Priorities set by pressure empty the soul. In this world, you will have pressure. Pressure is constant. Need is a harsh, demanding cry in your eats.
Jesus says, In this world, you will have pressure. Have great joy! I have overcome the world.”
I was hoping He would overcome the pressure so it would go away. He overcomes the world system – and so do we – but the pressure of demanding distractions continues.
Pressure does not set your priorities.
Apostolic Leadership Roles
Jesus teaches His disciples to problem solve. “Wash feet if you want to be a leader.” Yet, this does not mean a leader lives by demanding distractions.
When the apostles starting leading in the role of apostle, they did specific things. Their leadership had specific role definitions. They set priorities.
When a need arose on the basis of prejudice and ethnicity, they did not respond to need but to principle. They had been producing leaders who could do the stuff. So, they said, “You guys pick some leaders from this bunch to solve this problem.” (It was not much of a problem. It just needed some leadership.)
“It would not be appropriate for us to leave our priorities to serve tables.”
The word apresko means “what satisfies or pleases with a sense of serving someone or something properly.” So, the meaning here is about fulfilling our assignment to Jesus. Our job description defines our role and responsibilities. We would not be doing our job properly to neglect our priorities to solve this problem.
We have trained other people who can solve this problem. Choose some that you are willing to allow to fix the inappropriate with something appropriate. You cannot solve this problem without leadership. Submit to leadership by choosing some leaders from our short list of anointed brothers.
They had a priority of the Word of God. They say, “We would be inappropriate to our role as leaders to neglect or leave behind the word of God to serve tables.”
Not that leaders can’t serve tables. Oh, they can! The point of this statement is not that apostles are too good to get their hands dirty or need to send hatchet men to solve problems while they pontificate. The point is one of priority.
Apostles doing something other than would apostles not being apostles at all. Other leaders were assigned a temporary mission. They went back to other issues once this was resolved. It wasn’t a full-time job for Stephen and his fellows. (The word “deacon” is not used in this passage, and I do not believe these were deacons.) The problem solving required leaders, and apostles have priorities that trump table settings.
Your Apostolic Priorities
The apostles did solve the problem.
They did not diminish their priorities in solving the problem. The simplest solution is the best one. They sent leaders to lead. They defused the tension with simple instructions. The people listened to these leaders because they had been trained by the apostles to do the stuff.
But, the word of God continued as the highest priority for the apostles.
Should we assume this remains the highest priority for apostles, or should we assume the modern gratuitous list of things used to identify apostles serves as their job description? We have little idea what to do as an apostle, it appears because the list is as long as a stretched bungee cord.
Being all things to all people as an apostle in your tiny apostolic center or downline little man bailiwick is a ridiculous assumption. Apostle as king stinks to high heaven. Apostle as a bully is weird. Apostle as godfather is an offer you cannot refuse. (A bit of humor there.) Apostle as my own grandpa is Saturday Evening Post mush.”
Apostle and the word of God sets the entire kingdom culture into place.
If you are an apostle and you are not setting kingdom culture into place, you are distracted by lesser priorities, have failed to produce leaders who can problem solve, and are insisting to micromanage.
Everyone in the kingdom of God should have a very good idea what kingdom cu.ture is by now after an apostolic restoration. Instead, we have a belly full of bozo fake apostles running around acting like circus clowns. Apostolic circus performers do not establish the kingdom.
Your job as an apostle is to convince people to bold living. The lifestyle is the kingdom. The kingdom has a culture.
To understand what Paul means by preaching with a powerful demonstration and fail to establish and enforce kingdom culture is to miss the priorities of your apostolic role.
If you have not identified Cain, Balaam, and Korah by demonstrating the power of the kingdom Gospel, you have failed to enforce the word of God. If you have not produced leaders who can problem solve, you have failed as an apostle.
If you are just leading modern church-anity with “apostle” in front of your name because some fly-by-night fraud gave you a title so you would be part of his downline, you need to start all over with a real apostle and start up again in seven-ten years in your true calling.
Apostolic isn’t being an apostle. Apostolic is doing what apostles do. They establish the kingdom and kingdom culture. That will mean people dropping dead, people being thrown out on their rear ends, and people with petty silliness like not feeding widows who are Greek will get a good dose of apostolic correction.
It will not mean that you keep saying, “Do I have to come over there?”
Stop building on church growthism. It is not a kingdom structure. It is a subcultural anomaly. If you just changed your title to apostle but keep doing the same things you did as CEO of the corporation, you are not apostolic and probably not an apostle at all.
The initial idea that the apostle of the region pastored the largest church in the region has been dismissed from class. It wore a dunce hat for a few years and sat in the corner. Now, it has no desk in the classroom.
We restored the apostle without apostolic architecture. We have apostles who cannot handle the word of God. We have apostles without a Didache to train people to obey all Jesus commanded. Apostles establish the kingdom culture.
We even have apostles swapping wives, stealing money, and using witchcraft prophecy to recruit a downline. We have apostles in racism.
We do nothing about it. “God will take care of it,” we say in the most obvious way possible revealing we are not very good apostles.
Apostolic Amway is the trend. Apostolic Tupperware parties are the go. Apostolic marketing amasses an accumulation.
When a problem arises, nothing happens. We shoot our wounded. We send the Greek widows to the world for nourishment because they are rocking the boat. We send out the minions to recruit more people who don’t have problems.
Listen, we do have no profile for recruiting people into the kingdom of God. The practice of profiling recruits is wicked. Profiling potential is an antichrist practice. Profiling people with “This will make my downline stronger” is just plain 100% wrong.
With the apostolic restoration, we should have a clear picture of kingdom culture. We do not. With the apostolic restoration, we should have a foundation for Reformation. We have not restored apostles and prophets to foundational function.
We have walked away from apostolic priorities.