Synonyms: Church planters, missionaries, messengers, ambassadors of the Gospel, etc.
Characteristics: Visionary leader; good at delegating responsibilities.
Responsibilities: Spread the message of Christ. Establish the church and build it through the Word of God. Plant churches, govern society, be administrators for doctrine and discipline, train others to do their job properly, continually preach on the subject matter found in the seven letters to the seven churches in Revelation.
Examples: Jesus Christ, Simon Peter, Thomas.
The apostle can also have different jobs—actually, any of these ministries can accompany various jobs. For example, Paul was a teacher, but he called himself an apostle first. I see apostles as being the leader of something. They have a lot of responsibilities, and the responsibilities of the other four ministry offices are theirs, as well. This is where delegating responsibilities is important. In Acts 6:1-7, the Twelve realized that there was so much going on that they couldn’t do it all. Therefore, seven others were chosen for the ministry of making sure food was brought to the widows and the like. They were chosen and then sent out for this task. Don’t wait to be asked—sometimes, those in charge need all the help they can get—just tell them where you would like to do some ministry!
I know of church planters who begin with the idea of a church, but add many more people to their team to get the church begun. Trinity Harvest, the church I attend in Pikeville, KY, is a church plant. The Ransom Church, the church I attended in Sioux Falls, SD, is a church plant. There are many great and wonderful churches that I have attended in the past that have been in place for more than 100 years; that’s not the point. Church plants still happen, and the lord moves through them, as he moves through any of his churches. I have family who are missionaries, and they spent most of my growing-up years building up a new church in a village in Africa. Apostles are very much active in the Church today!
Anna E. Olson
Who do you know today that fits the description of an apostle?