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By John Eckhardt

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If we are willing to give God our Isaac, He is more than willing to give us Jesus. He wants to give us more of the presence of Jesus in the Church, but it will not come without the inclining of our ears to hear what thus saith the Lord. The future of the Church hangs in the balance of whether the present leadership will sacrifice its notions of keeping potential apostles in the pastoral office, glued to the pulpits that make them secure. There are thousands of pastors who are not responding to the apostolic call for fear of what their congregations, or even worse, what other pastors will think.

Many pastors think in terms of maintaining order and safety within the local church. The apostolic and prophetic gifts are more radical and progressive. Apostles are pioneers and risk takers. They are not afraid to receive and release new things. As long as our churches are governed by pastoral mind-sets, you will continue to see many gifts restricted and held back. There are many people with apostolic and prophetic gifts who are frustrated in churches because of leaders who are unable to release them.

We have locked many of them into a pastoral role and not allowed them to function in the calling of an apostle. The Church has been pastoral for so long until we have not known any other way. But God is challenging the church to change and come in line with his purpose. Once apostles are released, we will see the release of thousands of pastors within the local church to help shepherd the flock. The cell group movement illustrates this point. The need for cell groups was birthed out of the need for believers to receive and be a part of ministry in a small group context.

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