- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Charisma House (November 2, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1616381663
- ISBN-13: 978-1616381660
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
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Ordinary People, Extraordinary Power: Be Activated to Heal, Deliver, Prophesy, Preach, and Demonstrate God's Kingdom Paperback – November 2, 2010
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About the Author
Apostle and Overseer of Crusaders Ministries, located in Chicago, Illinois, with close to 4,000 in attendance weekly in several locations, John Eckhardt is gifted with a strong apostolic call and has ministered throughout the United States and overseas to more than 40 nations. John founded the IMPACT Network (International Ministries of Prophetic and Apostolic Churches Together) in 1995. Since that time, it has grown to include over 400 churches and ministries in 25 nations. Along with his apostolic responsibilities, John Eckhardt is a sought after international conference speaker, has authored more than 20 books, produces a daily radio broadcast, and his television program Perfecting The Saints is seen weekly throughout the United States on the WORD Network. John Eckhardt resides in the Chicago area with his lovely wife, Wanda, and their five beautiful children.
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Top Customer Reviews
Eckhardt begins by stating, in the introduction, his thesis that “Apostles are pioneers. They challenge culture that does not represent the kingdom of God. They preach and teach the culture of the kingdom of God. The kingdom includes love, humility, power, authority, and service. The kingdom is spiritual and can only be accessed and lived in by the power of the Holy Spirit. Apostles are ministers of the Spirit and minister in the power of the Spirit.” It should be noted that biblically speaking, “Apostle” simply means “one who is sent” by another on a distinct task. Eckhardt goes on to state that, “the apostolic culture is a spiritual culture for spiritual people.” While I’m not certain if he is stating that this only happens in apostolic churches, he does state what every church should be when he writes that the church will be one of, “Prayer, fasting, worship, healing, the Word, deliverance, prophecy, and spiritual gifts are all a part of this culture. Developing an apostolic culture is developing a culture in which spiritual people can grow and operate. It is providing an atmosphere for spiritual growth and maturity. It is providing an atmosphere for believers to exercise their spiritual gifts. The church is to be a place of training for spiritual people.” I would agree that all churches should be churches that embrace, “worship, deliverance, teams, prophecy, ordaining, establishing, pioneering, evangelizing, prayer, teaching, helps, missions, healing, the gifts of the Spirit, holiness, impartation, and government.” It is from here that he begins to establish how he views the history of apostles and how he believes modern day apostles continue.
Eckhardt’s first chapter Apostolic Government clearly states that “there is no substitute for the apostle’s ministry.” He then argues that, “The apostle is a pioneer. Apostles are set in the church first. (The Greek word for “first,” proton, means “first in time, order, or rank”—1 Cor. 12:28.) This pioneering anointing causes great breakthroughs and advancement. New movements grow rapidly and have great momentum. This usually continues while the founding leader is alive.” However, he goes on to declare that “when the founding leaders are replaced by bishops and administrators (“governments” in 1 Cor. 12:28), the emphasis is on maintaining instead of advancing. The movement becomes less open to new ideas and revelation. It ceases to be a movement and becomes a monument.” While Paul is discussing spiritual giftedness and how each are needed, the church would not have existed had not someone been sent to start the church. Eckhardt is trying to show order of leadership.
The next section of his book from chapter 2, ‘First, Apostles—Last, Apostles’, chp. 3 ‘The Strategy of Jesus and Emerging Apostles,’ chp. 4 ‘The Departure Restoration of Apostolic Ministry’ and chp. 5 ‘The Apostolic Spirit—Driving Force of the Church,’ Eckhardt begins to establish his view of what an apostle is. “The word apostle is a transliteration of the Greek word apostolos meaning “one sent forth…” and that “Apostles are called and sent by Jesus.” Eckhardt believes that “Apostles operate in a level of power and authority that make many uncomfortable.” He concludes that the role of an apostle is “called to activate believers to do the works of Jesus Christ. They are anointed to impart and stir up the gifts inside of the believers.” In essence, Eckhardt feels that the modern day, “apostolic spirit is the driving force of the church. The present-day apostolic movement is driven by the apostolic spirit. The Holy Spirit is first and foremost an apostolic Spirit because He is a sent Spirit. This is what pushes and drives the church toward the fulfillment of the Great Commission.” Eckhardt is clear that apostles are not pastors, but rather a different role that is responsible to oversee the church and all of its other ministries including those of the pastors.
