Category Archives: Apostolic Ministry

-The ‘Real’ St. Patrick Was An Apostle

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Beyond the green beer and rowdy drunken debauchery that typically surrounds the occasion is an historical character that was God’s apostle to Ireland—forget ‘Saint’ this guy functioned as an apostle and a power evangelist.

There is all sorts of stories about Patrick that today they call ‘myths’. I believe that a lot of the myths were probably based upon true events that seem far too supernatural for secular folks to accept today.

This we do know about Patrick, he lived between 340 to 440 AD. He was born to a wealthy Christian Roman family living in Britain (Wales). At age 16 he was taken from his home and enslaved by Irish Celtic raiders. He tended sheep for his new masters for 6 years and became closer to God in the process. The ‘voice of God’ directed his escape and later commissioned him to return to Ireland as a missionary. He went to seminary and became a Priest in preparation and later a Bishop.

It is said in documents from that period that he “baptized thousands of people”, and ordained hundreds of priests to lead new Christian communities and villages. He also converted the sons of Kings and chieftains leading to the conversion of an entire pagan nation to Christ.

Legend has it that he was a healer and that he banished snakes from the island though scientists today doubt whether there were that many snakes on the island after the last glacial period.

Here’s an example of the spiritual condition of the church that St. Patrick left behind—part of a prayer attributed to him but probably written a couple of generations later:

From “Saint Patrick’s Breastplate”:

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ below me, Christ above me, Christ to the right of me, Christ to the left of me, Christ where I lie, Christ where I sit, Christ where I stand, Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye which sees me, Christ in every ear which hears me.

We could use this kind of spiritual maturity. What a great declaration to live by–an example for those seeking a Kingdom culture and economy.               *Top

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Apostolic Ministry Today?

image Here’s a link that I found on Adrian’s blog to an article by Ed Stetzer on apostles today. He has a number of links which show that churches even outside of Charismatic and Pentecostal circles are looking at the question of apostolic ministry for today and the continuing need for that type of ministry.

Here’s a link to previous posts on the subject by Adrian Warnock

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 

12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,

13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood,  to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,

14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.  -Ephesians 4:11-14 (ESV)

Response: Pastors, teachers, and evangelists are accepted ministry types in every church. No one denies that we need them today—that these types of ministries have ever ceased in the church. However, this is not the case when it come to apostles and prophets.

I have read so many different commentaries over the years which flatly state that the ministry of apostles and prophets ceased in the apostolic age with not so much as one good Biblical reference to back up the charge (Please don’t give me I Cor. 13–the use of it here violates several recognized hermeneutic rules).

I believe that ‘apostolic ministry’  is not only for today, but never really ceased in the church. Some of the major ‘missionary’ leaders of the past, which have planted churches in far away lands and supervised them down through the entire history of the church, were involved in ‘apostolic ministry’ whether the church recognized it or not.

We should be able to concede that the original apostles, who walked with Jesus along with others from the first century like Paul, may have had a unique position in the founding of the church and writing scripture, without concluding that the need for that type of ministry ended when they all passed away.

After all, has the church really reached  " …to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ"—or are some of us still children—or are some of us still being ‘tossed to and fro’  like the scripture says? I believe that the answers is yes! Therefore we still need all the help we can get in the church today.

I will admit this, it does bother me when I see some ministers with title– ‘Apostle’ in front of their name. I always wonder who voted them into that office.

However, I am entirely comfortable with people referring to others as having an ‘apostolic ministry’ or even as being called an (lower case) ‘apostle’.

Interesting to note, nearly everyone of the folks I know of involved in an effective ‘apostolic’ type of ministry have been commission by Jesus Christ in some direct way—usually through an appearance or a vision of the Lord.

We are living in exciting times when the church is once again beginning to recognize the ministry of apostles and prophets in our midst.           *Top

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