The Apostolic Spiritual Gift
The spiritual gift of an apostle is a unique ability the Holy Spirit gives to certain individuals within the church community. Apostles are appointed and sent forth as messengers with a specific mission to establish and strengthen churches, spread the gospel, and nurture spiritual growth among believers.
Those with the Apostolic gift are visionary leaders who exhibit a strong sense of mission and a pioneering spirit. They possess the ability to plant and oversee churches, disciple new believers, and train and equip leaders for ministry.
Example from Scripture:
In Acts 14:14, Barnabas and Paul were recognized as apostles when the people of Lystra referred to them as “gods who have come down to us in human form.” This acknowledgment was due to their powerful ministry and the signs and wonders performed through them.
When the Gift is Present in the Church:
When the apostolic gift is present in the church, it brings dynamic leadership, a passion for evangelism, and a desire to establish and strengthen communities of faith. Apostolic individuals are catalysts for growth, transformation, and the expansion of the gospel.
When the Gift is Absent in the Church:
Without the apostolic gift, a church may lack strategic vision, missional focus, and effective church-planting efforts. The absence of apostolic influence can hinder the church’s ability to reach new territories and fulfill its calling to make disciples of all nations.
What It Looked Like in the Life of Jesus:
Jesus Himself demonstrated apostolic characteristics in His ministry. He commissioned the twelve disciples to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19) and empowered them to continue His work after His ascension.
Practical Ways to the Develop the Apostolic Spiritual Gift:
1. Cultivate a Heart for Evangelism: Develop a passion for sharing the gospel.
2. Invest in Discipleship: Focus on nurturing and disciplining believers, equipping them to become influential leaders and ministers.
3. Foster Church Planting: Explore opportunities to support and engage in church planting efforts locally or globally.
Examples from Church History:
1. St. Paul (1st century AD) – As an apostle, Paul played a pivotal role in spreading Christianity throughout the Roman Empire, establishing churches, and writing numerous epistles that continue to impact Christian theology.
2. St. Patrick (389-461 AD) – Patrick, known as the “Apostle of Ireland,” carried out a significant mission to evangelize Ireland, establishing churches and nurturing spiritual growth among the Irish people.
3. John Wesley (1703-1791) – As a revivalist and founder of Methodism, John Wesley exhibited apostolic zeal in preaching, planting societies, and disciplining believers.
1. Dr. Yonggi Cho (1936-2021) – Known as the pastor of the world’s largest church, Yoido Full Gospel Church in South Korea, Cho’s apostolic ministry impacted countless lives and led to the establishment of many churches globally.
2. Alan Hirsch is a prominent figure in church planting and missional Christianity. As a prolific author, speaker, and missiologist, he has dedicated his career to empowering and equipping church leaders for effective church-planting endeavors.
1. Can anyone be an apostle? – The gift of apostle is given by the Holy Spirit, and not everyone will possess this gift. However, every believer can play a role in the Great Commission.
2. Are apostles the same as the original twelve disciples? – The original twelve disciples held a unique role as foundational apostles. Today’s apostolic ministry carries forward the mission of establishing and strengthening churches.
Ways to Grow in the Apostolic Gift:
1. Seek God’s Guidance: Continuously seek the leading of the Holy Spirit in discerning and fulfilling your apostolic calling.
2. Be Teachable: Learn from experienced apostolic leaders and mentors to grow in your understanding and effectiveness.
3. Embrace a Missional Mindset: Develop a heart for the unreached and the desire to see the gospel impact new regions and people groups.