The 4 R vision is a comprehensive but simple way of explaining the mission of national coalitions related to ICAL.
The 4 R’s:
- Restoration of the church
Restoration of the church
One of the first goals of the national coalitions is to help restore the church to the simplicity, authenticity and effectiveness of the (Apostolic) New Testament church model. The apostolic church in the first century was marked with rapid growth that resulted in penetrating every aspect of culture resulting in transforming the Roman Empire within three centuries! Some of the characteristics that are universal, transferrable and applicable that we are attempting to recapture in our context are:
- The restoration of functional five fold ministers as stated in Ephesians 4:11,12 (Those functioning in the ministry gift of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor /teacher-with or without the title) who are called to equip the saints to fulfill their vocational calling to glorify God in every cultural sphere
- The restoration of the New Testament pattern related to the development of autonomous local church governance under the “set one” out of which will arise functional elders, deacons, administration and the ministry of helps that become the core leadership team of every congregation (1 Corinthians 12:28,29; 1 Timothy 3:1-8)
- The visionary apostolic leader that convenes and galvanizes other church and marketplace leaders in their region to produce a movement resulting in flourishing communities and cities
- Voluntary associations between autonomous local congregations, organizations and associations that function interdependently through covenant , under the leadership of apostolic leaders , without denominational limitations and or control
- Complex apostolic networking that produces hubs of leaders, local churches and marketplace entities in cities that interface with other similar hubs in cities resulting in a cohesive national Christian movement affiliated internationally through ICAL
The prayer of Jesus in John 17:20-23 shows us that the world will not believe the Gospel as long as His church is fragmented and divided. In the present church, there is ethnic and denominational division, and a plethora of independent evangelical churches that are non-affiliated and (in essence if not consciously) building their own empire instead of God’s Kingdom
It is the goal of ICAL to model the prayer of Jesus and encourage apostolic leaders in each nation to build bridges and cross ethnic and denominational lines. It is only when apostolic leaders cross-pollinate and enter into Kingdom partnerships that the Body of Christ can be one and have significant kingdom influence in each nation.
ICAL works to the see local churches and all believers infused with the passion and power of God according to the promise of acts 1:8 to reach every nation for the Lord Jesus! Only a revived church can awaken sinners and usher in the glory of God in nations! Every generation has to experience a true, heaven sent revival or else they will resort merely to man centered strategies to expand kingdom influence! Evangelism and church growth merely through the use of technology, marketing schemes and cultural relevancy without the manifest power and presence of God will result in a weak, ineffective church! ICAL promises to promote true revival in every nation!
Revival in and of itself is not enough! Merely awakening sinners and filling churches will not bring systemic change to society! ICAL espouses the original “Cultural Mandate of Genesis 1:26-28, which obligates apostolic leaders (in both the church and marketplace), to think through issues related to stewarding the earth and the reformation of nations. Truly, revival brings people into the church but reformation results after the church equips the saints and commissions them to go into every sphere of society to reflect the Kingdom of heaven on earth. (E.g. In heaven every person and system is aligned under the Lordship of Christ)
Merely reviving the church without a goal for reformation will result in mega church growth with minor church influence in culture!
Jesus, as the Last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45) pointed us back to the original “cultural mandate” and told us to both win the lost (Mark 16:15-17) and disciple whole nations (Matthew 28:19,20) Isaiah 61:1-4 teaches us that the good news that comes to the poor, heals the broken hearted and brings liberty to the captives should also result in repairing ruined cities and healing the devastation of generations! Consequently, the proof of the gospel is not only transformed lives but also flourishing cities and nations! Finally, according to Isaiah 2:2-4, God’s goal is not only for individual conversions but for nations to adopt His moral and civic law for institutional conversion -the mission of ICAL is to work for both!
© 2015 Bishop Joseph Mattera josephmattera.org