In January 2022, the elders began processing and praying about joining Four12, which is a partnership of hundreds of churches in over 20 countries whose mission is to equip, restore, and advance the kingdom. The name comes out of Ephesians 4:12, “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.“
For the last six months, we have had many forums to include the congregation in this process, including several Q&A opportunities, Zoom calls with Four12 church leaders, and a visit from a team of Four12 leaders in February.
After much prayer and discussion, the elders voted to officially become a partnering Four12 church. For me, this is very exciting and marks a new chapter in the life of Heritage in which we desire to see the Bible lived out among us in a passionate and authentic way.
Why are we partnering with Four12?
We were not meant to walk this Christian walk alone. The Bible describes the church as a body- made up of many individual believers bringing their unique gifts together to make a whole. So each Christian needs to belong to a body of local believers, but this also applies to churches.
You don’t see churches operating independently in Scripture. Rather local congregations worked together in partnership with apostolic leaders who gave input, encouragement, and guidance.
Being apart of a wider church family also offers support and accountability. The more mutual submission and accountability is practiced, the safer we are. Through Four12, we have seasoned leaders available to coach and mentor us in building healthy church at Heritage.
Four12 has an abundance of resources, with gifted members from around the world operating in the fivefold gifts. Over the years, they’ve developed a number of resources to help train leaders, unpack important Biblical concepts, speak into pertinent current issues, and build unity in the global church. As part of Four12, we’re able to share what we have to offer, while receiving the wisdom, experience, and grace giftings of these people from all over the world.
The mission of Four12 is to equip, restore, and advance God’s church. We want to join with that mission and link arms with other churches also pursuing authentic New Testament Christianity. There are key ingredients that we are wanting to be strengthened in that are characteristic of Four12 churches.
“And it was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers” (Ephesians 4:11).
The fivefold gifts (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers) are given by God to build His church. Thanks to the wide network, all of these gifts are present and operating in Four12. Most local congregations will have one or two strong areas and a couple of weak areas. With Four12, we can round out some of the areas we are weaker in, and be strengthened and equipped in those areas.
Equipping the saints
“to equip the saints for works of ministry and to build up the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12).
We want to be a church where every believer is fully equipped and commissioned to do what God is calling them to do. Paul doesn’t say that God wants to equip leaders or pastors for the work of ministry, but all the saints. When we are equipped, we can be more than just spectators, we can all be active participants in building the kingdom. A body is healthy and operating optimally when every limb, every organ, every part is performing its function.
Equipping means training, identifying, empowering, inspiring, releasing, and blessing. Having input from invested, but external perspectives helps us to grow closer to that which is outlined in Ephesians 4.
We are expectant that this partnership is going to enable us to better reach our region and make disciples of all nations. For all the reasons mentioned above, we believe partnering with Four12 is going to help us become a healthy hub to spread the gospel and authentic Christianity in our area and in the mission field.
Linking our hearts in partnership with churches around the world also allows us to invest and support God’s church in many different countries and cultures. Through Four12, we get to be exposed to what God is doing in the kingdom around the world and take advantage of life-changing outreach opportunities.
We’re so excited to see what God is going to do.
I would encourage everyone to listen to my message to hear more on why we’re entering into this partnership. Thanks again for your continued support and please let me know if you have further questions or comments or would like to speak to me in regards to this.
All For Him,