There is a huge and largely unrealised need for apostles. The Church is supposed to become one, to become like Christ and to reflect Christ, and yet the Body of Christ in the main seems to be unaware that this is essential. The Church cannot be how it needs to be without becoming relational, and that is an apostolic work.
The apostle Paul said in 1 Cor 12:27-29 “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?”
The fact that God placed apostles in the Body, and placed them first, is hugely significant. Churches have a primary need for apostles and their ministry, and it cannot be understated.
Apostles are to be fathers to the Church. As an apostle Paul was a father to those under his care, and from this place he wrote, “I am writing this not to shame you but to warn you as my dear children. Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. Therefore I urge you to imitate me.” 1 Corinthians 4:14-16
The need for fathering is prominent and clearly felt, especially by pastors and leaders who are generally sent out 'as lambs among wolves.' Apostles provide more than just accountability and covering, but heart relationship, apostolic covering and care. Various statistics abound regarding pastors leaving the ministry and experiencing burnout. You can be sure that when pastors find true fathers, that this will dramatically reduce.
Apostles carry genuine authority from Christ. They have been given the right and the responsibility to put things in order. We see examples of this in the New Testament where Paul, James and others are able to work for the benefit of the whole Body of Christ because of their authority. Paul in particular expresses a clear gentleness in doing so, and a genuine apostle will also exhibit true gentleness. Examples of this authority and the giving of this authority are found in 2 Corinthians 2:8, 13:10 and also Mark 3:15)
While the Church has no apostles and continues in an institutional or organisational framework, there is no real authority. Authority then remains vested in committees, constitutions and legal documents. Yet the restoration of apostles brings with it authority and brings with it a great fresh vitality. The Body of Christ will become mobile, responsive and alert. They will be more prayerful and more powerful once in connection with apostles.
Other Reasons Apostles are Needed:
- Appointing Elders in Churches (Citywide Elderships). (1 Timothy 5:17-20, Titus 1:5-6, Acts 14:23)
- Government in the Church. (2 Corinthians 13:10, Philemon 8-9, 2 Corinthians 10:8)
- Provides Spiritual Covering. (This point is detailed well in Chapter 7 of "The Apostolic Revelation")
- To Equip Believers To Serve. (Ephesians 4:12)
- To Build Up the Body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:12)
- To Bring the Body of Christ to Maturity. (Ephesians 4:13)
- To Bring Believers to Unity (Ephesians 4:13)
- Teaching and Instructing. (Acts 2:42-43)
Paul did much in way of example to us of what apostles do. He was needed. Imagine the early church without the apostles, and then imagine the current day church now having them.