The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is a term used by Peter Wagner to describe current trends in church movements, particularly with regard to a “five-fold” ministry and church polity. These NAR movements are supposed to be led through relationships instead of structures, and generally follow the Ephesians 4:10 pattern.
This concept first emerged as part of the Latter Rain movement. The Latter Rainers had the original revelation of the “five-fold” but this began to develop in unhealthy ways as the theology of special “sons” who had special authority to lay hands on people to impart gifts developed.
The second incarnation of the doctrine came in the Shepherding movement, where leaders of church were given a less wispy Spiritual kind of authority, and a much more formal authority over the individual believer. This ended up just as badly or worse than the original Latter Rain ideal.
The New Apostolic Reformation is the latest attempt. Graham Cooke in his interview with the Elijah List suggests that the NAR is making the same mistakes over again. By focusing on church leadership instead of empowering the laity empires can be built, but the Kingdom itself suffers because the people are not built. I’m not against apostolic networks at all, but just the leader focused mentality that has fueled them. In fact, I think that the original Latter Rain ideal of the 5-fold was revelatory and is needed, but that we haven’t really captured the true spirit and humility of the men who started the New Testament church.
I think the idea of an NAR is on the way out, but the idea of the 5-fold is here to stay. One of the funny things about apostolic networks is that there is no official listing of them. I’m sure the inside leaders of these movements know who is who, but the average person only knows their own. So I’m just going to start compiling a list of ones I know about.
Shepherding Influenced Networks
I would generally avoid these movements with the possible exception of Dove. Depending on how deep they are in the Shepherding it’s probably not very healthy for you to be there. Regardless, it’s important to understand those with Shepherding as a significant part of their history, and therefore understanding of what a network is about, and what Christian experience is.
- Every Nation — (Formerly known as Morning Star International). I was trained in this movement, but am no longer a part. It is in many ways successor to Maranatha Campus Ministries. (A few churches were also brought in from His People in Africa). When I joined in 1998, Every Nation was called Morning Star and had a radical flavored campus ministry. The radical atmosphere was a good thing to be around, but unfortunately some of the bad practices from Maranatha and the Shepherding Movement theology never fully went away. There was a big meltdown around five years ago during which I left, and I think they have moderated a bit more since then, but I still would not go back.
- Dove Christian Fellowship — Leb by Larry Kreider. This one I think is more family-oriented and less aggressive. I’ve met Larry, he’s is a wonderful, humble guy. Reading the site more closely you can see that they were influenced by the Shepherding movement and went through some wilderness years, but here is one of the few groups to actually apologize and be continually transparent which is certainly a mark of real change. I would never have guess Larry came out of Shepherding based on our interaction.
- Victory Churches International – Canadian NAR type group led by founder. Now expanding to US. Talk about Covenant relationships, probably indicates Shepherding history. Also would guess mild word of faith influence.
- Bethany Cell Church Network — Follows the G12 principles, which have some of the hierarchical Shepherding errors baked in. It’s a shame because some great churches and people have been associated with this group in the past.
- Praise Chapel – Led by Larry Neville. Praise Chapel was an offshoot of Wayman Mitchell’s “Potter’s House” (or CFM). Although it was supposed to be a reformist movement it seems that the reforms only went so far. They do not appear to be as deep in the shepherding doctrine as CFM, they definitely have some abused former members out there complaining about them.
- New Covenant Ministries International or NCMI — South African Apostolic movement started by Dudley Daniel. There are a number of disgruntled members, showing this is likely heavily shepherding influenced as well. Rob Rufus the prophetic voice who has had some involvement with New Frontiers movement came from here originally.
- Sovereign Grace Ministries of SGM — Sovereign Grace Minitries used to be People of Destiny International, which was Larry Tomczak and CJ Mahaney. Recently, they have taken a new direction which is hardcore Calvinist and also more heavy handed leadership approach which has left a lot of members burned, including Larry Tomczak himself(!) who has now left. There is a major site up now with people hurt under this change, and at this point I would consider it to be the most actively dangerous of the groups listed here.
Latter Rain Influenced Networks
Although the shepherding movement was influenced by the Latter Rain, not all of the Latter Rain embraced the Shepherding movement. These two networks are more directly descended from the Latter Rain
- Christian International Apostolic Network — This is Bill Hamon’s Group. It has a prophetic flavor. I attended the New England regional conference a few months ago. They really incorporated prophetic spirituality into the church in a way I found healing. Jim Davis is the current leader.
- Kingdom Community Network — aka Congress WBN, Elijah Centre. Led by Dr. Noel Woodroffe, a black leader from Trinidad. He must be fairly influential. I had a very pleasant exchange with Davie Copp, pastor of City at the Cross, one of the key churches, which was also one of the original Latter Rain churches. Davie made clear that they do not and have never embraced the Shepherding Movement or doctrine, but also explained that they have a view of authority which has some similarities. The fact that he took the time to talk with me was a very good sign, and if it were solely based on my interaction with him, I’d like to be able to recommend their network, but the queries I receive from around the world, and the testimonies on FactNet are concerning. The general principle I hold for everyone is that if where you are is not promoting your spiritual health, then leave and find a place that is.
- Church on the Rock International — Looks like 300 or so churches in the US, led by someone named Dr. Lawrence Kennedy. Upcoming conferences includes T.D. Jakes, Matthew Barnett, and Joni Lamb.
