CREATING A KINGDOM CULTURE

PURSUING CHRIST UNTIL HE IS FULLY FORMED IN US 


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Teleios is a community of believers that cultivates a culture of learning the word of God so that Christ can be fully formed in us. 

We are a vibrant and diverse house. We relentlessly pursue God through His word and authentic worship. We also believe in honouring one another's gifts and calling, because that is what makes us a fully furnished house - equipped to fulfil our mandate which is to bring others to Christ and to a place of maturity in Christ.

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"The Word of God ministered must bring about Revelation, Affirmation, and/or Prophecy" 
by Pastor Brandon Bailey

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By Teleios Church 07 Apr, 2017

One of the greatest phenomenon of our times undoubtedly is social media. Social media has grown into one massive village where we get to see how people think and process realities. I am a preacher and as a result I subscribe and follow those who articulate the Holy Scriptures and those who shape the framework of operations for the 21st century church. Bible School in the early 2000 exposed me to the thinking of qualified individuals, social media on the other hand exposes me to the thinking of ordinary individuals and also fellow labourers in the vineyard of God. Social media gives us a variety of opinions and perspectives. One area concerning the 21st century church that plagues me is the way The OLD GUARD and THE YOUNG GUARD of church relate to one another.  I am in my mid 30s now, considered too old to relate with those in their mid-20s and considered too young to sit in the circle of those in their early 50s. I think it is a privileged position to be in between these age groups because it gives me a balanced perspective.

 Most of the time when I consider the very complicated relationship between the Old Guard and the New Guard I am often embarrassed because what I often see is not doctrinal differences but personal differences. I have come across several social media posts where a young man has no malicious intent and an older preacher would bring “correction” just for the sake of it. On the other hand I have seen younger preachers blasting older preachers with no regard for their age or experience. The question we have to ask is: How did we get here?


1.     We are dealing with strong traditions not necessarily strong biblical positions

In the year 2010 my apostolic covering with a team of elders ordained me into the office of apostle. I was in my late 20s. For a season I would not walk in the identity of apostle, primarily because I knew in the African context everything is qualified by age and experience. The Apostle Paul in his epistle to the church in Corinth speaks about abandoning certain convictions temporarily for the sake of those who are weak in their faith, I did exactly that. I did not debate it or tried to prove it because I knew some were weak in their faith shallow in their understanding. I left the cynic to be cynical and I left the foolish to be foolish. When the season of accommodating the traditionalist passed I stepped out in greater boldness and embraced my apostolic call in its fullness. I did not apologize for it and whoever had an opinion about it I educated through scripture and history.  We must give the traditionalist a chance to see the difference between scripture and tradition but we must not be afraid after a season to confront wrong thinking and to correct erroneous positions. The problem often with the old guard is that they want to hold the new guard ransom with traditions that have no biblical precedence and that wrong thinking must be confronted at some stage.  The young generation must be patient but the old generation must also be repentant. They must repent from wrong beliefs and allow the younger generation to walk in the freedom of their call if it is well within the boundaries of scripture. Since then I have had several very senior spiritual leaders confirm and affirm the apostolic call upon my life. What helped me was my patience and tolerance for those that lacked a biblical view on spiritual matters.


2.     We define our calling by our ability to control people not by our spiritual identity

It is a known fact that as we grow older we start panicking when we see our control over people fading. Most spiritual leaders build their ministry on principles of control. Control gives us a false sense of confidence and strokes our egos. We fail dismally to manage individuals who ask questions and who have the boldness to challenge the status quo. It is for this reason why we should never allow the numbers and the possessions to define who we are. We should allow the anointing on our lives and God’s divine calling to shape that and give meaning to our lives.  In Luke 10 when Jesus sends out a group of disciples it is of interest to note that he does not send them with any possessions and servants. He sends them away with nothing. The principle he was teaching them was that ministry is built on the premise of Him (Jesus) sending them. It was not built on materialism and not on how many individuals submit to them and serve them, the call stands alone.

Herein is the challenge, when we as ministers lose that control over a period of time we start picking unnecessary fights with people to prove our authority and seniority. King Saul picked on David because he was losing control and He needed a fight to prove seniority and authority. Some of the fights happening between the old guard and the young guard are purely driven by ego. God calls us God anoints us and God sends us, this should be good enough for us to overcome our insecurities.

 

3.     Relationships are no longer spontaneous, they are predefined

A scary thought in the 21st century church is that some clergy will only relate to one another in a predefined hierarchal structure and will not give a relationship any chance of developing spontaneously. We struggle to meet with one another as fellow labourers in the vineyard we want to meet as senior and junior and father and son. We first want to negotiate who sits where on the table before we actually sit down at the table. I fully understand matters of rank and seniority and I respect that. I also relate and submit to a spiritual father.

With that said there are certain individuals whose mind I love but I have no release to submit to their structures or join their network . The unfortunate reality in the 21st century church is that we are selling networks we are not building relationships. God is changing that dynamic and more and more individuals will build the work collectively as friends and not this flawed and archaic framework that bullies people into submission instead of embracing them as friends.  Jesus said to his disciples in John 15:15 “……today I call you friends…” I am convinced that the silly issues between the old guard and the young guard will fade into oblivion if we value friendship more then what we value position.

