Read Mk 3.13-19, Lk 6.12-16
And when day came, He called His disciples to Him and chose twelve of them, whom He also named as apostles:
Jesus appointed the 12 as Apostles.
Apostolic leadership was Jesus’ aim for these 12 men. He would teach them, model for them and ultimately die for them in order to launch the Church. The Church would need leaders who were mobile, versatile, global, and authoritative. Jesus poured His life into these men and taught them the meaning of apostolic leadership through His own example (Jn 17.18, Heb 3.1). And He began to imprint the apostolic trade mark on them as “sent ones” when He first invited them to follow Him (Mt 4.19). He continues to infuse this vision throughout His ministry up to His death (Jn 17.18). And after the resurrection, He again emphasizes sending them into the world through the Great Commission (Mt 28.18-20, Act 1.8). From the time He chose them until the day He commissioned them to reach the world, He was training them to be “sent out.”
By definition an apostle is “one who is sent.” (I do believe the word apostle can be biblically defined in a broader manner but I’ll save that for another article) Not all disciples will function as apostles but I do believe all disciples are “sent” into the world. They may not be mobile, versatile, global, and authoritative. But they can go to their families, neighborhoods, work places, and yes, even their churches to have an impact for Christ. As a part of the disciplemaking process we should be raising people to be “sent” into the world armed with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus started instilling this vision from the very beginning. He always emphasized an outward focus. He constantly reminded them of their responsibilities to their fellow man. We need to train men and women in the same manner. We need to get them out of our Christian bunkers and on the front lines. We need to send them out to personally advance the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. FJ74
If you’d like me to write more about the definition and roles of an Apostle, drop me a line.
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