The Spiritual Gift of Apostle


The Spiritual Gift of Apostle


The spiritual gift of Apostle is the God-given ability to pioneer new churches in unchartered territories and mentor others to do the same.

The word Apostle comes from a Greek word meaning to be sent forth. Before the word Apostle carried a spiritual connotation, this word was used for naval ships commissioned to go into new territory for military expeditions. 

The Scriptures reveal two categories of people identified as apostles. First, the foundational Apostles were chosen by Jesus and operated under a specific mandate to birth the Church. A few references to their unique purpose and function are found in the following verses: Acts 1:251 Corinthians 15:8-10, and Ephesians 2:20

Secondly, the New Testament depicts a secondary category of believers who were not chosen by Jesus directly but are told to have possessed the gift of apostleship. This secondary group of apostles was pioneers of new churches. This includes the following people: Barnabas (Acts 14:14); Andronicus and Junias (Romans 16:7); James (Galatians 1:19); Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25); Apollos (1 Corinthians 4:69); Two unnamed apostles (2 Corinthians 8:23); and Timothy and Silas (1 Thessalonians 1:12:6).

When the spiritual gift of Apostle is present:

When the apostolic gifting is present in a local church, leaders will be empowered in their God-given gifts. Very much like a natural father or mother, those graced with the gift of apostleship bring order, security, affirmation, and empowerment to the household of God. 

With the presence of an apostle, there will be great energy and focus on fulfilling the great commission through empowering others in their gifting to be “sent out” to fulfill what God has called them to do. 

When the spiritual gift of Apostle is absent:

There are two ways that this gift of apostleship can be missing in the body of Christ. It is possible to have people who claim to be apostles but are not truly called or gifted (2 Corinthians 11:5; 13). And it is also possible to have a void of this gift altogether (1 Corinthians 4:15). In both cases, when the gift of apostleship is missing, there will be little expansion of the Gospel into new territories, and leaders will lack spiritual fathers and mothers to help them mature. 

In the Life of Jesus:

Hebrews 3:1 refers to Jesus as “the apostle and high priest” of our faith. The life of Jesus is the perfect example of what it means to be an apostle. Jesus was “sent forth” from the father on a mission to “seek and save the lost,” but he did not try to do this on his own. Instead, Jesus empowered his disciples and started the first church (Matthew 16:19).

Do you have the spiritual gift of Apostleship?

 * Are you called and qualified to pioneer a new church? * Do you minister effectively cross-culturally?

 * Do people look to you as their spiritual covering? 

Practical ways to implement and develop the spiritual gift of Apostleship:

* Find a mentor who has demonstrated this spiritual gift over a long period.

* Talk with your mentor about the desire to start a new ministry or church. 

You are gifted to:

  • Pioneer new churches
  • Minister cross-culturally
  • Do missionary work

If you would like to learn more about spiritual gifts or discover what spiritual gifts you have, take our free spiritual gift test.

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