If You’re Reading this You Might be an Apostle

30 05 2008

If I were to fault just one factor that is leading to the decline of Christianity in the West it would be this –

Men who have been given apostolic gifting in the West settle for growing large churches

and in our generation

Men who have been given apostolic gifting in the West settle for starting and growing a “new model” church.

This has and is devastating the movement of Christianity in our day.

And who are these apostles? One easy place to find them is guys who like to read and write blogs that discuss church structure.

I want to ask and answer 3 simple questions –

1. How do you know if you’re in Apostle (a good modern word would be architect)?

  • NOT because you’re a superstar (a huge misconception)
  • You enjoy studying church structure
  • You understand the implication of structural changes on an organization
  • You want to spend more time using your gifts for the Kingdom rather than anywhere else
  • You’re pretty good to excellent in the business world
  • You feel uncomfortable with the idea of being a life-long pastor in a particular church
  • You can read an appreciate a good organizational chart

2. What should an Apostle do

  • Adopt a model of church that allows you to plant a work quickly (under 6 months) where it will grow without your (or any paid person’s) constant involvement (this will create a pattern of exponential growth).
  • Start 2-6 new works per year
  • Form a team of 6-10 5-fold people (by releasing other 5-fold people that grow up in your new works)
  • Constantly network with other Apostles (read, write and debate)

3. Why shouldn’t I just plant/pastor a church

  • You will turn what is supposed to be a balanced organism into an organization around your gift (or other 5-fold gifts)
  • You will deprive many churches of your help that need apostolic assistance
  • You will contribute greatly to the decline of Christianity instead of enflame its exponential expansion
  • You will always feel somewhat stifled in the pastoral position

I believe the main reason why thousands of apostolic teams are not criss-crossing the globe is because our current unbiblical model of church has replaced itinerant Apostle with Senior Pastor. And if your church is lucky enough to land and domesticate an Apostle as your Senior Pastor then he will out think and out grow the churches around him making your church the happening place in town.

So instead of Apostles building hundreds of works in their lifetime that release thousands of people, today they suck the life out of hundreds of churches releasing only themselves and a few others. It’s been a poor exchange and God wants it to change.

I believe there will be a re-emergence of Apostolic ministry in our day that will reverse this effect. So, if you’re reading this, begin preparing.

(check out Len’s excellent article on The New Apostles)

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11 responses

31 05 2008
Domesticated Apostles in Modern America? | arieljvan.com

[…] came across this thought at From Eden to Zion: I believe the main reason why thousands of apostolic teams are not criss-crossing the globe is […]

2 06 2008
Daniel

So, Maybe I might be an Apostle (BTW, After 20some years in fundamental Apostles-don’t-exist-anymore type churches, it was very hard for me to make that “A” capital).
All I can say now is, “help!” I don’t know what the next step is, I read this article and say, “YES, That’s my (maybe I should say God’s) dream for my life!” But, I don’t know what to do next. I read way too many blogs, dream too many dreams, and have so much faith that God can and will use me in ways I can not imagine to just sit her any more.

3 06 2008
eden2zion

Daniel – Love your capital “A” comment. It took me years and years to hit that shift key when writing the word as well.

Apostles should –

1. Be an apprentice under a currently active Apostle
2. When ready be sent out to start new works.
3. Form a complete 5-fold team from people raised up in works you start
4. Transition all financial support from works you start
5. Begin to apprentice other Apostles under you to begin their own teams.

That’s best cause scenario. I don’t know how set up you are for itinerant lifestyle. A side point is learn a trade you can take anywhere in the world. All 4 Apostles/Apostles in training in our network have learned or are learning internet trades.

3 06 2008
Daniel

can I shoot you an email? I looked for an address but cannot find one.

Thanks!

4 06 2008
eden2zion

Sure it’s jp—- at —-marketplaceearth.com. Look forward to hearing from you.

11 06 2008
len

I wonder if there might be a middle ground between these two..

* there are no apostles
* there are Apostles (cap A)

Maybe there are apostles, and they are just another gift meant to build the body and partner with God in his kingdom. Your friend the carpenter might be one, just as Paul the sporting goods designer was one… er, yeh, that’s tent maker.

Try this one for size..
http://nextreformation.com/?page_id=2150

11 06 2008
len

Right, shd have read the comments first. But it does seem we limit apostleship to something directly ekklesial. What if some apostles are actually more engaged with leadership outside the walls than inside? Particularly now when we need to learn to engage in spaces that are ex-ekklesial because we have made the church the center of everything.. like Jesus, “preaching the gospel of the church” .. oops.. kingdom. Or “I came that you might have church and that more abundantly…”

14 06 2008
eden2zion

Hi Len,

Excellent point! I spend most of my time in the business world and feel this gift is similar to a systems architect and in high demand in the workplace. BUT, I’d say that, because we haven’t learned how to release this gift in the church, guys with this gift are likely to misuse or under use this gift in ecclesial contexts. I bounced around for 10+ years trying to figure out how the heck to use my gift in the church but now I get it and its very natural. Just wish someone would have helped me out with this years ago. Love the posts on this on your blog by the way. Very helpful!

13 06 2009
John

I live and work in Thailand and am working under an 18 year missionary church planting veteran (Apostle) who is transitioning towards a more biblical way of planting organic churches among the unreached. We are about to embark on a Matt 10 and Luke 10 itenerate lifestyle of seeking people of peace in cities God sends us to and planting churches among them. We feel that this is the Bible way, but no one else seems to be doing it around here. And less than one percent of the people around here are Christians. Looking forward to seeing what the Lord will do.

I myself identify with the things you write here. I have started a ministry to military young people and sought to network them with other Christians as they left our ministry. I have also done very well in the business world, even though my heart burned to use my giftings for the Lord. I have served the local church by leading “missions trips”, but my heart was always restless.

I turned down good positions because they did not fit the burden in my heart for the unreached. To those of you out there who identify with this…keep staying true to the burden God has laid on your heart even if no one else understands. Keep pressing forward and be willing to step out into places to do what no one else is doing.

28 09 2010
Alton

All I know is that I was comfortable Baptist minister at a local church in Fort Worth Texas. One day while long praying in heard a voice in my Belly, saying “Apostle. This I heard twice. I should have never told a soul do to the years of people saying to me after this spiritual encounter with the Holy Spirit. That there are no apostles today.

Then later while reading Acts 4:35 and in prayer I asked the lord saying If that was you that spoke to me saying “Apostle in my (Spiritman) belly then why is there no “Money at my feet?

All at once I was taken by the Holy Spirit into a trance I was standind with another minister in an office of an Oil Company. I was told to sign for a large amount of money. When I saw the amount I backed away with fear. The finance official said Quote :IT’S OK WEHWILL REPORT THIS TO THE INTERNAL REVEVENUE. The sum of this money was $3.2 Billion. As I and the other man was walking with black suite cases filled with MONEY 4 MINISTRY we both met this other Minister coming towards us, He was holding two wrnkle $5 dollar bills behind his back. And the Lord’s voice said in this trance, That this is all the money I could bless him with because he is a CON MAN PREACHER.

13 12 2012
Thommy Sides

John,
Your final words…struck me! “Do what no one else is doing” That’s what Paul did… Maybe it’s not only about being a good church planter etc, but if you have a ministry that is unique – that fills a hole that no one else sees, or cares to see filled. Just thinking. Will keep you in prayer bro. I’m serving God in sunny South Africa…maybe we can hook up one day! Blessings, Thommy Sides

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