I’m reading an excellent book called Understanding the Fivefold Ministry, and I really appreciate some things they said about what it means to be a true apostle.
Here are some snippets:
Apostles are not intent on building a personal empire, but on equipping and releasing others for effective ministry.
“I’m not there to penetrate their churches and ministries. I’m there to serve them.”
Samuel Lee, Apostle for network of churches in Africa, Athens, and East Asia
“What counts is not how many people serve you, but how many people you serve as a leader.”
Mosey Madugba, founder of Ministers Prayer Network in Africa
Zhang does not look like a leader of ten million Christians. Wearing unkempt navy trousers and a wrinkled blue shirt, he easily blends into the crowd. This simple man–who prefers to sit on the floor when meeting with his team–is an apostle who has planted thouusands of churches since the early 1970’s, and foreign missionaries and Chinese-church workers alike consider him the most influential leader in the church in China.
J. Lee Grady, on the life of Zhang Rongliang
There’s a common thread through all of this–servanthood.
Apostleship is the call to servanthood. They are responsible for large networks of God’s peoples by God’s choosing because of their humility and service towards others.
Often apostleship, when mixed in with sinfulness and pride becomes a byword for those who have exalted themselves to a place of unrightful honor, garnering fame and riches. But true biblical apostleship means being the lowest of low and being a servant of all.
That has been the most important thing I’ve learned about the apostolic calling.