Opportunities to Plug into a Global Ministry Movement
Being part of the Christian Leaders Alliance connects you to a comprehensive global leadership plan for the spread of Christianity. This plan is rooted in the overarching Biblical narrative:
Creation – God created the heavens and the earth. God made humans in His image as male and female. He commanded them to be stewards of the entire world. All was good.
Fall – Humans, represented by Adam and Eve, fell into sin and became enemies of God. All was bad.
Redemption – God had a plan to turn the bad into good. God the Father put Jesus at the center of His redemption plan. God sent His Son to restore humanity and creation by dying on the cross. Jesus rose from the dead to defeat death, even the fear of death.
God also included a role for Christian leaders today in this redemption plan.
While Jesus engaged in his earthly ministry he chose twelve disciples to help carry out God’s plan of redemption. While traveling from town to town, he equipped his disciples. He taught and empowered them and taught them the way of servant status. (Servant (diakonos) Leaders)
After Jesus rose from the dead, he appeared to over 500 witnesses who were empowered to tell the resurrection story. After 40 days of equipping his disciples, he commissioned them and us to carry out God’s redemption plan.
Just before he ascended he further commissioned them to be his witnesses of the redemption plan of God. Even though he left them, he empowered them with the Holy Spirit. On Pentecost in 33 AD, the promised Holy Spirit was poured out. Men and women were called to share the gospel. The new church increased.
As the church grew, there was a need for more Christian leaders. New ministers like Stephen and Philip, and new apostles, like Paul, were called to share the redemption story.
As the early church rapidly expanded, a need for a leadership structure developed. The offices of Elder Minister and Deacon Minister were created. Many ministry roles emerged out of these two offices. Roles such as preaching, teaching, serving, evangelizing and leading.
This basic structure with some modification continued over the next five hundred years. Ordinary men and women were included in many ministry roles. Christian leaders reproducing Christian leaders was the norm. The heroic stories of leaders who were willing to be martyred for their faith still resonate today.
Over the next five hundred years, the leadership structure of the church became more restrictive, more centralized, and less open to the gifts of ordinary Christians. Women were excluded from the ordained ministry. Ministry roles became more professional and limited to highly educated, well-connected people. The gap between the clergy and the laity increased. Ordained church leadership roles were becoming more political in nature than ministry in nature.
Then, over the following five hundred years, only a small number of people had access to leadership opportunities and education. The clergy-laity gap was as large as it ever had been. The small number of ordained clergy appeared to do well, but often at the expense of the average Christain who lived in poverty, fear, and ignorance.
A reformation was needed. On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed Ninety-Five Thesis on the door of All Saints Church in Wittenburg, Germany. One of the biggest contributions of the Reformation was making the Bible accessible to the average person. In that era, the Bible was translated to the common languages and made available to the masses because of the invention of the printing press. Though more and more average people had access to the Bible, the official offices of leadership in the church were still largely restricted to the professional clergy.
There was talk about the priesthood of all believers (ordinary Christians could minister), but in practice, the old patterns of exclusion persisted. The education system for ministers remained focused on professional clergy in most denominations. This state of affairs largely continued to the present time.
Christian Leaders Alliance is committed to reviving the leadership structure of the early church. Why?
- It is a structure inspired by the New Testament church.
- It is a structure that supported rapid growth.
- It is a structure that included more potential Christian leaders.
- It is a structure that closes the gap between clergy and laity.
Christian Leaders Alliance Leadership Structure
Christian Leaders Alliance realizes that we don’t have a complete picture of the early church leadership structure. Even as we read the book of Acts things were developing and changing. The first seven deacons were chosen to serve the widows. Next, we see that they are preaching and evangelizing.
The apostles set up a leadership structure including Timothy in Ephesus. Ephesus was the fourth largest city in the Ancient Roman world. Timothy may have been known in early church history as a Network Minister. After Paul, Timothy appointed Christian leaders to bring more impact in the early church.
Another Network Minister was Titus in Crete. Titus as a Network Minister appointed Christian leaders in every town in Crete. These included elder ministers and deacon ministers.
The fact is the early church has a movement orientated leadership structure that launched leaders to serve with confidence.
We present this leadership structure as a humble beginning realizing there is much we do not know, but trusting the Holy Spirit will allow us to launch many called and qualified Christian leaders. Our heart’s desire is to see the revival of a leadership structure that created a dynamic reach in the first five hundred years of the church. We realize that no organization structure can completely match the first leadership structure of a place and time so different than our own. However, we will attempt to support a leadership structure that is inspired by the early church.
Christian Leaders Alliance Organizational Structure
Christian Leaders Alliance Global Ministers Commission is a servant leadership team that is appointed by the President and General Secretary of the Alliance. The goal of the Global Ministers Commission is to include an ordained CLA member from every nation where CLA members reside. These volunteer ministry leaders share the mission and vision of Christian Leaders Ministries, raising up global revival leaders by providing free, high-quality ministry training.
The CLA Global Ministers Commission oversees the work of the Christian Leaders Alliance in providing support and encouragement to CLA members. The goal is to equip more Christian Leaders and encourage them in the pursuit of their heavenly calling. The Apostle Paul noticed how the Colossian church set up a proper order.
4 I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. 5 For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ. (English Standard Version (ESV))
The Greek word for “good order” is the word from the verb “tasso” which means to appoint or ordain. It is a military word. The Colossian church had a leadership structure where recognized leaders were ordained or app0inted to function in their roles to reach more people for Christ. Christian Leaders Alliance is inspired to help Christians find their place as recognized ordained Christian leaders.
Christian Leaders Alliance is inviting more called Christians to join the movement. Christian Leaders Alliance seeks to recognize the ordination of men and women called to become ordained ministers. Many Christians have sensed a calling to be Christian leaders like the Apostle Paul who was a tentmaker (bi-vocational) and did not receive a salary. Many times, this segment of called Christians does not have access to a credible formal ordination process.
Christian Leaders Alliance has developed an ordination process for both bi-vocational and vocational ministers.
This recognition process includes free ministry training with Christian Leaders Institute. Ordination candidates must gather three ministry recommendations. Ordination candidates will first be ordained as deacon ministers with a local ordination ceremony or one with ordained representatives of Christian Leaders Alliance. Ordained leaders are listed in the Christian Leaders Alliance directory.
The Christian Leaders Alliance also includes mentor ministers who will mentor students who seek ordination with the Christian Leaders Alliance.
This orderly structure is essential as the Christian Leaders Alliance will not be hasty in ordaining Christians to ordained ministry.
At the same time, Christian Leaders Alliance is commissioned to raise up thousands of ordained leaders to serve in various ordained minister roles. These roles include those called to:
start new churches
start house churches
serve in local churches
lead as community ministers
serve in or start ministries
serve as community chaplains
help in workplace settings
minister in other places in the Kingdom
The commission of the Christian Leaders Alliance is the Great Commission.
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit… (New International Version (NIV))
In order to find your role, you need to understand the organizational structure of this global leadership plan.
Someday, Christ will return, and a new Heavens and Earth will come to pass. Disciples of every age are called to preach until Christ returns.