We believe that followers of Jesus Christ are, “fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.” Ephesians 2:19-20 (NIV)
With this in mind we strive to build long lasting personal relationships with our partners where we can both encourage and challenge one another in the faith.
We ask that you read the answers to the Frequently Asked Questions in this light and urge you to get in touch with us should you have questions that have not been answered here.
From natural law we see that when something is healthy, it grows. The same thing applies to God’s Church. However, we believe that this growth needs to be reflected on two levels. Therefore, to say that a church is experiencing healthy growth we must look at the level of spiritual growth in individual members, as well as the growth in numbers of members being added to the body.
We believe that when the Holy Spirit moves to bring purity, change, power and direction, we need to be flexible to be led by Him. This applies to individual church members as well as leaders. We must aim at all times to be prepared to put our plans aside in favour of His plans.
Practically, this influences every part of our lives as believers, whether we are in a church meeting or not. Our highest goal in everything we do individually or corporately must be to actively seek the leading of the Holy Spirit who is God.
We believe that the church is the body of Christ and is made up of many different members. Each member is called to fulfil their unique destiny according to their gifting’s and talents. We hope that through a lifestyle of accountability and unity in the faith, founded in love, each member will, “become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:13
With this in mind it is important that every saint, along with apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers and pastors, give themselves to the mandate of preparing, “the people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” Ephesians 4:12
At the beginning of His ministry Jesus recognised and released a number of apostles. He delegated responsibility and authority of the church to these men. They in turn each gave themselves to effectively caring for different areas within His Kingdom. We believe that He continues to recognise and release apostles in our day who endeavour to build the church along with elders, deacons and the saints according to the pattern of scripture.
We don’t want to build the church based on programs, around boards of directors and executive committees. While there is no law against building in this way, this is not the pattern we see in scripture.
What we see in the scriptures about a healthy church, is most effectively explained in Acts 2:42-45. It is said of the early church that,
“they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
Our hope is that Zao Church and all Four12 partnering churches, and in fact all churches across the globe, would move increasingly closer to this biblical picture of a healthy church. We understand that this type of church may not be palatable to the world at large, but our aim is to first and foremost, submit ourselves to Jesus Christ as He builds His church by the power of the Holy Spirit.