At On Fire Ministries, we believe in Ephesians 4:11-12 is still for the building and equipping the saints today -
11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.
In part 1- we spoke about this blog to be simple and to the point – I encourage all our readers to read this blog with an open heart, mind and spirit and allow the Lord to speak to you – some of you may be called in this Ministry.
We stopped in the Part 1 with a question – why are we afraid of the name a role of apostles and prophets?
1. We could say, the "names and roles" have been abusive to the Church – If that is the case, we need to seek healing and forgiveness for the men and women that have walking in an immature character.
2. We have been taught that these roles stopped when the apostles died in the Bible – and are not for today’s church.
3. These roles have not been modeled in a way that bring Christ as the center – but promotes man’s will and self-proclaimed ministry.
The List can go on and on…since this is a blog – I want to keep it short! So let’s take a look at the role of an apostle!
What is an Apostle?
To keep this to the point – An Apostle is one that brings understanding to Church structure and government. It is one that has wisdom and revelation on how the New Testament Church is supposed to be within our society. This person has the call upon their life and is taught by the Holy Spirit – not by man – meaning – this is a gift bestowed upon someone from the inside out – not taught from the outside in – so to speak.
This person understands that they are just a part of the leadership within the church – and they seek to have the other four gifts among their leadership. They will have the tendency to oversee others, to guide, direction and bring a strong biblical understanding of this role to the table. They understand that their calling is to help the body – to establish a strong, permanent foundation for the church to stand on.
A true Apostle is solid in their faith, commitment and takes responsibility for their calling. They walk in humility, integrity and courage to bring Jesus to be the chief cornerstone of their church and ministry. They understand that they are not the only one in "charge" but realize that they are a part of a true picture of leadership. They have studied the church history and by wisdom, revelation and through the Word of God establish the ground work for the church to prosper in the Spirit.
What is the role of an Apostle?
The life of Paul is a great example to follow. He helped establish what the New Testament church was, through understanding the teachings of Jesus. An Apostle today should and needs to study this role and how the Lord moved through him.
What do they do for the Church?
1. Brings direction, clarity, wisdom and revelation on how and what through Christ the best and strongest foundation a church needs.
2. They have clarity, wisdom and a desire to bring true, genuine church planting to birth.
3. Have a pure understanding on church discipleship – and how to implement such a ministry.
4. Establishes networks within the body to facilitate true ministries needed within a particular church body.
5. Oversees – meaning, they help govern the day to day activities within the church and the ministries that are active.
6. They co-labor with the other four gifts to equip the saints to do the work of the Kingdom.
This is just a few things they would do.
Once we break this role down – we can see that we need this gift to be operating today. It was not designed to be on the shoulders of the "Pastor". In the New Testament there are numerous verses that state that the church was built on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets – no mention of it being put on a Pastor. But we understand that the church needs all three to operate in the design the Lord has established.
If you have read this and feel that you may have this call. Pray, seek after God, share your vision. We are not a ministry that is hung up on titles – not at all – but we know that you have a place and role to operate in the church today. It is our goal to help those searching to bring enlightenment to their walk by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is ok if you feel that you fit within this blog…it is up to you to search out further the role and what it means to walk in this gift.
As stated, since this is a blog, I wanted to keep it short and bring clarity to this gift. It is a much needed gift and we as a church need to embrace such a gift for the betterment of our church and ministry. Remember our church is established to meet the needs of the surrounding communities – this is why we need a strong foundation to stand on as Jesus is the chief cornerstone!