Apostolic Working Company is part of a great reformation movement in the Church. It is comprised of Christian leaders from around the world who agree that the church today is in the midst of a period of exciting transformation, through which God is granting to His people the grace and means to glorify Christ and to fulfill the commandments of Scripture. The progressive nature of this Biblical revelation (Haggai 2:9) requires a continual development of new systems and structures to emulate the current discoveries of the church – AWC is one of these structures, expressly designed to facilitate an emerging concept of relational leadership associations. We believe that this present restoration is taking place on a personal level through works of renewal and refreshing of individuals, home-fellowships, churches and organizations. It is also taking place at a corporate level through the reformation of the church’s systems, mind-sets, government and function. AWC is committed to serve this restoration at both levels.Genuine reformation has historically, most often, been centered around a return to values. When Martin Luther nailed the ninety-five theses to the church door at Wittenberg he was challenging the validity of the values, culture and doctrine of the Roman church. These clearly articulated values rallied the burning hearts of leaders to bring about what became known as the Protestant Reformation.It is our conclusion that there is an ever-growing need for ministerial fellowships that are extremely descriptive of their values and culture and are sharp and clear in their purpose and mission. We believe that both established and emerging leaders will seek out this type of fellowship in the 21st century.AWC believes that fulfilling God-glorifying purposes is most effective when people are not working in conflict with God-glorifying values. Therefore it is paramount to have a fellowship of leaders who share common values, and then move forward to implement a strategic and common mission.
1. The Lordship of Christ: This is the summation of all other values, and is the cornerstone of our fellowship. We believe that Christ has preeminence in all things. We strive to adopt a culture that acknowledges this lordship at both personal and strategic levels. 2. The Glory of God: We affirm the first tenet of the shorter Westminster catechism, which states, “The chief end of man is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.” It is God’s will that His glory be revealed on the earth, even as it is in heaven. We value every expression of prayer, worship and fellowship, proclamation, outreach, citizenship, and good works that demonstrates His glory on the earth. We do not value the activity or accomplishments of men that in any way detract from the glory of God. 3. The Church of Locality: The local church is the primary means that Christ has ordained to fulfill His purposes through. However, we also believe that ministry organizations are of immense value to the work of the kingdom, and that they too, have a necessary and distinct calling to ministry. They do not, however, replace the work of the local church. God ordains local churches, sets leaders in and out of ministry service, and provides gifts and grace, whereby they may be a living witness to the life of Jesus Christ. 4. A Theology of Grace: We believe that salvation is a gift from God, and that man does not initiate, nor aid it – it is a work of grace. Since the believer’s introduction into the kingdom of God is by grace, we believe that our continued fellowship with God, and with mankind, is an extension of that same grace. It is this overwhelming confidence in the grace of God that causes us to have an unwavering hope in the victory of the church while upon the earth; to believe for the restoration of broken lives; to teach and minister in humility with a constant view to the fear of the Lord; and to respect all mankind as creatures originally made in the image of God.5. Unity in the Midst of Diversity: It is quite evident that God is the author of both diversity and unity. Even a casual observation of the creation or a survey of the differences among leaders today, causes us to conclude that He must be pleased by the diversity in His church. Additionally, we recognize the priestly prayer of Jesus that was offered for our unity (John 17), as being essential for Christian leaders to embrace. A fellowship within the body of Christ has, too often, been built around issues of race, cultures, economics, politics, lesser doctrines, or vision. In this context, there has been much division, enmity, jealousy, and strife. We desire to build our fellowship around the greatness of Christ’s work within each individual and a commonly held commitment to fundamental values and beliefs, while rejoicing in the diversity of leadership within God’s kingdom. 6. Servant Leadership: It is clear that all models of New Testament leadership should, first and foremost, come from Jesus, who declared that He did not come to be served but to serve. AWC recognizes that there are many leadership styles in the church today, especially when viewed on an international scope, but we affirm that he best model for all leadership is servant-based. This does not mean that leaders should be weak, passive, or easily pushed from their appointed call; neither does it mean that they are to be over-worked or abused by other leaders or by the flock of God. It does mean, however, that they see themselves as ones who are divinely called to equip, nurture, and serve the people of God, and to this end, they have committed their life’s work. 7. The Primacy of Worship and Prayer: We believe that worship and prayer reach the heart of God. Jesus left us many examples and commands to build a life of ministry upon the foundations of worship and prayer. It is our fundamental conviction that these are the secret end source of all ministry success. Worship and prayer are a central part of all AWC gatherings, both corporately and through personal ministry. We further believe that God is raising many significant worship and prayer networks together with effective prayer initiates around the world today. AWC plays a strategic role in joining with these efforts to maximize the power of Godly intercession working throughout the church in this generation. 8. A Relational Leadership Community: AWC puts a high regard upon ‘community’. By this we mean that the whole church, including leaders, should be in significant relationships with other Christians and other leaders. These relationships should not be shallow nor should they be short-termed. Leaders today should not try to go in alone, or see themselves elevated or removed from accountable relationships within the local churches, ministry teams, cities, and nations. Issues of how authority is delegated and exercised have been a source of much controversy in the church since its inception. AWC believes that authority is best served on a relational level, and is generally best conveyed voluntarily by invitation. This means that there should be very little exercise of control of judgment towards one another in peer-leadership settings. Rather than attempts to invoke an institutional form of authority upon its affiliates, AWC seeks to lead by example and influence. The felt-culture of AWC gatherings should be one of friendships operating a low frequency of authority, without feelings of cliquishness of ‘insider’ groupings. 9. Commitment to Reformation and Renewal: We give thanks to all that God has done throughout history to bring restoration, renewal, refreshing, revival and reformation to the church. Yet, we see that this is a work that must continue. In light of this, AWC faithfully serves as an apostolic and prophetic messenger to awaken the church’s continued call to reformation and renewal within the body of Christ, and to the world in which we reside. 10. Confidence in the Final Success of the Great Commission: For the first time in history we stand at the threshold of fulfilling the objective of a legitimate gospel witness amongst every people-group on earth. We believe that this is a significant event of God’s Providence.AWC is committed to doing everything that is possible to reach all people – everywhere – and to promote not only an initial gospel witness, but also a discipline ministry among every nation, kindred, tribe and tongue.
