Biblical Delegation And Impartation
By Rodney W. Francis
IN ACTS Chapter Six we have an amazing account of how the early Church handled problems and growth. The problems arose because of the numerical growth of people coming to Christ. As things progressed, areas of neglect started to creep in, and out of that, murmurings and complaints developed. The problems were brought to the attention of the leaders, who recognized them and set the standard of requirement for those being appointed to attend to the matter. Those problems were turned into a creative opportunity to release more people to function. We notice that the existing twelve leaders (apostles) did not take on board those extra responsibilities, but knew to delegate to others in order to sustain their continued growth of Christian believers. The twelve could do this because they knew their own sphere of calling. They knew they had to remain focussed on "prayer and the ministry of the word" (v.4). They knew if they didn’t delegate and release others to pick up responsibility, they themselves would become "the cork in the bottle" and become the hindrance to what God wanted. How important it is for us leaders to know our calling, to know our boundaries and limitations in the purposes of God. Too many churches have become "starved" of growth and the blessings of God the Holy Spirit because leaders have not been able to "let go" and delegate areas of neglect to others. Often there is a problem of leaders not trusting their people enough to release them to do things that will help to generate further growth. It is a fact that leaders hold the keys to these things – we release or restrict others according our decisions and actions.
In their delegating the twelve Apostles set the criterion for those seven people being released into new areas of function. Even though that particular task seemed to be a very natural one, i.e. that of daily looking after the affairs of the widows, the spiritual requirements for that were high:
Notice the apostles did not do the choosing – the people did. The apostles set the acceptable conditions – and the people had to seek them out and decide. That way they had to live with their own choices – they could not murmur and complain that the apostles "forced" those people (or their decisions) on them. The apostles gave spiritual responsibility to the people and the power to choose. They looked through their "members" and found seven men, including Stephen "a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit" (v. 5).
The criterion of Acts Six is still a very good one for today. When people are appointed into church and leadership positions without that "good report" and "full of the Holy Spirit"and people "full of faith" being the basic "starting point" for acceptance, we immediately lower the standards God has set, and, over time, will see a decaying away from spiritual standards into a politically-based and politically-motivated church. Leadership and positions of responsibility over other people must come up to the Biblical standards.
In Acts Six the people did not simply make the appointments and seven men started serving widows tables. They were first presented before the apostles, who then laid hands on them and imparted some spiritual power and authority into them that impacted the unseen spirit realm, as well as the Church in Jerusalem. A public impartation ceremony saw the apostles - through the Holy Spirit anointing within them – release into them spiritual things they had never encountered before. Something powerful happened through impartation. Impartation is "sharing with or giving away to others what you have." We need to understand impartation more than we do. It is a key to releasing people who meet God’s criterion, and the peoples’ acceptance for public ministry. Look at what the Bible says:
"And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas, a proselyte ("a person newly converted to a religious faith") from Antioch, whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them. Then the Word of God spread and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith" (v. 5-7).
What was happening there?
The apostles not only approved of the peoples’ choices, they actually empowered them through the laying on of hands in impartation ministry that impacted and broke through in the spirit realm in the whole area of Jerusalem! As they laid hands on the seven, they released their Holy Ghost giftings, mantles and authority into them.
And something happened that impacted Jerusalem!
THE POWER OF BIBLICAL DELEGATION AND IMPARTATION
When we Christians will do things God’s way, through a good public testimony and "being filled with the Holy Ghost and faith," we will release the power of God within us to see the Kingdom of God grow! That is the power of the prophetic! . . . Functioning in the will of God, through the voice of God to accomplish supernaturally the purposes of God.
The leaders of the early Church delegated responsibility of choice to the believers and they also "delegated" or imparted spiritual authority, power and responsibility through the laying on of hands! The early Church got results! She functioned under spiritual leadership in tune with God – spiritual leadership who could trust the people to find the right people with the right "credentials" to do the right things. As we read on through the Book of Acts (the Acts of the Apostles), we soon discover that Stephen and Philip had their future ministries imparted into them that day when the apostles laid their hands on them. They went on to powerful signs, wonders and miracles ministries (Acts ch. 6-8). Something within their lives was liberated in a spiritual way when the Twelve imparted into them.
It should be the same for us today! I say, let’s get back to doing things the Bible way! You see, when we function as Holy Spirit filled people, we can allow and release the Holy Spirit out of "our innermost being" to flow like a river to bless, release and impact others (John 7:37-39 ; Ezekiel 47:1-12 )! The Eternal Spirit of the Eternal God wants to set us up in time for all eternity! The Eternal Spirit of God wants to use us to establish and release in others the eternal purposes of God! That’s what the Twelve Early Church Apostles did for the people. They released them to function! They released them in eternal, spiritual things! They were there for the people – not the other way round.
In recent years, as we have developed and understood the ministry of impartation more, we have imparted by the Holy Spirit into many lives. The ongoing fruit of that has been very encouraging indeed. People have flowed more in spiritual gifts, faith, healings, the prophetic, and their ministries. There has come a more supernatural impact into their lives and ministries. We have seen and heard of wonderful testimonies from numbers who have received impartation through the laying on of hands.
One of the reasons it is vital for us all to be "full of the Holy Spirit" is because true Christianity is in the Holy Spirit – Who always glorifies JESUS CHRIST in us! We must bealive in the Holy Spirit, and He must be alive and active in us! People don’t need a programme, or even more Bible knowledge (in a natural sense). They need to be impacted by the Holy Spirit of Truth giving them revelation of who they are and what they’re called of God to do. Whenever we yield to and follow the guiding of the Holy Spirit, He will always take us closer to Jesus, the Word of God, a sanctified life-style and whatever is acceptable and pleasing to God!
In Acts Six their problems could have become an absolute disaster. But those Holy Spirit filled leaders knew the wisdom of God, they knew their own callings in God and would not allow other responsibilities to be "loaded onto their plates." They knew how to delegate the responsibility of decision making to the people by providing the spiritual standards of requirement and letting the people choose. They then powerfully supported their decisions by imparting Holy Spirit giftings and abilities into those seven men to fulfil their tasks supernaturally.
The Church went forth "in leaps and bounds" numerically and spiritually. It didn’t become "bottle-necked" at the top. The Church and Her message were presented in such a way the whole city and community was influenced. Even the religious temple priests came under conviction of their forms of tradition and deadness, realized the error of their ways and turned to Jesus to follow the Holy Spirit way. The results of what we read in Acts Six would have actually caused the whole process to be repeated again, and maybe again and again, as they faced the challenge of the thousands of new believers being brought to faith in Jesus Christ. The leaders delegated and imparted to see the whole body of believers functioning in the way they should, and to keep the whole body growing in a wholesome and healthy way.
Let’s ask ourselves afresh today:
It is time for us Christians to be totally honest about where we stand with Jesus, the Word of God, the Holy Spirit, the purpose of God, and where we fit into all these according to His will. May this article provoke us all to give ourselves more to these things. Amen.