"Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong."
1 Corinthians 16:13
Men, welcome to the Apostolic Men of Integrity. This is the men's ministry of the Apostolic Pentecostal Church of Waterloo, Iowa. It is our pleasure to serve you and accompany you on your life's walk with our saviour, Jesus Christ.
The Apostolic Men of Integrity is a Christ-oriented ministry for men, by men, that through the gospel of Jesus Christ emphasises the biblical importance of the family, encourages personal growth, and reaches out to unsaved men through love, prayer and fellowship.
The fundamental doctrine of this organisation shall be the Bible standard of full salvation, which is repentance, baptism in water by immersion in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and the baptism of the Holy Ghost with the initial sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance.
We shall endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit until we all come into the unity of the faith, at the same time admonishing all brethren that they shall not contend for their different views to the disunity of the body.
The Apostolic Men of Integrity ministry operates at a number of levels of outreach. The root of all aspects of this ministry is the Fellowship Meeting. The other levels of ministry supported include: Small Groups, Seminars, Discipleship, Prayer Partners, Men's Retreats and Personal Ministries.
The purpose of this handbook is to tell you about our men's ministry and what it has to offer for you. You are not required to attend every function, nor are you required to utilise every level of this ministry, but we would encourage you to be as involved as your available commitments permit.
This is a ministry of enabling, encouragement and growth in Christ. The leadership of both the church and the men's ministry can and will encourage you to grow to new levels in the Lord, but remember that at the end of the day, you have to do the growing. We can teach you, we can provide you with resources and guidance, but we cannot make you grow. We are all volunteers here.
We encourage you to take the mission statement and statement of commitment very seriously. These are the basis for all future menus group direction. Our authority and guidance is by the divinely inspired and absolute Word of the Lord, given in the Holy Bible, but our menus ministry direction and mode of operation will be guided by our mission and commitment statements.
One last point. It is impossible to cover everything within one handbook, so please feel free to speak with any of the menus ministry leadership if you have a question or issue arising from anything contained in this handbook or that you feel has not been addressed.
The objective of the Apostolic Men of Integrity is three-fold: the support of Pastors, the growth and development of our brethren and reaching out to unsaved men. To this end, we ask that each man carefully and prayerfully consider committing himself to the following:
I commit to support and encourage my Pastor at all times. Praying for him regularly and before each service. Honouring the house of the Lord and those given the rule over me. Being faithful in attendance of services. Supporting the ministry and the church through the biblical standard of tithes and offerings.
I commit to support and encourage my brothers at all times. Meeting and praying together regularly. Studying the Word of the Lord that I may become a man of God. Growing together into the unity of the faith.
I commit to honour the Great Commission by spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ to the unsaved. Stretching forth hands of friendship and love to those without the eternal hope of salvation. Displaying the light of truth to the world.
This is the foundation level of the Apostolic Men of Integrity, the underpinning and foundation of the whole Men's Ministry. All the groundwork for the Apostolic Men of Integrity is laid here. Remember, men, that you best serve your own interests by supporting these meetings.
It is at the Fellowship Meetings that you will meet with other men and build true biblical masculine friendships. It is at these same Fellowship Meetings where you can begin to experience the true Christian fellowship of the early church recorded in the book of Acts.
"And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers." - Acts 2:42
The Fellowship Meeting is an ideal environment for inviting guests. Remember, the Fellowship Meeting is a "low risk" and "non-threatening" environment. They are typically not held within the sanctuary and usually involve food, often breakfast. This combination helps most men feel comfortable, enabling them to relax and enjoy the fellowship.
The Small Group is the next step after the Fellowship Meeting. It is at the Small Group where you meet with between six to eight men. With their smaller size, their emphasis is more towards mutual encouragement, support and studying than the Fellowship Meeting.
