“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11-13)
As the Founder and Apostle over our apostolic network, Harvest International Ministry, and the Senior Pastor of HRock Church, an apostolic center, I have been given the unique opportunity to be an apostle to apostles. This is because of the specific anointing of God on my life.
The Apostle Paul makes very clear in Ephesians 4 that the purpose of the fivefold ministry of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers is to equip, build up, bring unity, and mature the church. Grace has been given, by Christ, for each one to function in their fivefold anointing.
I am personally passionate about helping apostles function in the fullness of their calling for the purpose of advancing the Great Commission. That is why I released the book Modern-Day Apostles. In it I have identified 30 characteristics that modern-day apostles should possess to effectively bring about revival and reformation in their sphere of influence.
Here I want to share a few excerpts from my book to bring clarity and understanding about the role and function of the apostolic in church government and how it can be a gift to the body of believers and further advance the Gospel.
The Apostolic Calling
We live in a world dominated by vision statements, mission statements, and purpose statements. We often dismiss leaders and organizations who cannot clearly articulate what they are doing and why. In ministry the question is often asked as, “What is your calling and purpose?”
And rightly so. “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Prov. 29:18). Habakkuk was instructed by God to “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it” (Habakkuk 2:2).
When I use the term “modern-day apostle,” I am not comparing today’s apostles with the apostles of yesteryear. I am highlighting the fact that apostles are not relegated to yesteryear. They not only exist today; they play a critical role in bringing about revival and reformation. However, to make this vision plain so that we can all run with it, I have set forth the biblical, historical, and functional rationales for the existence of apostles and prophets.
Let’s begin with the most foundational question of all: What exactly is an apostle?
“And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles.” (Luke 6:13) Notice that Jesus did not call 12 of His followers and name them disciples. We often refer to these twelve individuals as “disciples,” and so they were; but so were many others. Jesus “named” these particular 12 individuals “apostles.”
Why? I believe Jesus used a name that also reflected their role and their purpose. In terms used at the time, an apostle was an official who was sent by a governmental official to represent that government.
Jesus chose a term that was being used by the Roman Empire — apostolos. It is a Greek word that means “sent out one.” The Greeks used the word to describe an admiral over a fleet of ships sent out by his king to conquer other territories and to establish his government in those territories.
The Roman Empire that occupied Palestine during the time of Jesus also believed in this approach. As Rome conquered land and expanded its territory, the leaders of the Empire realized something important to their survival—unless they brought Roman culture to that conquered territory, the inhabitants of the land would revert to their previous culture and they would rebel against the Empire. Changing culture is also one of the responsibilities of the modern-day apostle — not just church culture but society’s culture as well.
Discover more about the world of the apostolic and get a copy of my book Modern-Day Apostles for yourself here.