Five Crucial Questions About
I imagine many readers will begin this book by turning to this chapter. They will have chosen well. Clearly, a book about the
Apostolic Reformation requires, as its centerpiece, a careful
explanation of what is meant by the word "apostle" and how the concept of apostle is being revealed in contemporary Christianity.
As I have said more than once, the most radical difference
between what I am calling
Christianity and traditional
Christianity revolves around the amount of authority the
Holy Spirit is perceived to delegate to individuals as opposed to groups such as boards or committees or presbyteries. The last chapter focused mainly on the local
authority delegated to pastors; this chapter focuses
authority delegated to
To help us grasp the whole picture, I will list five of what I consider to be among the most crucial, questions about apostolic ministry before I explain them one by one:
1. What is an apostle?
2. Are there apostles today?
How important are apostles?
4. How does an apostle gain authority?
5. What are the qualities of a genuine apostle?
1: WHAT IS AN APOSTLE?
Our English word "apostle" is derived from the Greek
is a noun and the corresponding verb is
to send. Another, more common, biblical word meaning "to send" is pempo, but there is an important difference between the two.
means to be sent with a particular purpose or with a
specified commission from the one who does the sending. When this is done, "the
envoy has full powers and is the personal representative of the one sending him."! The ancient
Greeks also used
from time to time to indicate being
sent out with divine authorization. This is what we are referring to in this chapter.
The New Testament uses
for the twelve apostles
chosen personally by Jesus. They are the ones with whom we are most familiar, but they are not the only ones. At least twelve others are also called
"apostle" in the New Testament, including Andronicus,
Apollo's, Barnabas, Epaphroditus, James (the brother of Jesus), Junia, Matthias, Paul, Silas, Timothy and two others referred to but not specifically named
A SPIRITUAL GIFT
Apostle is a spiritual gift. It appears along with several other gifts in 1
Corinthians 12, which Paul introduces by saying, "Now concerning spiritual
gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant" (1 Cor. 12:1). Apostles are
mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:28 and 29 along with other spiritual gifts such as
miracles, healings, helps, administration and tongues. They are also listed in
Ephesians 4:11 along with prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers.
Some may observe that this list in Ephesians 4:11 is a list of
the kinds of individuals God gives as gifts to the Church as a whole-they constitute offices. This is technically correct. It is also assumed, for example, that the teachers would have the gift of teaching and the prophets would have
the gift of prophecy as a chief qualification for that particular office. Both prophecy and teaching are specifically designated as spiritual gifts; in fact they both appear in the two major New Testament lists, Romans 12 (see verses 6 and 7) and 1 Corinthians 12 (see verses 10 and 28). So a reasonable inference would be that apostles have also received their office because they have been given the
spiritual gift of apostle.
Here is the definition I have been using for the spiritual gift of apostle:
The gift of apostle is the special
that God gives to
members of the Body of
Christ to assume and
general leadership over a number
churches with an extraordinary authority in spiritual matters that is spontaneously recognized and appreciated by those churcbes.2
As I have continued to study the New Apostolic Reformation, however, it has become clear that this definition applies to many, perhaps the majority of apostles, but not to all. I was hoping that by the time I finished this book I would have satisfactory terminology to name and define however many other kinds of apostles there might be. This has not happened as I wished, so we will simply leave the matter pending for further research.
A key word in my basic definition is "authority." I do not
want to overstress this, but viewing an apostle through the grid of authority is essential. It helps us avoid the common mistake some have made by confusing the gift of apostle with the gift of missionary. Let me explain.
APOSTLE VERSUS MISSIONARY
Our English word "missionary" comes from the Latin
which means a person sent into an area to do religious
work. This gives it a close affinity with the concept of "apostle"
as a sent one. Kenneth Taylor
in The Living Bible
as "missionary," such as in Romans 1:1
where The Living Bible says, "Paul...chosen to be a missionary." However, when the same Kenneth Taylor later called together a team of professional Bible scholars to do the New ,.Living Translation, they thought Romans 1:1 should read: "Paul...chosen...to be an apostle."