The Radical MiddleAWC is, at its core, neither extreme to the left nor right. From our inception we have found a logical niche in what we call the radical middle. When groups of people are looking for a more perfect order, and believe the need for renewal, revival, and reformation to be paramount, there will be many different messages declared. AWC appreciates the beneficial contributions from all of these streams. We are particularly interested in seeing strong, clear voices established amongst those who have chosen to live radically for God in the middle of their circumstances. Rather than abandoning their location, history, or heritage for the latest movement in the church, AWC wishes to encourage and support those who hold a like conviction—that the church can be radical in the midst of her calling. AWC is distinct in its establishment of a closely joined fellowship of affiliated members, who are committed to AWC as their primary place of trans-local relationships; together with a relational fellowship of partners who maintain their strongest covenant or institutional ties with other ministries or organizations. We believe this will have a significant appeal to those who wish to make a broad and radical contribution to the kingdom of God while, at the same time, remaining planted in their current places of Christian leadership. We believe that this model of a fellowship of leaders gathered from a primarily affiliated membership and a secondarily affiliated membership will serve to keep AWC diverse and attractive to leaders in many different circumstances of ministry, resulting in a look and feel that is distinct and radically-middle. A New Paradigm for Relationships amongst LeadersThere are numerous organizations and fellowships formed around a common commitment to certain tasks that are collectively agreed upon. AWC is distinctive in its commitment to tasks flowing forth from a shared commitment of its membership to certain values and ministry ‘culture’. We believe that AWC’s primary impact will be seen, retrospectively, in its desire to impact all of Christendom with a passion of its reformation values. We sense that history will demonstrate the powerful effectiveness of accomplishing significant tasks out of a foundational commitment to intrinsic values. Our viewpoint is not significant tasks versus shared values, but rather significant tasks because of shared values. This paradigm of leaders relating to one another on the basis of commonly shared values, and not merely on the basis of institutional authority structures or specific task agendas is, we think, an attractive and contemporary model for a fellowship of Christian leaders. AWC is also a gathering place for other fellowships and their leaders. We do not seek or desire to be the exclusive source of ministry influence in the lives of any leader; nor do we see the need for leaders who are a part of our fellowship to bond to all of the structures that AWC provides. Any leader may affiliate with us without the necessity of connecting other leaders within their networks to AWC, without fear of diluting or compromising their own God-given call to ministry amongst their existing networks. This open handed relationship enables AWC to serve as a greenhouse for blessing, networking, and nurturing leaders who, themselves, lead and nurture networks of other Christian leaders.An Ark of Protection and ProvisionLiving amongst a natural covering of fellowship, over time and with other like-minded leaders, is like having an ark built around us. By living relationally, without fear, we are saved, like Noah and his family, from many floods of temptation, adversity, and spiritual warfare. In this context of relational, side-by-side leadership, a fellowship is prepared that God can use, again like Noah’s ark, to open and close doors to protect and provide for us. There is a tremendous security in a voluntary, covenant-fellowship of Christian leaders. While it is not our chief aim to try to ‘cover’ one another, we know, in accordance with Biblical principles, that the rightly ordered relationships of leaders will result in a secure and restful place for ministries to flourish and fulfill their highest callings. The community that is created by leaders walking intentionally together in this kind of fellowship also provides a tremendous atmosphere from which to restore hurting, falling, or broken ministries.Effective Leadership Teams Reaching the WorldWhen AWC teams work together on tasks of global harvest, tremendous results are accomplished. Working side by side (Zeph. 3:9), with many diverse ministries that share our common values, exponentially increases our effectiveness in outreach. Because of the diverse backgrounds of AWC affiliates, opportunities for outreach are equally diverse, both in their geography and their differing spheres of relationships. We believe that we will see thousands of thriving, local churches established around the world as a result of effective outreach and evangelism by those leaders affiliated with AWC. Accountability and CoveringAccountability between affiliates, and between affiliates and the Executive Council of AWC, is voluntary. AWC desires to strengthen and equip leaders through its influence rather than through legal relationships and, as such, makes no expressed or implied promises to any of its affiliates regarding issues of ministry accountability, covering and legal protection. AWC is an association that maintains its authority with its members through relational rather than institutional bonds and, as such, is limited in its discipline to the cancellation of an affiliate’s membership and privileges. Right relationship is critical. We believe that leaders relating to one another in an apostolic college of leadership is the most effective and relational models available to us in an examination of the Scriptures. This voluntary and relational authority is