My dad was a builder all his life from the age of 15. There are many groups of houses around my home village of Lakenheath in Suffolk that would not be there if it were not for the tireless work of my dad and his gang of brickies. As a child I grew up around building sites finding adventures that health and safety would discourage today. Sitting in cold sheds and caravans in the winter listening to the banter and watching the games of cards, playing with sand piles and running water to my hearts content. When I grew older then I had a chance to mix some cement and move piles of bricks for some pocket money. Then older again I had the chance to become the labourer when part of the gang was on holiday. It was during this time I came across the whole concept of foundations. Their importance to the whole building and how they needed to be right, to have the right strength and mixture in the cement, to be deep enough to hold what was above, to be planned to the brick as much if not more than the building itself. I remember one time when I was helping my dad a whole foundation had to be re-dug because the mixture was wrong and therefore not strong enough to under-gird the rest of the building. It could still be built and look the same but there would be no lasting protection against the elements and the foundation would soon crack and the building would start falling apart in a short period of time. It was during this time I learned the importance of foundations. The part of the building that would never be seen by a would be buyer. The part of the building that is buried beneath the cement and rubble. The part of the building that supports everything else.
Apostles and prophets are Foundational.
Within Christendom and especially the charismatic wing there is a huge emphasis on elevating the gift man or woman. They are the ones who find the stage, have the voice, become the face of the church or movement. They are the ones who bring vision and direction, they are the ones who carry the word of the Lord, they are the ones who carry the anointing. They are the planners, the builders and the building. With them everything functions at a high level, without them there is confusion and panic. Those who manage to become very special and radical carry the titles or recognition of being apostles and prophets. Church planters, movement leaders, personal prophecy and directive givers. Held up there so high sometimes they become the untouchables. Those held in awe and high esteem. Almost infallible and walking with God in third heavens. They have a hot line to heaven and an authority over people on the earth. Chosen and called by God to rule over and lead people to a higher nirvana. Yet how does that translate as being foundational as Paul called them? They translate it as ‘we are the most important look at us’ but I think this gives a wrong interpretation of being foundational. Foundations are so important but they are buried, unseen, covered. They are there but not displayed to the public unless as one humbled by what has been poured on top. Unless a grain of wheat is buried and dies it cannot bear much fruit. Unless you want a face full of dirt do not desire to be foundational to anything. Burial is the way to life.
Supporting not supported.
Surely once the apostolic and prophetic are seen overground and on the stage they are positioned incorrectly in the House. Foundational means underground, unseen, supporting what is seen and unseen, covered over with dirt and the earth, voice not heard but evident through the vulnerable and exposed. Supporting not supported. Laid down and buried for the full picture to rise and emerge. Around the margins not in the centre. Yet what have they become? What have we allowed them to become? What have they desired and trained for? The true apostolic people and prophetic voices will hardly ever be found on a church platform. They will be the ones who arrive in a city and give their lives to the fabric of that city. They will be the ones interwoven into all spheres of society and who will bring life just because they serve and give of themselves. They will be the ones who speak honesty and words of truth without accolade and echoes of repeated and recorded product. They may right books but Christendom will never know about them, they may plant community but they will not be the ones who are the visible factor, they will not run conferences or be on the cover of magazines. They will be the great unseen under-girding of a people movement that will be the bricks of the temple where God resides. Not gatherers around themselves or places, but senders and equippers for the journey. Encouragers of others to say they can do it. Supporters of the exposed and those weathering storms and the heat of the day. A people of humility who will always keep asking ‘am I buried enough?’ Am I covered with enough dirt, have I got too much exposure, am I allowing the right mix to bring strength to what is being built? It is the day of the buried.