I agree. I believe Paul was describing the spiritual gift of missionary when he wrote Ephesians 3:6-9:
That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power. To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ (emphasis mine).
In other words, Paul attributes the ability he had as a Jew, a Hebrew of the Hebrews no less, to minister cross-culturally to Gentiles to a "gift of the grace of God" (i.e., a spiritual gift). This was the missionary gift.
Here is how I define it: The gift of missionary is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to minister whatever other spiritual gifts they have in a second culture.
Notice the contrast between Peter and Paul. They were both apostles; but Peter was not cross-cultural. He was the apostle to
namely, to his fellow Jews. Paul was an apostle
primarily to the uncircumcision, the Gentiles, who had an entirely different culture from the one in which he had been raised. Peter had the gift of apostle, but not the gift of missionary. Paul had both the gift of apostle and the gift of missionary.
David Cannistraci, the author of the outstanding book Apostles and the Emerging Apostolic Movement, defines "apostle" as "one
who is called and sent by Christ to have the spiritual authority, character,
gifts and abilities to successfully reach and establish people in Kingdom truth
and order, especially through founding and overseeing local churches."4
Planting and overseeing new churches is an important dimension of most apostolic ministries. Virtually any individual who does this over a period of time would be correctly seen as an apostle, although there might also be some bona fide apostles who are not directly involved in church planting per se. Apostles should be thought of as ambassadors. Bill Hamon,
Prophets and the Coming Moves
sees this clearly. He says, "The basic root meaning [of 'apostle'] is 'one sent as representative of another,' with the power and authority of the representative coming from the one who sent him. They are like ambassadors who represent a country's
It is important to remember that apostles are human beings. They have their good days and their bad days. Because they do not have divine natures, they make their share of mistakes. I recall hearing John Kelly say, "Some people think that apostles glow in the dark. They don't!"
Apostle John Eckhardt puts it this way: "There are those who think a person has
to be perfect and infallible to walk in the call of an Apostle. But we must
realize that all of the ministry gifts are grace gifts. They are given by grace and not earned. You either have it or you don't. Paul recognized that he was not worthy to be called an apostle, and was such only by the grace of God."6
QUESTION 2: ARE THERE APOSTLES TODAY?
Although their number has been diminishing significantly over the last couple of decades, some Christian leaders still consider themselves "cessationists." They hold the position that many of the spiritual gifts that were in operation in the first-century Church were designed by God so that their use would "cease"
with the close of the Apostolic Age and with the completion of
the New Testament canon of Scripture. The lists of the gifts that would have ceased vary among various schools of cessationism, but prophets and apostles, whether considered as spiritual gifts or offices or both, appear on many of the lists.
Those who process data through such a paradigm naturally would affirm that there are no such things as apostles, in the biblical sense of the word, in churches today. They might concede that missionaries could be referred to as apostles because they are sent out, but, as I have indicated, that is quite different from the way I am using the term in this chapter.
Differences of opinion also exist among those who are not
cessationists. For example, Professor George Batson of Continental Theological Seminary in Belgium, himself a Pentecostal, says, ('It seems better to take (apostle' as a technical term, not transferable to an office in the post-apostolic age. This precludes the 'apostolic succession' of authority in the Church of Rome."7
THE GIFT VERSUS THE TITLE
Others admit that apostolic ministry is in place today, but the title should no longer be used For example, Reinhold Ulonska, a German Pentecostal theologian, says, "If we understand that [apostle] means the ministry and not so much the title we may
'Yes, there are apostles today.'...Today the title
seems to have a ring of glory and authority, which true apostles would never
claim for themselves."8
Felipe Ferrez of the Church of the Foursquare Gospel in the Philippines agrees: "That is to 'say that the
foundational to the NT church may have ceased, but the
remains as a continuing endowment on the Body of Christ."9 Some have
marginalized the office of apostle through what could be interpreted as a form
of benign neglect. An example is the Assemblies of God in the U.S.A. Article VII
of their bylaws reads as follows: "Section 1. Ministry Described. Christ's gifts
to the Church include apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors
and teachers (Ephesians 4:11), exhorters, administrators, leaders, and helpers (Romans 12:7,8). We understand God's call to these ministry gifts is totally within His sovereign discretion without regard to gender, race, disability,
0 national origin."10
In practice, the Assemblies of God recognizes leaders having the title "Pastor
So-and-so," "Evangelist So-and-so" and "Doctor or Professor So-and-so," but not
"Prophet So-and-so" or "Apostle So-and-so." The choice that has been made, not
only by Assemblies of God, but by the great majority of other traditional
denominations as well, to recognize evangelists, pastors and teachers, but not to recognize apostles and prophets does not derive from biblical exegesis, but rather from entrenched ecclesiastical traditions.