 

4.     A generation obsessed with popularity

The Achilles heel of the young guard is the obsession with popularity. This is a generation that will do the unthinkable for attention. When such silliness is left unchecked it evolves into our new normal. It is preposterous for the young guard to think older men will say nothing. Sadly the young guard is untouchable and interpret all forms of correction as hate and jealousy. In fact the most popular slogan amongst the young guard is “haters”. For the life of me I can’t understand how is it even possible that men who have built credible ministries, raised up sons, led countless numbers to the saving grace of Jesus Christ can hate a young man who possess only a mic and a sermon. The young guard must stop it with seeking popularity and start working at being sound and solid. The unfortunate part is that the young guard do not know the difference between cool things and biblical things. Our cool effect gives us following, but that following is often so shallow and sadly that shallow following seems to validate us. Authentic ministry validation always comes from a place of seniority not from our juniors. Everyone in scripture was endorsed and validated by the top down and not the bottom up. Get some seniors around you for guidance and just park the popularity project for a short while. The need for popularity is robbing this generation from being doctrinally sound and it is good that the old guard is correcting this.


5.     Peer level ordinations is a concern

I believe that there is a biblical precedence for ordinations in the book of Acts. In fact the premise for all ordinations was threefold: The call of God, The Testimony of the elders, and The Testimony of the congregation. Today we are experiencing the crazy model of peer level ordinations, ministry colleagues ordain each other. This radical shift in how ordinations are done continue to gain ground because of the young guard wanting to exist and run ministry without any form of accountability. The young guard must learn to value process and stop it with pursuing convenience. Process builds credibility and it is critical that we have credibility in the office that we stand. This blatant disregard for process continues to aggravate the old guard and rightly so. If anyone is called into a sacred office few people can dispute that, but the process is always up for discussion. The church of Jesus Christ has the right to ask any minister of the gospel how he got to that place. If you got there the right way that question is very easy to answer, if you got there the wrong way that question will be very offensive.

These are challenges we have to confront in the 21st century church. If we can honestly answer some of these questions and do a critical introspection of our own hearts we might actually be able to establish a good working relation between the young guard and the old guard. The old guard must never forget that they were once young and the young guard must not walk through life as if they will never be old. This awareness is good for humility and continued introspection. Our walk as clergy is one of continued introspection and self-correction. We must allow Holy Spirit to correct our walk for the sake of the church and build generationally...


By Brandon Bailey

By Teleios Church 16 Mar, 2017
Let me start off by saying that fasting is biblical and should be encouraged amongst all believers. Jesus the author and finisher of our faith fasted for extended periods of time and made the following statement concerning fasting

Matthew 2:18-20
“18And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to fast: and they come and say unto him, Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but thy disciples fast not? 19And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. 20But the days will come when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days”

With that said a question that’s been running around in mind is just how did Prophet Daniel become the benchmark for Christian fasting? The Daniel Fast as it is often referred to have taken Christianity by storm so much so that we have menus for the fast and food suggestions for this particular fast.

The word fasting comes from the Hebrew word “tsum”The word denotes the idea of abstaining from food or to cover one's mouth. That would suggest historically that the essence of fasting was a complete abstinence from food. Prophet Daniel being a Hebrew prophet understood this perhaps with the greatest convictions than most of us in the 21st-century church context.

There are two scriptures we read in conjunction when it comes to Daniel and his lifestyle of fasting that are not necessarily connected.

Daniel 1:8-16
“8But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. 9Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel, 10but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.”11Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12“Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” 14So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.15At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. 16So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.”

What transpired in this particular portion of scripture is not a fast. Daniel and co refrained from indulging in royal food because according to their Hebrew customs they could not partake in certain foods (Leviticus 11). The Law of Moses prohibited them from just eating any type of food. The other reason why they refrained from partaking was not because they were on a fast but because they were in Babylon and some of the meat on the table was offerings to Babylonian gods. In verse 16 we see how the other slaves were introduced to the Hebrew diet and not the Hebrew fast. In Daniel 10 we are introduced to the Daniel fast

Daniel 10:1-3
“1In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia, a revelation was given to Daniel (who was called Belteshazzar). Its message was true and it concerned a great war.The understanding of the message came to him in a vision.2At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. 3I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.”

The fast Daniel observed here was consistent with the fasting of other historical Hebrew Prophets and Hebrew Communities and that was complete abstinence from food. This is the same fast Jesus engaged in Matthew 4 which was consistent with his Hebraic roots. When we cross-reference Daniel 10 with Daniel 1 we create a model that did not exist in ancient Jewish traditions.

The Daniel Fast we advocate in the 21st-century church is more consistent with the practice of Lent. Lent is a period of forty days in which Christians separate themselves and prepare themselves for the Easter Period by abstaining from certain pleasures over that period of time. This was an ancient church tradition which was established and agreed upon by the Council of Nicea AD325. Prior to the council of Nicea Christians globally fasted as a means of separation and consecration in preparation for Easter Baptism. This particular council sought to establish uniformity.

Christian commentator Nicholas Russo describes it this way:
“We can surmise that Lent’s establishment before Easter was part of a broader movement toward alignment and standardization begun at the Council of Nicea and continued throughout the fourth century.”

The phenomenon that we call “The Daniel Fast” is perhaps more a Pentecostal/charismatic model of Lent then what it is an actual biblical fast. We have to separate the diet of Daniel from the fast of Daniel. It is not the same thing. If we are to genuinely follow the example of Daniel then it should be according to Daniel chapter 10 and not Daniel chapter 1.

The church in the 21st century must return to a bible based fast and not an upgraded diet. We must make a distinction between eating less and fasting. The problem with the Protestant Movement is that we are trying to create Catholic Alternatives instead of biblical standards and patterns. This, unfortunately, has compromised true biblical practices and in this case, true biblical fasting.
It is important that from time to time we revisit church trends and church phenomenon and ask the complex question of “How did we get to this point?”

The Daniel Fast and The Daniel diet are not the same thing and the sooner we accept that the sooner we restore credibility to the name of this ancient Prophet who revealed so much to us.

The time is upon us as the church to return to God’s way of fasting……
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