Apostles today? No way, jose! They died out a long time ago, with the passing of John.
I’ve written plenty in the past on the ministry of the apostle, but it’s been quite some time. So I thought I might revisit a few things. I adamantly believe this ministry is necessary today. Of course, God doesn’t need our appointing of apostles (or prophets) to get the work done. Many of folk have never been appointed direct pastoral or teaching ministries, yet they’ve still practically functioned in these roles, for the building up of Christ’s body. And I’d say the same is true with apostles (and prophets).
You see, when most people think of apostles, I believe they only envision the 12 and Paul. Some might remember that the word apostle sits next to both Barnabas’s and James’s names in the New Testament. But they were exceptional cases.
I think this is because we can easily identify an apostle as a writer of New Testament Scripture. Of course, we know that not all of the New Testament was penned by apostles. But we are at least ok with it because we, then, identify them as associates of those first apostles. Their source was one of the 12 that walked with Jesus himself. Continue reading →
Not too long ago, I took some time and read a major portion of the Old Testament. Basically Genesis to 2 Chronicles. Not all in one day. Heavens no! But over a couple of months. It was good to read larger chunks, to get the sweeping history of the Hebrew people and God’s work amongst them.
But there was one thing that did catch me by surprise, especially as I read the books of Samuel and Kings.
You might have not noticed it before. And the thing is, I would have expected me to previously notice, since I’m the charismatic around here. Continue reading →
Over at From Distant Quarters, blog of my friend, John Lietzel, an update is given on the work that is taking place in Zambia and Zimbabwe. John writes:
For the final week of the Hope College May-June Term, Global Horizons sent Alan Scotland, Barry Fitzpatrick, and Ian Rawley [part of the core team] here to Lusaka at the same time. They taught the Diploma students, then on the weekend we hosted a Leadership Summit for about fifty pastors from Zambia and Zimbabwe. This Summit represented the coming together of six different church networks, expressing a desire for a greater relationship with one another. As we’re seeking to strengthen our brothers and sisters in leadership in Southern Africa, this Summit was a significant step–and a powerful time together.
If you know African culture, or planet earth culture in general, you know it is hard for groups to come together, to form team. Especially men! But God has been opening the doors for us to see the leaders of these African church networks come together to form a more connected and strengthened core team, that the evangel of the kingdom might be better proclaimed in southern Africa.
This is Africa’s time! It’s exciting news!
In my last post, I mentioned a special gathering of some of our more mature as well as younger leaders, within Global Horizons, gathering together for discussion and prayer. In the discussions, we talked about some of the ‘non-negotiables’ that have become near and dear to our hearts. Not in any sense of wanting to break fellowship with others who might not hold to these things, but those foundation stones, even revelations, that the Lord has shown as dear to his own heart.
Of course, there is already a sense of the importance of the essentials of the faith, centred in Christ and the gospel, his death and resurrection. But these points came forth as part of the charismatic restoration movement of the 1960’s and 1970’s. These became so very important, as we understood them as important to Christ himself.
So I list them here. They are in no particular order and some of them repeat somewhat. But these stand as non-negotiable foundation stones of Christ, the cornerstone, and the apostolic-prophetic foundation that has been and is being laid (Eph 2:19-22). Continue reading →
I recently posted about a new book I have begun reading, a book on the modern-day ministry of apostles authored by British church leader, David Devenish – Fathering Leaders, Motivating Mission: Restoring the Role of Apostle in Today’s Church. Remember, I am one of those guys (not the only one) who believes this role (along with all ministries spoken of in Eph 4:11-13) to be very important in seeing the people of God equipped for works of ministry and preparing them to move towards maturity. At least that’s how Paul articulates it in Eph 4.
I’ve spent plenty of time laying out why I believe this ministry (yes, ministry, not so much ‘office’ or ‘position’) is still active today, as well as what this ministry would entail today (here is the link to my detailed PDF document).
But as I was reading Devenish’s book, he brought out two points that I never really considered before as to why apostles would exist today, or post-first century. They are not major, eye-openers as to solve the debate that might exist for some Christians. Nevertheless, I thought I would share those two points below, and then encourage you to read more of my thoughts if you would like. Continue reading →