Church affiliation /affiliation of churches is important to many independent churches, especially in developing countries.
I am not promoting church affiliation as one would promote a product! Here we are speaking about sacred things – the things of God! Actually since the days of the Reformation, the truth of the priesthood of believers means that we don’t need a hierarchical structure to God. There is only one Mediator between man and God and His name is Jesus Christ.
However, many churches throughout many nations have approached me over the years to provide leadership and oversight.
I have realised that God has been bringing churches and ministries to me. It has not been of man, but of God.
Is this Scriptural? Why would a ministry affiliate to a network of churches? Let us reason together.
Firstly, it is the restoration of the apostolic ministry in the last days. An apostle provides leadership to a network of ministries. Apostle Paul had a ministry like this. It was given to him by God. It was something which he had to fulfill. An apostle is different from the rest of the five-fold ministries. The apostle can flow in the anointing of all the five-fold ministries. Historically, the pastor, teacher and evangelist has been at the forefront in ministry. It is only in the last days that the ministry of the prophet and the apostle has been fully restored. The apostolic leadership brings forth the foundation of Jesus Christ and the importance on developing a deep and close relationship with Jesus Christ.
Secondly, it also is important to be connected when the last revival breaks out.
Those under God’s network of churches also enjoy the transference of the anointing which flows through the network.
There is a picture of the prophet Samuel pouring oil on the head of David and the oil drips down from his head to his body. This is how the anointing flows in the body of Christ. Of course, the anointing comes from Jesus Himself and we all can receive directly from God today.
Thirdly, there is revelation which comes forth from apostolic leadership. Many today call themselves apostles. There are many movements today. It is important to discern correctly who to trust and who to avoid. The doctrine is important. The anointing and the doctrine are one. We need to discern between lukewarm Laodicea and what God is truly doing in these last days. Don’t judge by outward appearance. Don’t necessary follow the biggest ministries or the wealthiest ministries. Only God can show you the true way in these perilous times.
Lastly, there is safety coming under a network of churches. We are living in perilous times. The world is becoming darker and darker. Ministers and churches can also be tempted by satan. The church should influence the world. However, sometimes Satan gains entrance and then the world influences the church. We need to walk carefully before God in these last days.
In summary, there are many benefits to church affiliation. However, this is only true if God is really in it. Consider this as we patiently wait for the last revival to break out throughout the world.