Along these lines, it may be enlightening to recognize that the term
"evangelist," so common today, was not generally accepted in our country until
the times of Charles Finney, who ministered from 1825-1875. Finney ignited a
good deal of controversy when he first accepted the office of evangelist. Theologians of the time strenuously argued against what they were calling these "New Measures."
I agree with Bishop Carlis Moody of the Church of God in Christ, who says, "Yes, there are Apostles in the church today! They manifest extraordinary spiritual leadership, and are anointed with the power of the Holy Spirit to confront the powers of Satan, by confirming the gospel by signs and miracles and establishing churches according to the New Testament pattern and doctrine of the
THE OFFICE OF APOSTLE
It is important to understand the difference between the gift of apostle and the
of apostle. Any office is the public recognition by the Body of Christ that an individual has a certain gift and is authorized to minister that gift in what might be termed an "official" capacity. Most of us are accustomed to the ordination
of pastors, which officially sets pastors into public ministry. The same concept should be applied to apostles.
Bill Hamon says, "[Christ] gave some to be apostles, not have an occasionally
functioning gift of apostle. Apostles are to minister as ambassadors of
Christ-being the apostolic ministry that Jesus would be if He were here personally."12
We are witnessing a fairly rapid change in the attitude of church leaders toward accepting the contemporary office of apostle. Some theologians are still arguing against it, much as they argued against calling Finney an "evangelist" in a past generation. The trend is clear, though, and my guess is that in a few years the controversy will begin to die down. For example, a recent letter written to Apostle John Eckhardt was copied to me. It began, "Dear Apostle John," and the opening paragraph said, "First, I want to say that I get a real bang out of starting out a letter with this salutation. You have to know that I never expect- ed to be able to say those words this side of the resurrection."
3: HOW IMPORTANT ARE APOSTLES?
I expect that some for whom this idea of apostle is new will be saying, "The
church has gotten along fine for many generations without recognizing the office
of apostle. Why make such a big deal of it now at this late date?" That question
deserves as careful an answer as possible.
My hypothesis is that the bride of Christ, the Church, has been maturing through
a discernible process during the past few centuries in preparation for
completing the task of the Great Commission. My starting point is the Protestant
Reformation in which the theological underpinnings were firmly established: the
authority of Scripture, justification by faith and the priesthood of all
believers. The Wesleyan movement then introduced the demand for personal and corporate holiness.
The Pentecostal movement later profiled the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit in a variety of power ministries. The office of intercessor was restored in the 1970s and the office of
prophet was restored in the 1980s. The final piece came into place in the 1990s with the recognition of the gift and office of apostle.
The Church is prepared to advance the Kingdom with a speed and intensity that has not been possible in previous generations.
This is not to say that the Church is perfect. It is to say that the
infrastructure of the Church, so to speak, may now be complete. The Church is much more prepared to advance the Kingdom with a speed and intensity that has not been possible in previous generations.
It could be argued, quite convincingly, that the Church has always had apostles, but that they have not been recognized as such. Nevertheless, true as this assertion might be, once the apostles receive the recognition they deserve, the Church is prepared to move to a higher level. This is what is happening in our day.
