Tonight I tweeted this:
For apostolic leaders, no 1 church is ever enough to fulfill them. Neither is 1 project. Or 1 city. Or 1 state. Or even 1 country.
Shorly after this, a friend emailed me asking me when I first knew that I had apostolic calling and gifting and how people react to that?
I emailed him back. Then, I realized....what I wrote should be a blog for others to also join the conversation. So, here goes.
I used to think that Apostles were freaks and that the very word "apostolic" meant they are full of mess most of the time. Perhaps it was because I watched Robert Duvall portray an apostle in his movie "The Apostle" one too many times. Actually, loved some thing about that film. Did not love some things. That is for a different day.
Little by little, I saw use of the term "Apostle" in the Bible and among leaders I actually trusted. Then last year, I read Floyd McClung's "You See Bones, I See an Army" and he described Apostolic Leaders in detail (I am now serving with Floyd here in Cape Town and have the privilege of being personally discipled by him). When I read his explanation of Apostolic leaders, I cried. IT WAS ME!!!!!
That was the first of many moments in the last 18 months where I realized that I AM APOSTOLIC! That is my NUMBER ONE PRIMARY spiritual gifting. Period.
Why have I been afraid of it? Maybe because it is an awesome calling? Sure it is! But the Lord told me as a little boy that he had an awesome calling on my life. Why would I now deny it over a title or jacked up cultural connotation?
Something significant has come alive in me this year as I have allowed myself to develop in a Biblical and practical understanding of Apostolic calling.
First ones in.
First ones out.
Say the hard things.
Make the hard decisions.
See way ahead.
Full of vision.
Never satisfied with where we are.
Always see more.
Always think bigger.
Often inspiring and engaging.
Can think so big that they cannot actually take step one to make it happen.
Get carried away.
Chase good ideas when they should only be chasing God ideas.
Can run over the Evangelists and Prophets.
Threaten the Pastors and Teachers.
I could go on. With good and bad stuff.
We could and should look at passages like:
- Acts 13, 15, and 19
- I Corinthians 3, 4 and 11
- Ephesians 2, 3 and 4
- And a whole lot more.
People may judge you if you use the word, "apostle". That is their problem, not yours. Encourage them to read the Bible a few times and study every place the word is used while at the same time taking their eyes of cultural usage. If we should stop using terms because people have messed their meaning up, then we should stop using the word JESUS too!