‘The Apostolic develops in us an appetite and a capacity for the Supernatural, the Pastoral helps prepare us to manage the natural’
In many places and Faith Communities people are exploring the Apostolic and what it looks like if this gift is resident in our churches and evident in lives. The desire to see it manifest has leaders examining structures and considering what changes may be necessary in their lives if they are indeed called to be an Apostle. I see this as an enormously healthy and important thing in this season of History.
As an observer I have seen enthusiastic ‘early adopters’ embrace the title while still leaving their Leadership style and structures, even their time usage largely unchanged. The result of this will be essentially the ‘same old, same old’ under a new name, not producing the advancement of the Kingdom of God which is desired. What is in fact going to be necessary is for leaders, committed to an apostolic way of doing church and life, to see that much must change. Firstly this will need to happen in thought processes and in the way that we see the emphases that existed in the early church.
It is easy for Church form and tradition to colour the Bible stories that we read and the expectation we carry for church life. In the West it is all about time and repeatable patterns. These are not in themselves wrong but if they determine what will happen and not a passionate desperation for the Holy Spirit’s presence and power then it will be necessary to be satisfied with current results.
Acts 2: 43: ‘Then fear came upon every soul and many wonders and signs were done through the Apostles’.
What a verse, what a pattern. The early church saw the supernatural through men who had power in their lives and saw the manifestation of this as being the purpose for which they were born and for which the church existed. Wow!
Recently I began to think about what part of our Sunday celebrations Jesus might enjoy the most…what took place that really got His attention. In answer to that question I found myself convinced it was the time in the meeting when the sick were being prayed for and those with a need in their lives were being ministered to. The impact of having this thought on me has been significant. I have begun to see this as my favourite part of the service. I view it as the reason we gather and that the anointing and sense of the presence of God that is created through Worship and the Preaching of the Word is taking us to a High Point…..a time when Jesus gets to release His power into lives and situations. That is Apostolic – that is awesome!