John Eckhardt puts it this way: "There is no substitute for the apostle. The prophet, evangelist, pastor or teacher cannot do what the apostle can do. Neither can the apostle do what the other gifts can do. Each gift is needed and has a unique purpose. They are not optional. God gave them to us because we need them all."13
Predictably, recognizing apostles and thereby bringing the church to a new level will stir up opposition in the invisible world. I like what David Cannistraci says: "How the enemy dreads the
apostle How he fears the full restoration of this ministry I A New Testament apostolic function fully deployed within the Church today would significantly impact the dominion of darkness. Satan knows this, and I'm sure all of hell shudders at the prospect of a revitalization of apostles and apostolic people."14
APOSTOLIC ROCKET BOOSTERS!
This is all to say that apostles are extremely important for the answer to our prayer, "'Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven'" (Matt. 6:10).
Bill Hamon says, "When the apostles are restored in their fullness, it will activate many things. It will cause many prophecies
concerning the end times to start coming to pass at an accelerated rate. The
apostle is the last of the fivefold ministries to be restored. It is like a
great machine that needs five things to happen in sequence before it will fully
work. It could be compared to a space rocket booster that must have five
switches turned on before it can launch the space shuttle- the Church. Each
switch or button represents one of the fivefold ministries.
Keep in mind that the premise on which the importance of
apostolic ministry is predicated is the completion of the Great Commission. John Kelly agrees: "We live in a critical hour. There needs to be a demonstration in this generation of the ministry of the apostle with miraculous, prophetic power and world-changing productivity. When the apostles begin to arise by the thousands, we will be able to take the nations for Jesus Christ. The harvest cannot be brought in apart from this foundational office."16 If Kelly is right, the apostolic office is so important that it can mean the difference between heaven and hell for multitudes!
4: HOW DOES AN APOSTLE
Apostles, compared to most traditional church leaders, possess and exercise unusual authority. Where do they get this authority? If we can understand and accept the answer to this question, a large number of the doubts that some continue to harbor regarding the validity of true apostolic ministry will evaporate.
Some, who have not yet understood the question of authority, attempt to dismiss the issue by using the term "self-appointed apostles." The implication is that the so called apostolic office has no basis other than an internal personal desire for an imposing title or for undue power. If such were the case, however,
apostles would have very few followers, and there would be no movement we could label the New Apostolic Reformation.
On the contrary, the initiative for the whole process begins with God, as it
does with any of the other spiritual gifts. In explaining the matter of spiritual gifts to the Corinthians, Paul says, "But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased" (1 Cor. 12:18).
Paul then goes on to say, "And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers" '(1 Cor. 12:28). If we are going to label apostles as "self-appointed.," we might as well do the same with teachers, but for some 1,ieason we are not inclined to do that. I have been a teacher for mere than 40 years, for example, and no one has yet suggested I am a "self-appointed teacher."
God is the one who does the appointing, and recognizing that He has done so
rests with the Body of Christ. We are used to having the Church operate in this
manner with our pastors, and we call that "ordination." Every ordination committee I bow of understands that its role is to confirm publicly what
God has already done. We rarely use the term "self-appointed pastors."
