The Wineskin Workers

Effective administration ensures the best outpouring of the Holy SpiritD-MinLead-Admin

Administration’s time has come. These words still echo in my head two years after first hearing them in the form of a prophetic word. That word would cause me to fully embrace and value my gift of administration, as well as encourage others to do the same.

Administration is often misunderstood to be about typing, filing and clerical work. To study administration is to study how to lead and manage change. Administration is leadership. Misunderstanding, devaluing or disowning this gift is a huge mistake, particularly at this moment in history. We live in the days of the greatest change and opportunity this world has ever seen. The corporate world has grasped this and has stewarded increase with great skill, creativity and hard work.

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At the same time, the church is hesitant to embrace the very gift that will enable it to carry out the God-given assignment of stewarding increase, change and transformation. 

For many years I have loved the verses of Isaiah 9:6-7, but have often been perplexed at the meaning of the phrase, “The government will be upon His shoulder.” We often refer to a government as an administration, and recently I realized that our approach to government has been to adopt the best form of administration that we see presently on earth and do our best to integrate in a few kingdom principles. 

Unless our government is fully integrated with every aspect of the body, we will create something inferior rather than “an administration suitable to the fullness of times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ” (Eph. 1:10, New American Standard Bible, NASB).

We must recognize that, whether within or outside of the church, administration must always serve the spirit of the organization. Otherwise, the organization will fail and become administratively top-heavy or bureaucratic.

Ezekiel 47 gives us a picture of government in the form of a river. The river gets deeper the farther from the temple it flows. Bureaucracy, on the other hand, gets deeper the closer it gets to headquarters. Swimming through mounds of paper and automated telephone responses is the caricature of bureaucracy.

In the Bible, the wineskin is often compared to a 
governmental structure. It is a helpful comparison if the true use and value of the wineskin is understood. The wineskin’s purpose is to receive, carry, store and pour out the wine. The wineskin is never as valuable as the wine and, if not cared for appropriately, can damage or lose its contents. 

In that same way, our 
purpose is to receive, carry, store and pour out His presence in whatever form He chooses to come. The flexibility of many corporations in the last 
half-century has enabled them to not only stay in business, but also progress with the many changes of our modern era. This is the very dynamic illustrated by the wineskin, the very dynamic we should be demonstrating as believers.

The church should lead the way, practicing administration that not only serves the vision, but also values the power and the presence of God, just as the administration of Moses did. Moses allowed his encounters with God to move a nation forward and build a tabernacle representing the values of heaven that he learned while in God’s presence. Anything less than this example will reduce a move of God to what man can do on his own. 

The body has been given a gift, one that is listed in 1 Corinthians 12:28 along with miracles and healings. It is time to ask for this gift so that we can see kingdom government established and see every move of God reach its full potential, being passed on to the next generation.

Paul Manwaring is a pastor and member of the senior management team at Bethel Church in Redding, Calif. His primary responsibilities are to oversee Global Legacy, an apostolic relational network of revival leaders. Paul also equips and deploys revivalists through his oversight of the third-year program in Bethel’s School of Supernatural Ministry. He is the author of What on Earth is Glory? (Destiny Image).

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