Spiritual Covering and Ministerial Accountability
"Obey your leaders, and submit to them; for they keep watch over your souls, as those who
will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you."
- Hebrews 13:17 NAS
Believers in Yeshua (Jesus) are not only accountable to God individually (Rom 14:12), but they are also accountable to church
leaders/elders (Eph. 5:21). Scripture clearly instructs God's people to hold their spiritual authorities/covering in high
esteem and show appreciation toward them:
"But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over
you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with
(1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 NAS)
The Apostle Peter points out that proper submission to elders is especially true for new (younger) believers:
"You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one
another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble." (1 Peter 5:5 NAS)
The absence of proper submission within in the body of Messiah reveals a lack of humility and spiritual maturity. We deem this
to be true for all believers, both sheep and shepherds, regardless of their age in the Lord. Like the old saying goes,
"You're only young once, but you can be immature forever."
Spiritual Covering for Leaders
Spiritual Covering does not stop with the sheep, but is also a biblical requirement for church leaders/elders. This is especially
true for nondenominational churches/ministries like Ascension Ministries International who want to stay fruitful and on track with
the Lord. Even the Apostle Paul (a parachurch apostle) was submitted to the apostolic leaders/elders in Jerusalem (Acts 9:26-30;
In general, this is why we believe that a man and/or a ministry that is not under authority has no real authority in God. Hence,
the number one way to determine if a nondenominational church or parachurch ministry is truly creditable or not is to ask them if
they have a pastor or body of elders that they are accountable to. If they are not properly submitted to some sort of legitimate
pastoral/spiritual covering, then you might want to think twice about hooking up with them.
Our Spiritual Covering and Accountability
At Ascension Ministries, we have put into place the Spiritual Covering and Ministerial Accountability necessary to monitor our
spiritual integrity, personal character and doctrinal teachings.
Norm Franz and Ascension Ministries are part of ARC (the Apostolic Reference Council). ARC is the Ministerial Network of
Renewed Hope Ministries based in Vancouver, Washington. Norm
serves as part of ARC's international board and is mutually submitted to the governing elders.
Norm is also a member in good standing at The Harvest,
a Messianic Synagogue in Denver, Colorado, where he is actively involved in the church and properly submitted to the elders and
* Please feel free to contact ARC at Renewed Hope
Ministries or The Harvest for a reference regarding
Norm Franz and/or Ascension Ministries.
** Additional references are available upon request.