Some of the derogatory attitudes toward apostles undoubte
and causes an improper representation of the divine ministry
of an apostle."17
Admitting, then, that there are some spurious apostles out there, let's take a look at how the genuine ones receive their
APOSTLES ARE CHARISMATIC LEADERS
I am using the term "charismatic" here, not in the theological sense, but in the sociological sense. Max Weber, the German sociologist regarded by many as the father of modern sociology, defines the term "charisma" as follows:
The term "charisma" will be applied to a certain quality of an individual personality by virtue of which he is set apart from ordinary men and treated as endowed with supernatural, superhuman, or at least specifically exceptional powers or qualities. These are such as are not accessible to the ordinary person, but are regarded as of divine origin or as exemplary, and on the basis of them the individual concerned is treated as a leader.18
I will return to Max Weber from time to time because his seminal insights about leadership are very
to the New
Such leadership charisma, as Weber defines it, cannot derive from an organizational or bureaucratic promotion to some "position of leadership." It cannot be generated within a corporate system, such as a denomination, but it must come from
outside, namely, from
DENOMINATIONS AND THE PETER PRINCIPLE
In denominations, as we have known them, the Peter principle operates freely. This happens when authority is presumed to derive from promotion to a higher rank. The Peter Principle was formulated by Dr. Laurence J. Peter, who describes it as follows:
"In a hierarchy,
every employee tends to rise to his or her level of
realize that this sounds strange when one first
hears it. Without even reading the well-formulated arguments of Peter's book, the validity of the principle becomes convincing after a bit of serious thought. Peter says, "For each individual, for you, for me, the final promotion is from a level of competence to a level of incompetence."2o
Why would this be true? It is very simple. Only competent people get chosen for promotion. Incompetents do not get chosen. When you no longer get chosen for promotion, you have presumably reached your level of incompetence.
Not all new apostolic leaders would have known the term "Peter Principle," but
they are very much aware that it has characterized certain denominational bureaucracies. Bill Hamon speaks for many when he says, "Apostles have the delegated authority to represent the kingdom of God in a governmental, official capacity. It is not a religious, hierarchical authority given by man but a spiritual authority given by Christ."21
APOSTOLIC AUTHORITY IS VALIDATED
Jesus once said that we shall know them by their fruit (see Matt.7:16,20). This, obviously, applies to apostles as well as to others. It goes without saying that a fruitless apostle has not been activated and energized by God. Bill Hamon puts it this way: "The only way a fivefold minister's calling can be determined is by receiving a revelation from God, training for that ministry and then evidencing the fruit of that ministry."22
John Eckhardt agrees: "You don't have to force yourself on anyone or try to prove to anyone that you have a gift. If you are an Apostle, then as you preach and teach, your gift will be evident. Others in the Body will perceive the grace given unto
As an illustration of how the office of apostle can be publicly recognized, let me refer to the Sacred Consecration Service of my friend Luciano Padilla, Jr., to the office of apostle. This occurred on July 22, 1995, at Padilla's church, Bay Ridge Christian Center
of Brooklyn, New York. Four bishops from other churches presided at the service and consecrated Luciano as an apostle. Their first question to the elder representing Padilla's congregation was, "Do you have a word from the Lord?" This is in line with Bill Hamon's statement that the apostolic calling should first come through receiving a revelation from God.
The elder affirmed that they had such a revelation, and he proceeded to quote verbatim three prophecies, one in 1986 through Pastor Padilla himself, one in 1992 through Mari Luz Dones and one in 1994 through Patricia Rodgers. The next question was to the congregation asking if they affirmed God's call on their pastor to the office of apostle, and they unanimously responded that they did. A solemn ceremony of laying on of hands and anointing with oil followed.
The congregation of Bay Ridge Christian Center affirmed the apostolic office in this case, only after carefully observing the fruit of Luciano Padilla's ministry for more than 25 years.
TO THE ISSUE OF TRUST
Just as trust in individuals plays a large role in the ministry of new apostolic pastors as contrasted to traditional pastors, so the same is true for apostolic ministry in church leadership. Recognizing the relatively low level of trust the constituency of most denominations places in their leaders, Lyle Schaller wrote a whole book on the subject: Tattered Trust. In it he says, "Every society chooses between two paths. One is to trust people. The other is to trust those institutions the people have created.."24
One of the purposes of this book is to explore why new apostolic churches are growing so much faster today than denominational churches. Here is one of the reasons in the words of Lyle Schaller:
"Who can be trusted? In the 1950s, the cultural environment in the Unites States made it easy for adults born before 1935 to say that they trust "Scripture, the denominational system, and the people whom God
has called to staff that system." Forty years later, younger adults are more likely to say that they trust "The leading of the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Scriptures, me, and those individuals who have earned my trust."25
In light of this, it is no wonder new apostolic churches are populated with baby boomers while, year after year, the age profile of traditional denominations continues to rise. The late John Wimber, founder of the Vineyard movement, sums up the source of his apostolic (even though he chose not to use the term) authority well: "If leadership
is influence, I intend to continue to lead our movement by influencing it in the directions I feel it should go. This does not require structural authority in my opinion. I have the voluntary acceptance of all the leaders that are at this time leading our movement worldwide."26
5: WHAT ARE THE QUALITIES
OF A GENUINE APOSTLE?
