These are excerpts from a new book by Dr. Mark Hanby
Defining Multiplicity of Ministry
It's About Alignment
In the past, many have thought God's work was dependent upon their Bible knowledge, personal sacrifice, and their commitment to fasting, prayer, and good deeds. They were convinced that these religious activities would demonstrate how much they really desired "revival." This religious misconception is spawned by a lack of understanding concerning how the will of God is accomplished.
For ever, O Lord, Thy word is settled in heaven (Psalm 119:89).
For we which have believed do enter into rest, as He said, As I have sworn in My wrath, if they shall enter into My rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world (Hebrews 4:3).
Everything that God has done or is going to do has already been accomplished in Heaven. His will is completed in Heaven. "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven" ( Mt. 6:10). Spiritual alignment is the operation of the Spirit whereby what is finished in Heaven is brought to pass in the earth.
It is in earth as it is in Heaven . Not just in the earth, but in our earth. We are made of the elements of the earth. Our success in God is not determined by our knowledge, office, or gifting alone, but by our order. God is quite capable of doing what is necessary. However, He is looking for willing vessels — meaning obedient — who will allow His order to fashion their vessels so that the Holy Spirit will have freedom to do His will.
Alignment is about positioning ourselves in the plan and purpose of God so that in His sovereignty He brings His will to pass. It is not about my abilities and knowledge, but about His will and power. Ministries that are out of alignment depend upon the fruit of their own hands accomplished through their gifting and abilities. Instead of giving glory to the Lord, they seek and receive recognition and glory for themselves and their own efforts. "They worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made" (Is. 2:8b).
The Requirement of Spiritual Implementation
The apostles were first disciples. There was some qualification and preparation necessary for this calling. They were disciples first. There is also a plan for those the Father would bring into our ministries. He certainly chooses some we would discard. He also chooses some who may not be genuine but fulfill His greater purpose. Paul had Demas and of course Jesus had Judas. God knows what we do not and brings His will to pass.
In ordering His ministry with the 12, Jesus chose at least four sets of brothers. He chose fishermen, married and single men, tax collectors, a political insurrectionist, and even a thief. He did not seek the prominent or prosperous or even the socially acceptable, but for those given Him by the Father. It was not His will but the Father's that He sought.
Because the Lord looks at the heart, He sees value in people that our prejudices and fears often overlook. He sees in His sons not only what they are, but more importantly, what they can become. He's not afraid to bring into His ministry those who are less than perfect, knowing that it is part of His job to mold imperfect men into vessels fit for use. Even with Judas, knowing from the beginning that he would betray Him, He never ceased to reach out towards him to the very end. He knew the Father's will and was predisposed to not only what was desirable but also what was necessary to fulfill purpose.
How the Work of God Is Accomplished Through a Multiplicity
God has a mission and an overwhelming mandate and wills to restore mankind to Himself. This will for man is sometimes called the "great commission" and is recorded in Mathew 28:18-20, and in various forms in the other Gospels as well. How does God accomplish this commission?
Does He send angels to do the work in place of man? No. Does He establish 2,830 denominations each competing for preeminence in the plan of God? No. Does He raise up a super-powerful individual who exceeds even the revelation and stature of the apostle Paul to lead the masses into the Kingdom? No. What He does, is send the Spirit, not into denominational structures, but into His many-membered Body who will minister to the world (the ministry of the saints).
How does His Body accomplish this commission? The members of the Body learn to align themselves in perfect relationship so that the Holy Spirit can have full control and do all His will. What brings the Body into alignment? God gives to it ministry. First, God breaks down the commission into smaller portions called ministry vision (not to be confused with dreams and visions). No one individual has the entire vision of God for the earth. He gives these ministry visions to individuals whom He sets in a certain place for a specific purpose (set ministry).
The set minister establishes the local work or church. God gathers around the set ministry those who are connected by the Spirit to the vision. These people are ordered by the set ministry according to a multiplicity of ministry and by the ministry of the saints. This is how they find their ministry in the Body. How they minister is dependent on their gifting. Their gifting is not their ministry but how the grace of God works through them to perform their ministry.
Bringing The Church to the World
Zion is the perfection of God's beauty. The saints of God who become His spiritual house show forth the glory of God. "The riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints" (Eph. 1:18b), speaks not of our inheritance but of the inheritance of Jesus. We are the inheritance of Jesus. There are three glories; the glory of the sun, moon, and stars is the glory of God in three dimensions.
But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased Him, and to every seed his own body. All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead (1 Corinthians 15:38-42a).
Saints need to know who they are. They are the sons of God. God created a son of God in Adam to have relationship with Him. Later, this relationship was broken through sin, so the Son of God, Jesus, was sent to redeem that which was lost by His son, Adam. In the end of time, God is sending another son, the many-membered Body of Christ to bring forth the Kingdom. We are the sons of God! When saints truly grasp who they are, they will turn the world upside down—the world upside down is the Kingdom.
The glory of God comes in three dimensions. It first shines as the sun. The glory of the sun is the glory of salvation. Salvation brings with it great light. It separates us from darkness and illuminates our path.
The glory of the moon is the glory of the soul. The soul like the moon is a reflection of the sun. The moon has no light of its own. A soul that is redeemed will be a reflection of the Son of God.
The glory of the stars is the glory of the saints. It is the highest glory, for it manifests the glory of God in all the universe. The saints ruled by Jesus will bring restoration of the uni -verse— uni meaning one and verse meaning song or word. The ministry of the saints will restore the creation back to the one song and one word of God.
Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable (Hebrews 11:12).
And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever (Daniel 12:3).
The presence of God within His saints shall shine as stars and turn many to righteousness. We shall become the habitation of the Almighty. This is our destiny. A multiplicity of ministry provides the order to bring forth the Kingdom and fulfill our destiny. As ministry reorders itself according to the biblical pattern, the manifestation of the ever-present Kingdom of God will grow in its influence and reality. The sound of the seventh angel of great heavenly voices will be heard in the earth saying, "The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever" (Rev. 11:15b).