We believe that Jesus Christ still gives to the church the five-fold ministry gifts of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers for the purpose of equipping and strengthening local churches for the work of the Kingdom. We affirm our interpretation of Ephesians 4: 11-13; He “gave” these ministries to the church; He did not give the church to them. Following are our purposes:
We are first and foremost a fellowship, which means that relationships are primary. By relationships we mean that we generally know each other well enough to know those who are walking in the light. (1 John 1: 6-7). We desire to be conformed together into the image of Christ. It is our hope and intent that, where possible, much deeper, covenantal relations than we currently experience will develop, especially at regional levels.
Our dedication is to the King and to each other. Dedication means commitment and accountability. These can represent risk to some individuals. But Amos asks, ” Can two walk together and not be agreed?” Commitment is an act of the will, not an emotion.
Building leaders will mean among other things, “coming along side to encourage.” It will mean hearing and obeying the Comforter as He comes along side to comfort. Like He as He does, we mean not to “play favorites”. It will mean seeking to always better relationships so that we can know one another in a greater way (2 Timothy 3:10). We believe there are levels of relationships. If we are to build together, it will require a high level of relationship, vision and trust. (Lot and Abraham couldn’t build together).
The overarching backdrop of our understanding of God’s purpose for this fellowship is the belief that God has not called churches and individuals to work alone but together with others. Far too many of God’s servants as well as churches are isolated from others, laboring under the erroneous belief that they can accomplish God’s purpose alone. We believe that it takes men and women working together to accomplish what God has ordained for our day and hour. That is why a central facet of the purpose of Master Builders is to provide a place where true servants of God and their churches can find through fellowship, relationship, sharing ministry, and building together, all that they need to become what God has called them to be.
Churches and missions will be enhanced as vision and opportunity are imparted and leaders built up and encouraged to “seize the day.”
Our fellowship and unity is based on putting Christ at the center. We are “center-set.” Although correct doctrine and correct method is important to all of us, we know there are differences of interpretation among men of honesty and good will. We are therefore not centered about interpretation of doctrine or method so much as we are about purity of heart toward the Lord and integrity of the walk in the Spirit. Therefore we are not “boundary-set” (Setting boundaries of acceptance), except for a pure heart toward Christ and integrity of life and purpose. We welcome diversity and believe it to be healthy. We believe it also tends to keep us in balance. We believe that if our relationships are strong and are aimed at our being conformed together into the image of Christ, that Satan will not be able to defeat us by causing problems in our diversity. We believe the Holy Spirit is able to bring us all into truth if we are teachable and have no guile.
Identify and Release Apostolic/ Five-Fold Teams
We believe that Christ through His Spirit makes known His called ministers. We also believe that a “man’s gift makes room for itself.” Our part as a fellowship is to do all we can to identify, encourage these callings and gifts, and see that they are mentored into maturity.
The measure of apostolic and prophetic gifting varies from person to person and situation to situation. The church is built in a revelatory way by the apostolic/prophetic team gifting (Ephesians 2:20-22 and 3:3-6.
All five-fold ministry gifts should be parts of teams to strengthen and build churches, not just apostles and prophets.
The marks of an apostle or prophet are many, but the chief one is that they love the church and are jealous for her welfare and growing maturity.
Encourage and Teach Sound Doctrine
We live in a time when sound doctrine is rare and people often fall prey to unbiblical teaching and emphasis.
Master Builders desires to assist local churches in the promotion of sound, biblical truth to insure that ministries and churches relating to us are not being built on the latest fad but firmly on the Word of God.
We believe that each church is fully autonomous and ruled by the local pastor and elders.
It is our understanding that local churches need strong apostolic and other five-fold input when first planted; but that they should require less and less direction and counseling as they mature.
Cooperation With Other Fellowships and Presbyteries
We desire to have the same heart as Paul and Apollos, who, while having differing backgrounds, callings, and approaches to ecclesiastical matters, nevertheless worked together for the Kingdom.
We plan to dialogue and cooperate with any like fellowship as long as we do not encounter patently false doctrine or personal ambition.