from the Global Leadership Team, 2009

In 2009, a friend of YWAM brought a prophetic teaching to us on the subject of eldership. It was taken from the story of Samuel, the prophet. The story in the first eight chapters takes us from the sin of Eli and his sons, to the rise of Samuel and God’s deliverance from enemies, through to the rejection of God’s government in favor of a predictable and controllable system of royalty.

From that story, we realized that we were almost unconsciously modelling ourselves on organizational constructs that were okay for business or government, but not for us. We are part of the Body of Christ, and our leadership works on a completely different model—Jesus!

Several hours of teaching were brought into much greater clarity during a time of prayer. One of our members “saw” a platform lifted up above a crowd of people and there was one person on the platform. Then other people climbed up onto the platform. Then another platform was raised up and people climbed onto it. Then more platforms arose and every one of them was filled with people and none were higher than the others.

Later, we began to use the term “circles” to describe this picture of how leadership is meant to work. We realized that it also applies to all the spheres of influence in society. None should be considered to take authority of all the others—not even the Church.

So, the message is simple. We are called to keep recognizing those whom God has anointed to lead and He is anointing many. We function in leadership groups and the groups are not arranged in an organizational hierarchy. Simple! Just like the Church was in the beginning and for many decades.