I use the term "genuine apostle" because I recognize that there are and will continue to be false apostles. Paul once said, "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light"
(2 Cor. 11:13,14). Having recognized that there are false apostles, it is
helpful also to recognize that Satan does not limit himself to counterfeiting the apostolic ministry. He also counterfeits prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. For example, Matthew 7:15 says, "Beware of false
Galatians 1:9 describes false evangelists as "if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed." In John 10:12, Jesus speaks of the one who is "a hireling, he who is not the shepherd [or pastor]." Peter says, "There will be false teachers among you" (2 Pet. 2:1).
Undoubtedly, the devil will go to any extreme possible to derail the New Apostolic Reformation, including an attempt to raise up false apostles. David Cannistraci sees this clearly:
Satan's chief aim through these false apostles will be threefold: to dilute, defile and discredit
the apostle and the apostolic movement. Many will be bewitched into rejecting
true apostles because of the inevitable failure of false apostles. Critics of apostolic ministry will likely point out the problems of the false apostles in an attempt to dismiss the validity of apostolic activity. This effort may well become the single greatest threat to the apostolic movement's
HAVE GODLY CHARACTER
Although the New Testament does not have a specific list of personal qualifications for an apostle, the qualifications for bishop clearly apply. No one should be recognized as an apostle who does not display character traits such as "blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not
covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in sub- mission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); not a novice" (1 Tim. 3:2-6).
Genuine humility is one of the chief characteristics of an apostle. Many will question whether it is possible to exercise the extraordinary authority apostles have and still be humble. It cannot be otherwise. According to Max Weber, there is a clear distinction between legal-rational leadership in which the position confers the power and charismatic leadership in which the person has been entrusted with the power. Jesus explicitly delineated the difference.
Jesus said that the rulers of the Gentiles (legal-rational leadership) "lord it over them, and those who are great
authority over them." This was not the way He wanted His followers to lead. He went on to say, "whoever desires to be great among you, let him be your servant" (Matt. 20:25,26). On another occasion Jesus said, "Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted" (Luke 14:11). The phrase "humbles himself" places the initiative for humility squarely on the shoulders of the leader. The more authority, the more intentional humility is called for.
biblical principles hold true, genuine apostles cannot be apostles unless they are perceived by their followers as servants.
If biblical principles hold true, genuine apostles could not apostles unless
they were perceived by their followers as servants. When this happens, authority is released because the followers
believe that every decision the apostle makes will be for their ultimate benefit.
I like the way Bill Hamon puts it:
This forever settles the issue of who is greatest and least in the Church. The greatest is not one who has the highest title, position, authority or thousands serving him. The greatest in the Church is the one who is !;he most humble, serves the most people and doesn't even concern him or herself with thoughts of whether he or she is the greatest or highest in position.28
Apostolic networks frequently like to consider themselves a family, the apostle
being the father, or parent, of the family. For example, Leo Lawson describes
Morning Star International as having "a spiritual DNA that is shared among those
in our particular 'family' of churches The 'father' of the apostolic family...is seen as imparting his spiritual DNA to those joined to
him, and those joined to him see themselves as sharing both a common history as well as a common destiny."29
How does this work out? Lawson goes on:
Acknowledging the "fatherly" function ~f Morning Star President, Rice Broocks, our pastors respond to his leadership much as they expect those in their churches to follow their own pastoral leadership. While the pastors dialog and consult with Rice and the apostolic team members, like a parent functioning in a natural family, once Rice announces the decision arrived at after consultation with the apostolic team, pastors are trusted to accept and support the decision.3o
I am using the word "parent" as well as "father" so as not to
overstress the gender issue. Empirically, the great majority of apostles have been male so they naturally feel like fathers, but there is a mother dimension to the apostolic function as well. When Paul writes to the Thessalonians, at one point he says, "We were
gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children" (1 Thess. 2:7). Later he also says, "As you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children" (v. 11). Paul sets the tone for gender-inclusive apostolic roles.
