WE the CHURCH — The Apostles
In this series it is my prayer that God would reveal how He has wired and gifted you. In Ephesians 4 we find that God has given us all gifts: some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, some as shepherds, and some as teachers. These gifts are given in order to build up the church and be Jesus’ lived presence in the world. By God’s grace He has gifted some of us with the primary gifting of being an apostle.
An apostle is one who sees themselves as, “one who is sent.” They are the missional engines of the church, and they remind us that we are all a sent people, called to minister and serve those in the world around us.
When we look to Jesus we find that He is THE Apostle — He is the sent one from God. He is the one who is sent as God’s Son from Heaven to Earth.
In the book of Luke, Jesus comes to the synagogue and reads from the book of Isaiah saying,
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent (apostle) me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.”
Just as Jesus is sent to the poor, captives, blind, and oppressed — we are all also sent by Jesus to serve the poor, free the captives, heal the sick, and promote justice among the oppressed — whether or not our primary gifting is that of an apostle.
Yet, if you are in the midst of discerning your primary gifts and are wondering if you might be an apostle, you answer “yes” to some of the following questions:
Has God laid a burden on my heart for a specific people group?
Is the Kingdom of God advancing in my community?
Do I enjoy the process of creating vision?
Do I call others to join in the vision God has given me?
Apostles have a passion for seeing the Kingdom of God advance in their communities. They see themselves as one who is sent to be on mission wherever they find themselves. The beauty of a mature apostle is that they understand they are never called to go alone. Because of this they build up diverse teams in order to reach the people whom God has called them to serve.
Now more than ever, I believe God is calling the apostles in the church to rise. From the foundation of the Church we have been called to live as a sent people, as Jesus’ lived presence to the nations. When the apostles among us rise, WE the CHURCH also rise and are sent into the world as the Kingdom of God breaks in.
As God grows each one of us as apostles within the church some questions you can be asking yourself are:
Who is God calling you into relationship with?
How are you being called to serve them?
Do they feel served well?
Who are you bringing along to serve with you?
We are a sent people, and whether or not your primary gift is that of an apostle, I want you to know that God wants to use you and the gifts He has given you to bless and encourage those around you. I leave you with these words of Jesus to His disciples — “And Jesus said to them, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, I am sending you” John 20:21
Peace be with you,