There’s an issue among Simple mystical teachings folks that I simply can NOT overlook any longer. It’s the issue of the apostolic ministry in the Simple Church.
What is an apostle? The word, literally, means “a sent one.” That is to say, one has been sent by God to minister to others in an effort to advance The Kingdom. These people have a strong “fathering” spirit and are willing to be spent for the purpose of bringing the Church to maturity.
In the Simple Church world, apostles (note the Lower Case letter “a” as this is a Job Description, NOT a title) have been limited to being called “Church Planters.” I don’t think it’s serving the Body at all to attempt to limit that which God has established for its benefit.
An apostle will establish ministries, which includes church planting, but it may include other things. A traveling missionary could be an apostle. Another could have an apostolic calling on the internet or through writing. These days, many people do. Apostles are given to bringing churches together in unity, tearing down the walls of separation, as much as they are establishing new ones. The time is short. It’s not only about establishing new church networks but perfecting the churches that already exist.
Are YOU involving the apostolic ministry in your life? If you have been given that gift, are you giving it BACK to the Simple Churches with whom you have a relationship?
WHO IS AN APOSTLE TODAY…YOU?
Jesus is the One gathering the apostles together in these last days, just as He always has. Apostles will serve the Body of Christ with Jesus as the Head and with us as Members of His Body. The Head does the thinking and we follow His direction. Jesus is the true Shepherd and will gather us to Him by His Spirit. We can expect, of course, opposition from the conservative, traditional, doctrine of man.
Are you an apostle? God knows if I am – and WHEN I must serve in that role. Personally, I’ve been asked if I am a prophet and an apostle and, frankly, I don’t really care, nor am I impressed with those who refer to themselves as such. I’m simply listening to the still small voice who tells me when to go and where and how to serve once I arrive at my destination. I suggest we all do likewise.
I recently served in an apostolic role – with that anointing – as a group of Baptist brethren assembled to learn more about Simple Church. I was teaching with an anointing, prayed, prophesied and have heard reports of miracles having taken place starting that very evening. All glory to God! Despite all this, I am NOT inclined to re-print a business card with “Apostle Michael Tummillo” upon it. By the way, I didn’t take an offering but was given an unexpected wad of checks and cash. My excitement came from knowing those people will be blessed for we cannot out-give our God.
If there is truly an apostolic anointing on a person’s life, it makes no difference if they are called an apostle or think they are one. If it’s true, then the perfect will of the Father will be done, no matter what it’s called. What does it matter what others say or do or call you? Just do His will in building His Kingdom and don’t concern yourself with what others say.
APOSTOLIC MINISTRY IN SIMPLE CHURCHES
I have heard leaders within the Simple Church movement acknowledge that we are lacking one key ingredient: apostles raised up from within the movement itself. I agree with that notion as I have heard stories of apostles from without the Simple Church camp being invited in and sowing confusion because they did not see a particular group as supporting the local church or were too engrained in the Institutional Church system to see anything else as being legitimate.
On a DVD entitled “Tidal Wave,” I heard (paraphrase), “…you won’t find Presbyterian House Churches or Baptist House Churches.” I have found quite the opposite to be the case as I have, personally, ministered to a group of 42 “Church of Christ rejects” in a house in West Texas, a group of Universalists, Baptists, on several occasions (as recently as last night), a group of Charismatics that had recently split, and a group from an Assembly of God church that had done likewise after catching the pastor stealing.
One SC leader told me they had determined that if God were going to send them an apostle, He would raise that person up from within their own group. (If that is the case, they should be prepared to LOSE that individual for he/she will soon be “sent” to someone else as their job description requires).
Another SC leader said, after conferring with other leaders in his group, they couldn’t justify the expense of “flying someone in” whom they did not even know personally, unaware that the apostle in question had spent 8 years criss-crossing the nation in a motor home with his wife (Paul, whom the Corinthians knew, sent Titus to minister to them – they simply trusted Paul’s choice).