THE SPIRITUAL CHILDREN
Spiritual parents provide four services that all members of the spiritual family highly value. They provide (1) protection, (2) role modeling, (3) correction (accountability) and (4) empower- ment. This parental role of empowerment, when taken serious- ly and exercised wisely, will raise up children in the faith, many of whom will subsequendy be released for their own parental ministry.
Unfortunately, cases have recendy been observed in which certain new apostolic
leaders have not been able to do this with grace, and that has become a major
factor leading to the stagnation and routinization of some apostolic networks. This is a major consideration for mapping the future of the New Apostolic Reformation, and I will discuss it in much more
detail in the next chapter.
Meanwhile, Paul Daniel, the apostolic leader of His People in South Mrica, sees it as well as anyone. He says, "God has called the 'fathers' of the ministry to identify the gifts and call- ings on young people's lives and to serve that calling so they may become everything God wants them to be. If these young people do greater things for God in their lives than we ourselves accomplish, we will rejoice. Fathers, I believe, should never by threatened by sons, but should rejoice when they excel."31
Bill Hamon adds: "Mature aposdes are fathers. Mature human fathers are more concerned about their children's well- being and success than their own. True prophetic and apostolic fathers are more interested in seeing those that they are father- ing come into their ministry than in magnifying their own min- istry."32
TRUE APOSTIES ARE HOLY
Most aposdes do not find themselves among those believers who, day in and day out, are struggling and wondering whether they are pleasing God or not. Their character, a prerequisite for being recognized as an aposde, has caused them to rise above the pack. They recognize that they have become more accountable to God than the average believer. They take James 3:1 literally: "My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment."
The best aposdes are not proud or boastful, but they do rec- ognize that, by the grace of God, they must be an example in their godliness and holiness of everyday life. If they lose that, they lose their authority. They want to be able to say, with the aposde Paul: "For I know nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord" (1 Cor. 4:4). Once they look inside themselves and find nothing impure or offensive to God, they can then say, as Paul did, "Therefore I
urge you, imitate me" (v. 16). There is no other way to serve as legitimate apostolic role models.
WHAT ABOUT APOSTOLIC ACCouNTABILITY?
The question of how apostles are accountable is even more sen- sitive than the issue of the accountability of new apostolic pas- tors. We dwelt on pastoral accountability at the end of the last chapter, and apostolic accountability must be discussed before this chapter comes to a close.
I wish I had a more definitive word. For local church pastors who are in apostolic networks, the accountability structure is relatively simple. They are accountable to their apostles. To whom are the apostles accountable? In my association with some of the top leaders of the New Apostolic Reformation, I frequently raise the question of accountability, and I must say I have not received consistently clear answers. One thing, howev- er, is clearly consistent: apostolic leaders, virtually without exception, recognize that they need genuine accountability. Most of them also recognize that whatever accountability structure they are using, if any, does not meet the standards of strictness they ultimately desire.
Some have formed apostolic teams or apostolic councils within their networks, with whom they work closely. This pro- vides a certain level of accountability, but to a point. It is still essentially the relationship of a leader to subordinates, just as is the pastor's role with the local church elders.
Barney Coombs, in his fine book
briefly about the problem. He says that apostles are account- able in three directions: (1) They are accountable to God; (2) They are accountable to peers; and (3) They are accountable to the local church that originally sent them out.33 In my opinion, the peer-level accountability is the one level on which the futUre integrity of the New Apostolic Reformation will undoubtedly stand or fall.
