Seeing The Big Picture
The topic of apostolic leadership has had its controversies in the Church. Apostles are not Sr. Pastors who claimed to become bishops, then prophets, then Apostles because people follow them. Apostles are not Sr. Pastors to the greater church. Apostles are not like dinosaurs, who are extinct, as some theologians claim, who were no longer needed when the written Word, today’s Bible, was cannonized. Then what are they?
I would like to add to the controversy by sharing a different perspective of what an apostle is. I believe the five fold ministry of the Church is about “passion” and “point of view”, not of office. It is about what drives a believer in Jesus Christ and how he sees things. The evangelist is driven to save the lost; he/she is not driven to shepherd or care for the new sheep, nor teach them, or instill prophetically intimacy in them. The apostle may at one time functioned like an evangelist or pastor/shepherd or teacher or prophet, but their passion is for the Church as a whole. Their point of view or vision is seeing the Big Picture.
Because of this unique vision and point of view, the apostle can empathize with each of the other four passions or points of view because he/she cannot do all of them by themselves. The apostle needs the other four in order to function properly. If he/she tries to do it all, he/she will burn out and be no use to the Body of Christ.
One of the functions of an apostle is to prepare the Bride, the Church, for the Groom’s coming, the return of Jesus Christ. He is to come for a Church that is without spot and wrinkle. I can testify of the many spots and wrinkles that I have even created, might as well other believers. I believe that the prophet and apostle together will be the “spot” and “wrinkle” removers in the Church in order to prepare the Bride, the Church, by seeing the Big Picture.
Another function of the apostle is to equip the saints for the work of the service. He alone cannot do it, so he needs to use his evangelistic skills, his pastoral skills, his teaching skills, and his prophetic skills to teach, develop, and establish the believers in Christ to do the work of “service”.
“Without vision the people perish,” and the Church so drastically needs believers among themselves who have the vision to see the Big Picture and strive to equip God’s people to fulfill it. That is the point of view of the Apostle.