certainly easier to neglect or abuse by individuals who desire to go their own way, but it is the preferred method for accountability within AWC. The New Testament models seem to be very scarce in their examples of non-voluntary, or institutional authority being exercised over other Christian leaders who apparently “went off on their own.”AWC believes in accountability at many different levels, and particularly admonishes its affiliates to not expect trans-local relationships to take the place of the essential relationships that should come forth from the ministry team, local church, and city or regional-eldership into which they have been sent. However, when a trans-local fellowship honors the godly ‘independence’ – and local dependence – of its affiliates, coupled with a relational style of accountability and camaraderie, a truly ‘natural’ covering can be achieved.AWC’s view of ministerial covering isn’t so much the picture of an umbrella, as it is a grove of trees. As a modern illustration the Guinness Book of World Records records the largest single living organism on earth as a grove of Aspen trees, in the state of Colorado, which share a common root system. This uniquely illustrates the preferred horizontal connectivity of our association versus other structures, which embrace a more rigid vertical authority system.We do not primarily expect human coverings to shield us from spiritual forces. Rather, we see these earthly coverings in the light of leaders sharing a common root and structure, and thus able to render mutual side-by-side support and strength to one another. This view of relational ministerial covering is, we believe, the earliest model of accountability that is seen in the Scriptures from the time that we begin to witness the missionary-church functioning in the middle chapters of the book of Acts.
The primary objectives of AWC are two-fold: 1. To convene influence, and strengthen leaders;2. Global outreach. Convening, Influencing and Strengthening LeadersThis objective shall be accomplished though the introduction and continues application of our distinctive values to leaders everywhere. The convening of leaders in conferences, seminars, summits, and MLI’s is an important part of facilitating this mission of our organization. We welcome everyone to our general conferences – affiliates and guests alike. Conferences provide leaders with the opportunity to renew long-standing relationships, and make new contacts for strategic future friendships and opportunities. Conferences are also a place where significant ministry to leaders and their families is an on-going priority. It is our conviction that a strong, worldwide church requires strong local ministries, which in turn require strong leaders. AWC is committed to strengthening these leaders at every gathering that it convenes. Fellowship and equipping are not the only purposes of conference gatherings; there is also a tremendous cross-pollination that takes place. Because we value unity in the midst of diversity there are always a variety of streams flowing together in AWC gatherings. Psalm 46:4 says, “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God.” We believe that the Lord is honored, and that the church is “made glad” when these unique streams flow together as one river – as leaders from many different traditions and personal experiences share the common values of our fellowship.
The cross-pollination influence is not only present amongst the interaction of leaders, but is also takes place in the content of the AWC and dialogues of AWC conferences. We have a keen desire to stay closely connected with the current blessing of God in the local church and missions, while maintaining a strong foundation upon the one “sure word of prophecy” (2 Peter 1:19). AWC conferences are known for their prophetic and forward-thinking general sessions, as we declare, debate, and dialogue over the most current and important movements and paradigms in Christian leadership today, while – at the same time – remaining immensely practical and rooted where Christian leaders live and work.
Resulting from its diversity, AWC affiliates are constantly challenged to be broad in their view of what the Holy Spirit is doing in His church today. We believe that breadth is not only healthy for the Christian leader, but also necessary to attain full effectiveness in ministry. While we genuinely value the unique contribution of every affiliate or guest, we do not value syncretism, nor wish to celebrate our diversity outside the boundaries of historical Christian orthodoxy. Finally, as part of our equipping mission, AWC publishes and produces resources for the training and edification of the body of Christ. Global OutreachAWC believes that a strengthened church is a church that is effective in outreach, and this is a primary objective of our fellowship. It is our desire to see a viable Christian witness established amongst every people-group on earth, and to see strong, life-giving churches planted among them. To this end, AWC organizes, promotes and produces/resources for significant mission outreaches each year – often through a partnership with the relational contacts of its affiliates. These varied outreaches are available to AWC’s affiliated leaders as well as outreach teams from their ministries. These outreaches are not limited to unreached people groups, but target a wide spectrum of need peoples. In correspondence with our commitment to global evangelism is AWC’s support of long-term mission works and local-church planting efforts. AWC encourages the effective church planting of its affiliates. The ultimate goal is that the entire lost world be reached, and the local churches would be planted that are productive in sharing the life changing gospel of Jesus Christ. AWC is active in establishing leadership conferences and promoting regional fellowship in the locations where outreaches take place.