The format of the Small Group is always closed door. Each group meets away from others. This encourages a climate of freedom of expression and personal sharing. It is one of the successes of the Small Group that such personal sharing is enabled. The first rule of the Apostolic Men of Integrity Small Group is that what is said in the meeting room, stays in the meeting room.
The leader of the Small Group is to be viewed more as a facilitator. It is his objective to encourage each man present to join in the study and discussions leading from it. As a member of a Small Group, you have the power to make each meeting a success or a failure.
Seminars are a valuable part of the Apostolic Men of Integrity ministry. They are a means of responding with teaching and encouragement to needs within the men of the Apostolic Men of Integrity. Periodically the menus ministry leadership discuss the needs of the membership and potential seminar subjects that would help meet those needs.
The seminars are typically held three times a year and are usually of around three hours duration on a Saturday morning. In this time there is opportunity provided for fellowship as well as for discussion and questions and answers about the topic covered. Previous seminar topics have included "Principle and Practice" and "Personal Finances". Guests are always welcome at an Apostolic Men of Integrity seminar.
At it's simplest form discipleship is an experienced saint helping a less experienced saint, teaching them and watching out for them from their own wisdom and knowledge. There are so many examples of discipleship in the scriptures that an exhaustive list would take up much space, rather consider Elijah and Elisha. This is one of the better known mentoring relationships in the bible and is suggested as a study for those looking for an opportunity with discipleship. (1 Kings 19:19-21 is a good starting point).
Discipleship is not a formal relationship and is voluntary between those involved. There has to a matching of personalities and Christian direction for discipleship to work. The Apostolic Men of Integrity thoroughly endorse discipleship and your menus ministry leaders will be delighted to help if you wish to disciple or be discipled, but will never dictate these relationships. Mentors and protégés should be free to select each other based on mutual trust and admiration.
The Apostolic Men of Integrity recognise the importance of both personal and corporate prayer. Prayer partners do not replace the need for either of the other two types of prayer, but are a wonderful way to add a third dimension to your prayer life. A prayer partner is one of the men with whom you will make an agreement to pray regularly for him and his family and likewise, he for you and your family.
As a Prayer partner your prayer may be alone or together with your brother and may be at any time that is agreeable to both parties. There is no wrong way to be a prayer partner. The only “rule” if it may be referred to as such, is that you will keep secret anything your brother tells you by way of a prayer request for he or his family. Your mission is to uphold your prayer partner before the Lord, interceding on his behalf regularly and consistently, knowing that he is doing the same for you.
Retreats are a wonderful time of refreshing and an opportunity to spend both quality and quantity of time with your brothers in Christ. Often retreats are composed of men from more than one church and this is a wonderful opportunity to build inter-church friendships. After all, we are all viewed as one Church by the Lord, so anything that you can do to encourage friendships between yourself and your brethren in other towns and cities will promote unity in the body to the betterment of all and the glory of God. Guests are always welcome at an Apostolic Men of Integrity retreat.
The scriptures are clear on the matter of ministry by the saints. Whilst not all are called to be pastors, prophets, teachers, apostles or evangelists, we are all called to minister, according to the Lord's will for our life and our given talents and abilities. As a saint of God, you are created for ministry:
"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." - Ephesians 2:10
Men, consider very carefully those skills and talents that you have, for you have received them from the Lord. Think on how you might use these skills for the kingdom of God, then arrange some time with either your Pastor or one of the menus ministry leaders to discuss how best to use your skills and enthusiasm within in the church, matching you to an existing ministry or perhaps starting an entire new ministry for you to operate within.
"As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God." - 1 Peter 4:10
These are a number of resources that you will find useful for spiritual growth. This is a large list, but to help you in your selection, the titles have been divided according to area. If you feel that you need or want to explore an area, then start there, otherwise it is suggested that you select one book from an area, read it and then move on to another area. This is not a race and no-one is going to check up on you, but a good target might be four books a year. Remember also, that the ultimate resource is the Bible itself and the teaching and preaching of your Pastor. Do not overlook these valuable sources!
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