The What It Is Not:
The last of the five fold interdependency team to be restored to the Church has been the apostle. In a day when the office is only now being restored, the understanding of the apostle’s role in the five fold ministry is also in its infancy. First, we need to understand what the apostle is NOT in a five fold interdisciplinary team before we can understand what he is.
He is NOT:
... “the big cheese”, the “head honcho”, the “head man”, or the “top gun” of the five fold interdisciplinary team. He is only one man in service with four others, his peers, his equals, his brothers in Christ Jesus who have different passions, desires, and perspectives than he. The buck may stop with him at times, but he is not the “chairman of the board’, the “C.E.O.”, or the “President”. The Church is not a business establishment; it is the body of Christ, a body of believers, made up of a New Testament priesthood who are to lay down their lives for each other, not lord over each other.
... in charge. He who rules under his own authority and power, or rules authoritatively without love, rules to “keep order” instead of “setting things in order”. As a result he will lead the Church back into apostasy and dead works, which was the pattern of the second and third century Church leaders who lead the Church into the Dark Ages. We need not have another papal church hierarchy and government. We need to learn from Church history, or we repeat its faults.
... the most important ministry or office in the five fold interdisciplinary team. The apostle will be ineffective if he does not have the passions, desires, and perspectives of the other four ministries around him. If his pride motivates him to establish superiority in the five fold team, he will face division, strife, opposition, etc. That is not the spirit of Ephesians 4, which is to bring unity in Christ. His four peers in ministry are his colleagues, his peers, his equals, not his ministerial board nor his staff.
... in a power struggle. The relationship of the apostle to the other four ministries in a five fold team is not like the present relationship model of a pastor to his church board, session, pastor-parish relations committee, etc., but is one of peers, friends, brothers and sisters in Christ who are laying their lives down daily for each other. Church politics should diminish and even become extinct before the brokeness of Jesus Christ. The purpose of the five fold is love, revealing the heart of the Father, in unity, in Christ likeness, and in maturity. This mean everyone is laying down their lives for the other through service. When everyone is doing this, there cannot and will not be a power struggle.
* From Revealing and Releasing Jesus manuscript by Anthony Bachman page 104.