David Cannistraci analyzes this in some detail:
What we observe in the New Testament is this principle of mutual accountability ~herein the "generals" become accountable to one another. This principle mandates that people become accountable to their top-level peers as well as to their ultimate head. It creates an effective relational network whereby authorities (especially in positions of headship) maintain openness, communication and teachability with one another. Within this arrangement, submission to one another is practiced and abuses are avoided.34
As we will see in the next chapter, some apostolic networks are being formed by bringing together a number of already recognized apostles under the leadership of an overseeing apostle. 'this is a step in the right direction, because the apostles who ..c;lecide to join such a network have thereby placed themselves ypder the authority of the overseeing apostle and have accepted the accompanying accountability. The question remains: To 'whom is the overseeing apostle accountable?
Fortunately, several dynamics are now under way that are
Iproviding opportunities for apostles to relate creatively and in §epth to their peers who lead other apostolic networks. To the !Eiegree that friendship and trust can develop from this process, !tihere is realistic hope that many apostles will voluntarily and ,Hlicly submit themselves to an accountability strUcture of l~gitimate apostolic peers. On this one, the jury is still out.
1. B. von Bicken, H. Linder, "Apostle," The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, VoL 1, Colin Brown, ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan
Publishing House, 1975), p. 127.
2. C. Peter Wagner, Your Spiritual
Can Help Your Church Grow
(Ventura, Calif.: Regal Books, 1979; rev. ed., 1994), p. 231.
3. Ibid., p. 233.
4. David Cannistraci,
Apostles and the Emerging Apostolic Movement
The Giftof Apostle)
(VentUra, Calif: Regal Books, 1996), p. 29.
5. Bill Hamon,
Apostles, Prophets and the Coming Moves
Pa.: Destiny Image, 1997), p. 124.
6. John Eckhardt,
The Ministry Anointing of the Apostle
Publications, 1993), p. 40.
7. George Batson, World
8. Reinhold Ulonska, Ibid., p.17.
9. Felipe S. Ferrez, IbieL, p. 18.
10. Bylaws of the General Council of the Assemblies of God, revised August
11. Carlis L. Moody,
Apostles, Prophets and the Coming Moves
13. John Eckhardt, SO
Truths Concerning Apostolic Ministry
(Chicago: Crusadets Ministries, 1994), p. 8.
Apostles and the Emerging Apostolic Movement,
15. Hamon, Apostles,
Prophets and the Coming Moves
16. John Kelly in an informational packet for Antioch Churches and Ministries,
17. Hamon, Apostles, Prophets
and the Coming Moves
18. Max Weber,
Social and Economic Organization
(New York: The Free Press, 1947), pp. 358, 359.
19. Laurence J. Peter,
The Peter Principle
(New York: Bantam Books, 1969),
20. Ibid., p. 8.
21. Hamon, Apostles,
Prophets and the Coming Moves
22. IbieL, p. 164.
The Ministry Anointing of the
pp. 40, 41.
24. Lyle E. Schaller, Tattered Trust (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1996), p. 44. 25. Ibid., p. 45.
26. John Wimber, "Leaving but Not Quitting," Equipping the Saints (3rd Quarter 1996), p. 23.
Apostles and the Emerging Apostolic Movement,
Apostles, Prophets and the Coming Moves
pp. 216, 217.
29. Leo Lawson, "The New Apostolic Paradigm and Morning Star
International Churches" (master's paper, Fuller Theological Seminary School of World Mission, December 1997), p. 38.
30. Ibid., p. 41.
31. Paul Daniel, "His People Christian Ministries,"
The New Apostolic
C. Peter Wagner, ed. (VentUra, Calif: Regal Books, 1998), p. 237.
32. Hamon, Apostles,
Prophets and the Coming Moves
33. Barney Coombs,
(Tunbridge, Kent, England: Sovereign
World, 1996), pp. 212, 213.
Apostles and the EmergingApostolic Movement,
pp. 151, 152.