In the history of man there have been many kinds of leaders who have captured their time with a strong vision and were able to bring about real change.  For good or for bad, men and women can dictate the direction of world affairs as well as in the church of Jesus Christ. Only when we look back on their work can we rightly discern its true merit, then and only then can we truly judge their body of work as we observe its long term impact on succeeding generations.  This will enable us to really know and really calculate if their attempts to restore the words of Truth and assist all of mankind and move them toward the idea of restoration of all that man was to before the awesome presence of God. 

Presidents Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Kennedy, and Reagan enjoy good treatment from historians, but many others are treated with much more severity.  How mortal men judge a man's work is mostly based on economics, state of national security, and justice offered to the population.   We in the kingdom of heaven must judge according to a different standard.

The best of the reformers and leaders in the church age are evaluated on the results of bringing the people back to the unvarnished words of God, but also they are measured by the legacy of their work by the state of the churches they left behind.  Men like Charles and John Wesley, Charles Spurgeon, and Jonathan Edwards are measured primarily on their personal efforts to extend the gospel then on those men or women they raised up to pioneer a work of restoring the vintage truths found in the message of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.  We value them on the ministry they personally led and other ministry works they pioneered while they were graced with the opportunity to lead God's people.  But many of these succeeding ministries are all but dead and apostate.  

While Jesus left us with 12 personally trained disciples who pioneered something that has truly lasted until our day.  We can learn much more from the ministry of Jesus and His personally trained disciples then we can from the men who succeeded them.

Which leads me to the discussion of our time.  Who will we immolate?  In our work of restoration the Lord is calling us to perform is bigger then what we have come to witness in our modern day churches.  Yes, my friends much bigger.  Our goals must reach, like Jesus, all the way to the Father's heart, and as such, we will move only as He leads us in order to powerfully reach our lost and dying world with the message of His Love. 

In past movements, back in the 1600's - early 1900's great evangelists and the extension of their ministries took much more time to develop then the works that launch today.  These works were hazardous; men would have to charter boats that might take months to reach the destination planned.  Savages might greet them with knives or hunt them like animals.  

Today we have the luxury of moving very quickly from place to place and our words can be broadcasted over the internet to the entire world in seconds.  If we just stop and think about how incredible a tool our modern day technology is and how this amazing medium could effectively change the planet, it would blow our minds.
What then is lacking in our efforts to reach the world for Christ?  When I observe many of these new movements spreading across our world, I hear of large numbers of people gathered in one place, a large central meeting place, this work continues to grow and increase and STAY focused in the same location where the work started!   But does the work truly invade the community around the church?  Will the work be able to transform whole towns and cities in Jesus Name?
Why don't they actually transform whole cities in the Name of Christ?  I believe that these kinds of short-sighted moves tend to stay internally focused rather imbibing a long-term, heaven focused goal.  The new converts that are brought in should feel a sense of urgency to go back out into God's field to reach more people for Christ and they should be trained to start new works in other places.  

For some reason we seem to make the new converts a consumer of the work rather then a developer of the work!!  They stay focused on keeping the enterprise running rather then transforming lives of needy people around them. I believe this kind of activity is about to end!  God is not going to put up with this anymore!

In my lifetime I have also witnessed church movements that have grown successfully, but have been preoccupied with building their brand rather then connecting the body of Christ.  Jesus did not save us so we could build our brand and make our ministry famous; we exist on planet earth to make Jesus famous!  This reality touches almost every sector of Christendom... none of us are exempt!  Sadly, we all fall prey to this materialistic thinking!

From our pretty worship leaders that draw people to salivate with amazement at their talent, to the music groups that attract the large crowds in stadiums, to those who gather in throngs to watch their performances, to the big TV personalities that are focused their enterprise survival, to the lavish TV budgets that raise large amounts of cash to stay operational, oh my is this us?  What in the world of the apostle Paul is going on here in America?

We have become so people focused when we should be Christ focused.  We know the Word of God teaches us that we are His subjects to preach His Message, but some of us keep falling back into the same trap!  This morning I was meditating on this verse out of Ephesians with some friends, here is Paul's view on the proper Christ-centered perspective we all should seek after:

"that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth--in Him."
We are at a pivotal time in human history.  The Lord is gathering together all things into one place both in heavenly places and on the earth.  In this gathering process we have no room for self absorbed people or branded ministries!   The Lord must, and shall be, our longing and our desire.
In the 1st century church it took awhile for their members to move Christ's message to the frontiers of the known world.  Because they tarried in moving Christ's message forward, God allowed persecution to move them to obey His message... do you think God might do this again?   Horrible Christ hating emperors and world dictators have forced the 1st century believers and their sons to leave their dwellings and search for refuge in outposts all over the world. 

The original 13 apostles (includes Paul) understood the Lord's Great Commission as far as we can tell from reading the account of their lives in the Bible.

Paul kept moving the message of the kingdom forward and then he would strategically and deliberately go back to where the work started to make sure everything was operating in line with the Lord's commands.  Paul planted and nurtured churches in the entire Roman world over a period of about 20-25 years.  What did Paul do that is different then our weak church planting efforts here in America today?

If you study carefully the book of Acts you will find that every lesson and strategy is listed in the book to teach us the basic approach of spreading Christ's message today.  If we perform the same work as Paul and his companions performed almost 2000 years ago we will and should receive the same reward! 

Everyone of the 13 apostles were martyred (which means "witness) except the apostle John within a very short time after Jesus ascended to heaven, but the work of the gospel still extended to the ends of the world.  Some believe that the apostles took the words of Jesus as far as India to the west and England to the east.  We can not be dogmatic about how far they actually traveled but we know they did what Jesus said and it worked! 

What are we restoring?  We are restoring the original and true foundation the apostles laid back in 1st century Palestine.   Any scheme that focuses on a manmade plan to get people to gather in a building through a soft selling of the message of Christ, has nothing to do with restoration!

We are going to begin by instigating a holy gathering of God's people who really want to see a real move toward restoration.  Then we are going to pray and keep praying until the Lord through the Spirit gives clear instruction on who He is wants to lead the campaign to spread the message of Christ.  Once the leaders and those called to team with them are identified, then we send these modern day apostles to the places where the Spirit directs. 

After they are sent, we pray vigorously for their success and wait to hear how they are doing, in other words, we keep close contact to know the details of their work to discern to how things are going and then offer the precise help required to assist them to move God work forward.  If you do not have intense and deep prayer going on in your personal and corporate life you will never fulfill the mandate set forth in the book of Acts.

As we send out our first crop of leaders we continue to actively forward the next wave of leaders.  Those of us located at home actively gather more people who are being saved.  By constant attention to discipling, we the people of God, are strategically and intentionally training the next crop of leaders.  This work continues while we pray to know the heart of God about where they should be sent. 

By constantly sending these fresh new leaders to Spirit led places we insure that new territory is going to explored and conquered in His Name!  

We are directed in the Word of God to continue this activity until we are gone or God takes us out!  Our goals must be completely in-line with His infallible Word, nothing less will do!  Again I urge to pray over this material and comment on what is being offered here for you and me to accomplish.  We have so much to do and little time left!  Take these words seriously, I am tired of just looking forward to this kind of ministry happening, I am ready for it to start launching the next generation leaders!