- Grace Churches International — Founded by Michael Fletcher. This one is more strongly Reformed in doctrine. Home Church
- International Network of Five Fold Ministries
- Faith Christian Fellowship
- Association of Related Churches
- Evangel Fellowship International — Led by Houston Miles.
- World Harvest Church Ministerial Fellowship
Kansas City Prophetic Influenced US Networks
- The Rain Network — I think I overheard someone talking about this while at The Call. Cal Pierce of the “other” John G. Lake healing room ministries is part of this group.
- The River — Bill Johnson does not have a network per se, although he has iGlobalLegacy. This is where he recommends you go if you want a network. He is on the board, but it’s currently a small CA thing, with charismatic/prophetic overtones.
- Harvest International Ministries — Led by Che Ahn, who I believe came out of the Vineyard. Campus Church Networks, is not exactly an apostolic movement that is connected to HIM.
- Partners in Harvest — Partners in Harvest network, outgrowth of the Toronto revival.
- Apostolic Network of Global Awakening — Randy Clark’s Group. I don’t know how much it qualifies as a true network of churches though.
- Fellowship of Connected Churches and Ministries — Dudley Hall
The Apostolic movement in Britain started from the House Church Network, which was the British equivalent of the Shepherding Movement, and was founded first by seven key leaders, and then later an additional seven. These men went on to become the foundation stones of the now burgeoning Charismatic movement in Britain. British Charismatics are different than American Charismatics. They are more Calvinistic across the board, they reject Word/Faith pretty much completely, and do not seem to have the same degree of authority problems in American churches, although I’m not completely sure. There is a book called Apostolic Networks in Britain by William Kay that gives the fuller and better picture of these networks. You can read the book review of Apostolic Networks in Britain in this site. In addition, you can find full treatment on the wiki under British New Church Movement:
- Salt and Light — Led by Barney Coombs (UK)
- The Ground Level — Led by Stuart Bell (UK)
- Ministries Without Borders — Split from Covenant Ministries International, under the leadership of Keri Jones
- New Frontiers — This is a British movement led by Terry Virgo. Influenced by the thought of the late Arthur Wallis. They seem to be very successful in the UK especially. Seems very solid on the Word. In general what I would call “British evangelical charismatic”
- Pioneer Network Led by Gerald Coates. That’s all I know 🙂 Per the comments below, I’ve been informed that New Community is part of this.
- New Community — New Community arose from the ashes of C.Net/Cornerstone which was led by Tony Morton. Graham Cooke was associated.
- Christian City Churches International – Australian church planting movement. Their first US church is in Atlanta. I think this is the “Other” Austrailian mega-church.
- Household of Faith — Small South African Movement.
- Multiply Network, Jesus Army.
- New Day International
- Five Fold Ministies International – Led by Harold Weitsz
These groups typically emerged out of the early phase of the Latter Rain/Healing revival. The do not propose to be apostolic networks in the same sense that the NAR groups do, providing more of a confederation model. The are however more Charismatic than the Pentecostal denominations.
- Elim Fellowship — Mike Cavanaugh is one of the key guys here. I was familiar with him from his limited contact with Every Nation. They apparently are going through a generational transition from wise senior statesmen to middle aged men. This may lead to a renewed energy and direction. Bob Mumford was originally with Elim, and now that he’s out of the Shepherding movement, he has renewed his ties to Elim.
- World Ministry Fellowship — My friend attended one of these churches. Seemed to be a pretty non-descript Charismatic group. Randy Bozarth is associated.
- The Full Gospel Fellowship — I attended a church that was a part of this fellowship. Full name is Full Gospel Fellowship of Churches and Ministries International (FGFCMI) Led by older men. Was founded by Gordon Lindsey in parallel to the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International. (FGBMFI). They are obviously easily confused.
- Ministers Fellowship International — Led by Dick Iverson. This is probably the most mature of the apostolic movements. Most of these guys have been flowing together since the Latter Rain days, some 50 years ago. Includes Frank Damazio, and famous Bible teacher Kevin J. Conner.
- World Council of Independent Christian Churches (WCICC) — This seems to be an indigenous group that has gotten reach in the US. A friend of mine is credentialed there for possible Chaplaincy
There are others that I’ve stumbled across, but if there is no website with a list of churches and leaders, conferences, etc, then I’m skeptical about the size/reach, etc of these groups. Some of these are:
- Arise the Nations International, AMI,
- Apostolic Christian Network — My friend met the leader’s brother on the plane. Apparently Apostolic Christian Network have a huge number of churches in Brazil.
- Apostolic Missions International (Cannistraci).
- Harvest Breakthrough Network (Bakalov).
- Emerging Church Network
- Missional Church Network
- Missional International Church Network
- Church Foundation Network (Sumrall)
- Breakthrough Apostolic Ministries
- Blended Church Network – A network specifically aimed at building racially reconciled networks (Hagan).
- Network of Christian Churches (Watson).
- Christian Renewal International (Cruickshank).
- Morningstar Ministries Fellowship International — A small network in northern New England. We have visited there.
- Rock Ministerial Family Fellowship – Bishop John Gimenez
- Vanguard International – Founded by Dick Benjamin. Includes Jay Zinn of Davidson, NC
There are also a number of Evangelical Church networks in the game. Check out this page.
I’m starting to feel that I may have uncovered the major apostolic networks. A lot of the ones in the paragraph at the end are ministries around a single individual rather than a team, and it’s questionable if they will survive that person’s ministry, or if they will ever really take off. One thing becomes quite clear from examining them — you must have a team of strong men of God flowing together to build a real apostolic network. A single person does not make an apostolic network.