The Armada Handbook answers commonly asked questions. It serves as a guide and the standing rules for the ministry of Armada, her members, and partners.
It is reproduced here, and in the articles that follow, where we endeavor to “write the vision, making it plain so he may run who reads it…” (Habakkuk 2:2).
By its classical definition, an Armada is a fleet of ships, or a large group of moving things. We use this name to convey the idea of a group of ministers and ministries working together as a team. The Armada is an apostolic ministry networking churches, ministries and leaders.
I’ve always seen the value of sowing my life into others, helping other men and women find their place in the Body of Christ. Ephesians chapter four instructs us to “equip the saints to do the work of the ministry” and we know this to be a key definition of Biblical ministry and its purpose. I’ve been blessed over the past thirty years to have walked side by side with many as they stepped up to fulfill the call of God on their life. That I’ve had a part in discipling, teaching, and encouraging many is so rewarding. I’m never more fulfilled than when I see a young man or woman enter into their ministry.
The Armada Network began as an outgrowth of a lifestyle and ministry that believes in such strong relationships. I never planned for it to happen, but over a period of time men and women with whom we had built ministry relationships began to walk with the same heart and spirit. We found ourselves operating with the same principles. We are family. We naturally began helping one another, working as sincerely for the advance of the other person’s ministry as we were concerned about our own. In fact, it is all one ministry, the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Over time it has became necessary to formalize for the sake of organization and communication. The family has grown larger – and now with members and partners – we are embracing growth on a larger scale.
Still, people often ask me, just what is Armada?
We chose this name, led by the Lord, because Armada represents and best describes many basic principles of what we are and what we do.
Again, Armada is a fleet of ships, or a large body of things in motion. As a fleet, Armada carries a nautical symbol, and one that characterizes travel and reaching around the globe. We are missions minded. We are itinerant. We believe in mobile ministry flowing out of the local Church. Remember that Armada is first and foremost an apostolic ministry. In fact, the first use of the word apostolos in ancient Greek described the role of what today we commonly call an Admiral.
Armada represents our belief in apostolic ministry for the present day Church. This is more than the role of an individual called as an apostle. True apostolic ministry is the body in motion, the effect of all the ministry gifts working together in a team environment. To be candid, and by way of example, the pastor’s ministry is best fulfilled when he can flow in an apostolic ministry, related with other ministry gifts that impart and bless whenever possible. This environment allows the body of Christ to receive from all the ministry gifts. We believe it’s important to have a place where the full expression of all the five-fold ministry gifts can be released.
In addition, as a fleet of ships, Armada represents that we are made up of a variety of leaders, ministers and ministries. There are many ships. A man can be a member of Armada, but so also can a Church, or a ministry. With a common heart towards world missions, we find ourselves spontaneously networking to fulfill the Great Commission. That’s where our slogan came from, missions networking ministries. There’s no reason to recreate the wheel in so many given situations. We are often able to focus on our strengths, and allow the strengths of others to rise up where we are weak.
It’s also why I point out that although we have a ministry fellowship –fellowship is really not the aim or main focus of our coming together. We are a network. Doing the work of the ministry is our focus, and in the doing of it we find fellowship as a byproduct. I’ve never seen such depth of fellowship as when two or three ministers travel together overseas, teaching in Bible Schools, or starting new Churches, or serving orphanages. There is an incredible bound formed in the work of the ministry.
We have care one for another. That’s a Biblical mandate. And the benefit of the Armada, this fleet of ships, is that we are together. We have gathered a strong menu of services to help our members. To date, we offer the ability to handle the tax and accounting issues every ministry and Church faces. We have insurances available to cover basic liabilities. The Armada has arguably the best non-profit law firm in the USA on retainer. In addition, we offer ordination, and have appointed an amazing team of ministers to lead our presbytery. They give us oversight, approve new ordinations, perform reviews, and if necessary offer Biblical correction and restoration.
Please feel free to contact me at any time, and don’t be afraid to press in! Your return of investment is directly related to your depth of involvement.
While I’m honored and privileged to lead such an anointed group of ministers, the most important thing I’ve learned is that God has raised up a true network, a real and solid ministry. It is not based on one man, nor is it one man’s ministry. It’s your ministry, and you each hold a valuable place.
We are together the Armada Network.