionally and nationally
THE PURPOSE OF THE DAY WAS TO:
(a) Discuss the Scottish Apostolic Networking Enterprise proposal
(b) Ascertain what type of networks presently exist in Scotland and discuss if the proposed new apostolic network had a place and function at this time in our nation
(c) Look briefly at apostolic ministry function and consider types of NT apostolic leaders
(d) Make a prayerful and united decision about the way forward
Conclusions from the vision casting day …
The leaders present agreed with the value base of modelling Christ-likeness in leadership, which included advancing the Kingdom, building the Kingdom, building up the Body of Christ, exploring the functionality of apostolic leadership, valuing the plurality of leadership i.e. team ministry and encouraging the concept of a council of equals within the apostolic sphere of ministerial relationships in an attitude of submission to each other and mutual respect out of love for Christ.
- The general consensus was that there is a need for increased apostolic networking in Scotland and that the new apostolic network had the potential to encourage and connect leaders of ministries, churches, networks and the marketplace under a specific remit to explore apostolic ministry and functionality together.
- It was also recognised that without being purposeful and clear about the objectives of the network we could miss this important opportunity.
- All of the leaders present were keen to honour what already exists in Scotland and to explore how we can all be inter-connected and communicate more effectively and efficiently for the furtherance of the Gospel in Scotland. Particular reference was made to Leaders Together for Scotland, the Scottish Network of Churches, CLAN, ICCC and BMF as well as some of the large churches in the nation.
Next steps …
Following the consultation meeting in Glasgow the following steps were agreed and implemented
The Scottish Apostolic Network will meet twice a year on a national basis, at which time leaders from around the nation are warmly invited to a time of prayer, fellowship and exploring apostolic ministry and functionality together.
These meeting are being held at various geographical locations to enable leaders from all parts of Scotland to be within travelling distance to at least one apostolic network meeting per year. Meetings have been held in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Perth and Glasgow.
An on-line presence was established on Facebook to be a useful resource for the purpose of sharing news about future meetings, events, conferences etc. and also to be a means for the sharing of testimony, teaching and revelation on apostolic ministry including book reviews, apostolic prayers, mission etc. The Scottish Apostolic Network can be found on https://www.facebook.com/groups/138638636178405/
It was muted that the creation of regional groupings of the apostolic network would be of interest. People could meet on a more regular basis in their local area, whilst at the same time developing partnership and vision with other like-minded leaders in Scotland who are part of the Scottish Apostolic Network.
The network plans to facilitate an annual national conference with a specific emphasis on apostolic ministry.
We are actively encouraging collaboration between church and ministry leaders and market place leaders to accelerate effective Kingdom mission in Scotland. We have already worked together with a number of leaders on an Ebook entitled “Apostolic Appetizers.” A free copy can be down loaded from http://www.gatekeepers.org.uk/images/stories/PDFs/apostolicappetizers.pdf
Those who contributed to the first booklet include Jim Ritchie, Gordon Cowan, Catherine Brown, Bert McKaig, Olu Robin-Coker, Alan McWilliam, Keith Short, Tommy MacNeil, Pete Gilbert, Douglas Flett and Karl Martin.
What next … ???
REGIONAL APOSTOLIC FORUMS
Having spent almost three years establishing a relational national foundation for the network, the core team are now keen to develop the Scottish Apostolic Network throughout Scotland.
We believe the next stage of the development of the Scottish Apostolic Network is to work together with other leaders to establish regional expressions of the apostolic network in the form of Regional Apostolic Forums.
These Regional Apostolic Forums will be led by leaders from each region and will be developed by the leaders on the ground in their respective area. We are not looking for a “one size fits all” forum. We anticipate that each regional forum will have its own unique feel and flavour, whilst at the same time maintaining relational links to the Scottish Apostolic Network. We are keen to encourage diversity within the apostolic network and welcome and encourage active input and innovation from those who have a heart for the apostolic ministry.
We will be delighted to meet up with leaders who are interested in developing a regional expression of the Scottish Apostolic Network. We suggest that a group of 2-6 leaders per region, with proven leadership ability, ability to network with other leaders and who are conversant with apostolic functionality would be a good foundation for each Regional Apostolic Forum.
We anticipate that each Regional Apostolic Forum would enjoy meeting at least twice a year in their own area, with a further commitment to come together with others who are part of the Scottish Apostolic Network for our annual national conference.
If YOU are interested in helping to be part of an apostolic team in your city or region we would love to hear from you.
You can contact us by email on:
We look forward to hearing from you and to developing the Scottish Apostolic Network together,
Catherine Brown, Gary and Kim Carter