Through chapter 6 ‘The Proton Believer,’ chp. 7 ‘Transitioning a Church into the Apostolic,’ chp. 8 ‘Challenging Tradition’ and ending with chp 9 ‘Building Antioch Churches—Teachers,’ Eckhardt begins to establish why he believes that modern day apostles should be the overseers of the church and how he understands the church should be governed. Eckhardt states, “When the apostolic spirit is present within the church, we will see a company of believers who walk in apostolic power. They will manifest certain characteristics that set them apart.” He goes on to claim that apostles, what he calls proton believers, are not under the influence of man, but rather by solely that of the Holy Spirit. “They are independent from the control of men. They are very dependent upon the Holy Spirit and His direction.. Proton believers do not compromise to avoid persecution.” It is then that Eckhardt states the reason for his book and that, “This book is written to help leaders make the transition,” from a traditional church governance to an apostolic governance. “Our desire should be to raise up an apostolic company of believers who all have a sense of being sent,” states Eckhardt, “The entire church needs to shift into this dimension.” It is clear that he believes that if leaders of the church do not make this change “they will die spiritually within the four walls of the church. They will experience dryness, and their ministries will become routine. They will be unhappy and unsatisfied, even though it may look successful on the outside.”
With Eckhardt unmistakably declaring apostle leadership he goes on to redefine the new role of pastor in this governance. “As churches grow and disciples multiply, there is a need for many pastors to help shepherd the flock. Pastors are not mentioned among the three governmental offices of the church (1 Cor. 12:28). Yet, we have made the office of pastor the governmental office of the church.” While Eckhardt refers to a point of scripture that was discussing spiritual gifts and love, not church governance, he fails to consider the whole cannon of scripture that does talk about pastoral leadership. This includes Paul’s instruction to Timothy in 1 Timothy on how to set up church government and it included pastors and elders as well as his instructions to Titus. “The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.” John Mc Arthur writes in regards to this passage that, “Mature spiritual leaders of the church, also called bishops (v. 7; cf. 1 Tim. 3:2) or overseers (see 1 Pet. 2:25 where the same Gr. word is used of Christ), and pastors (lit. shepherds; see Eph. 4:11) were to care for each city’s congregation.” In addition to this, he also fails to recognize that apostles and pastors are mentioned in Ephesians 4:11-13 "It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Many pastors think in terms of safety and protection. The apostle thinks in terms of expansion and progression." It is Eckhardt’s belief that modern day churches rely too heavily on a senior pastor and that under an apostolic government, “The people learn to draw from all of these gifts and not depend upon the senior pastor for everything.” He also states that while teaching is good, “teaching should not be the dominant anointing of the church. The apostolic spirit should be the foremost and primary spirit of the church.”
From chapter 10 ‘Establishing the Prophetic Ministry—Prophets,’ chp. 11 ‘A New Order for a New Move,’ chp. 12 ‘Prayer and Deliverance,’ chp. 13 ‘Developing Teams,’ chp 14 ‘Releasing Apostolic Teams,’ chp. 15 ‘Helps and Governments,’ and chp. 16 ‘Releasing Evangelists and Worship,’ Eckhardt explains what an apostolic team should look like. He begins by going back to how the 12 apostles are chosen. “Not only did Jesus choose and ordain twelve apostles, but also He identified them.” And that modern day apostles are to be in constant prayer to do the work of a modern day apostle. “Prayer is also the power source of the apostolic. The apostles gave themselves continually to prayer.” He then shows that the apostles need a team to support the ministry. “Without a strong team, the burden of ministry in the local work will fall directly upon him.” I would agree with this statement strongly with any ministry. Any ministry that focuses on an individual is placing that individual in a vulnerable spot of collapse and exhaustion. However, of the 5 different pastors I contacted of different denominations, not one of those churches uses a team based system. Following up with this, Eckhardt states that local churches need a team of overseers, that he calls presbytery, to “oversee and give direction to the local church.” From here, “the apostolic team can visit and strengthen existing churches.” Eckhardt points out that the local church will still be in need of administrators as it “is the bone structure of the church,” and that Evangelists are not intended to be stuck in the government of the church. They need to be free to minister to the lost…”
The book ends on the focus of the apostle’s character traits and potential pitfalls in chapter 17 ‘Apostolic Character,’ chp. 18 ‘Traits of True Apostles,’ chp. 19 ‘Integrity—the Badge of a True Apostle,’ chp. 20 ‘False Apostles,’ and chp. 21 ‘Pitfalls of Apostles.’ As for any leader of the church, Eckhardt correctly points out that, “character includes integrity, honesty, honor, courage, strength, respectability, uprightness, morality, goodness, truthfulness, and sincerity.” He goes on to write, "The way that an apostle behaves is just as important as the way he ministers. Bad behavior will limit the effectiveness of the minister. God has a very high standard for apostolic leadership. Apostles are entrusted with a tremendous amount of power and authority. There must be a corresponding development of godly character in order to be able to carry what the Lord has entrusted. "
From here Eckhardt states that “Apostles are overseers (bishops, elders)…” This is an interesting choice as these titles are used interchangeably in the New Testament to explain one who governs the church. “1 Peter 5:1-2 "To the elders [presbuteros] I say, be shepherds [poimen] of God's flock." So he says an elder is a shepherd is a pastor. Then he says, "...serving as overseers [episcopos]". A bishop is an elder is a pastor.” John McArthur notes, “In the NT the words “bishop,” “elder,” “overseer,” and “pastor” are used interchangeably to describe the same men (Acts 20:17, 28; Titus 1:5–9; 1 Pet. 5:1, 2).” It should be noted that the word, ‘poimaine’ is rendered ‘shepherd’ in every biblical occurrence except for where it is translated ‘pastor’ in Ephesians 4:11. It is interesting to read that in all other occasions Eckhardt has distanced modern day apostles from elders, pastor and overseer, but in this case he attaches the word apostle with elders, pastosr and overseers.
