In the far off days of the early Celtic Church, Bishops travelled the length and breadth of Britain, mostly on foot, meeting with ordinary people and encouraging them. They not only sought to convert the heathen to Christianity but also to discover where the Holy Spirit’s Gifts were and offer encouragement and direction for growth.
Leaders and non-leaders alike visited centres which specialised in their gifting, e.g. Evangelists, teachers, Healers etc. Here they were taught by the early Celtic saints, built up into men and women of grace and power and then sent back to their communities as leaders; they were leaders in the church in their particular field of ministry and leaders in society guarding the moral and spiritual values of the community.
In other words the church set out to discover its gifting, teach and encourage it and then release it into the world.
No wonder the early church was on fire for God!
The arrival of the Church of Rome in Britain began a process of change in the shape of the organisation. Gradually all leadership became invested in the clergy and the church began to take on the assumption that most gifting lay towards the apex of a triangular organisation rather than being spread around in a more circular shape. To a greater or lesser extent this assumption remains with us today.
The Order of Jacob’s Well is not an alternative to the way things work today but seeks to regain some of those ideals from the early British church.
It seeks to find and encourage the particular gift of hospitality of heart which longs to help those who suffer and longs to see others deepen in their relationship with God.
It seeks to offer teaching and insight to enhance such gifts, to Licence them as Ministers of the Order and to equip them for ministry in their church and home.
It is an Order of Healing and Wholeness in Christ.
The Order of Jacob’s Well is a branch of the Christian Church, not an alternative one, which is non-denominational and bears no distinction within its membership between Ordained and Lay, male or female or any label of churchmanship. The Order is not a new church or denomination, belonging to the Order would be an extension of your existing church life.
Although it offers a Code of Practice for ministry the Order doesn’t seek to change anyone’s style of ministry but simply offers to enhance and encourage it for the glory of God through Jesus Christ. If the Holy Spirit speaks to you through our Introduction pack then please get in touch; it would be good to hear from you.
Yours in Christ
The Revd Mike Endicott
Founder, The Order of Jacob’s Well