Finally, Eckhardt remarks that “Apostles are not infallible. Apostles are human and susceptible to mistakes. They must guard against the pitfalls of pride, covetousness, self-will, and control.” He continues to explain that the character of a modern day apostle needs to be one that every leader of the church should have without exception. “Apostles must develop the character of humility and holiness. Most importantly, they must have the attitude and the heart of a servant.”
Similar to his contemporaries, like Rick Joyner, John Wimber, and Danny Silk, John Eckardt has developed an apostle focused governance. As I have stated in the past, “Apostle” simply is “in its basic meaning “to send forth,” by another, on a distinct task. Initially, Jesus chose twelve specific men to be apostles for an exact and unrepeatable task that is described in the book of Luke. “And when day came, He called His disciples to Him and chose twelve of them, whom He also named as apostles:” Their task was to establish the church throughout the world, be the spokesperson for God and thus establish doctrine and scribe what we now call the New Testament. While there have been other “sent ones,” including Barnabas, Andronicus and Junia, who have been authorized by Christ, I would not say that Jesus grants them the same authority that was imparted on the original twelve apostles. Eckardt’s whole thesis for his book predicates that we have apostles of similar authority as the original twelve. However, since it is commonly accepted by most evangelicals that no one else has the same authority as the original twelve, then Eckardt’s main point in the book is moot and without authority. To this point, I would say that what are modern day apostles should actually be referred to as missionaries. Nowhere in the English Bible do we find the word missionary, but virtually every evangelical believes in missionaries. This is due to the fact that when the New Testament was translated from Greek into Latin, the translators rendered ‘apostolos’ with the Latin root ‘missio’ which is the basis for our word ‘missionay’ Therefore, missionary is the dynamic equivalent of ‘apostolos.’ It is unlikely that we will have any more of the first type of apostles, but we will have the second type who shall be sent out by the Holy Spirit to plant churches and reach the world. I would even go as far as to say they are just as needed now as they were in the first century.
1. John Eckhardt, Ordinary People, Extraordinary Power: Be Activated to Heal, Deliver, Prophesy, Preach, and Demonstrate God's Kingdom (Lake Mary, FL: Charisma House, 2010) 5.
4. Ibid., p.6
5. Ibid., p.7
6. Ibid., p. 9
7. Ibid., p. 10
8. Ibid., p. 16,20.
9. Ibid., p. 20
10. Ibid., p. 25
11. Ibid., p. 35
12. Ibid., p. 38
13. John Eckhardt, Ordinary People, Extraordinary Power: Be Activated to Heal, Deliver, Prophesy, Preach, and Demonstrate God's Kingdom (Lake Mary, FL: Charisma House, 2010) 40,43.
14. Ibid., p. 56
15. Ibid., p. 58
16. Ibid., p. 60
17. Ibid., p. 64
18. The Holy Bible: New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1984), Tt 1:5.
19. John MacArthur Jr., ed., The MacArthur Study Bible, electronic ed. (Nashville, TN: Word Pub., 1997), 1885.
20. The Holy Bible: New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1984), Eph 4:10–13.
21. John Eckhardt, Ordinary People, Extraordinary Power: Be Activated to Heal, Deliver, Prophesy, Preach, and Demonstrate God's Kingdom (Lake Mary, FL: Charisma House, 2010) 72.
22. Ibid., p. 78
23. Ibid., p. 87
25. Ibid., p. 98
26. Ibid., p. 99,100
27. Ibid., p. 132
28. Ibid., p. 136, 141
29. Ibid., p. 150
30. Ibid., p. 151, 152.
31. Ibid., p. 177
32. Rick Warren, CLASS 101: Discovering Church Membership (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA; Saddleback Resources) p. 3
33. John MacArthur Jr., ed., The MacArthur Study Bible, electronic ed. (Nashville, TN: Word Pub., 1997), 1864.
34. John Eckhardt, Ordinary People, Extraordinary Power: Be Activated to Heal, Deliver, Prophesy, Preach, and Demonstrate God's Kingdom (Lake Mary, FL: Charisma House, 2010) 206.