Over the last few decades as apostolic concepts have been explored around the world, there has frequently been a tendency towards external things. It's easy to observe what can be seen and praise the latest, greatest things happening. Big ministries who plant many churches can seem apostolic, and because they do much good, that seems to validate them as such.
As the concept of being an apostle has caught worldwide, people who previously considered themselves pastors, now consider themselves apostles. We have a rapid increase of ministers, and others such a business people, who now believe in apostles, and also believe they are apostles.
We can't easily make general statements about it all, but it is clear that a lot of what we see is based on outer things. Ministry effectiveness, fame, having a big name, going many places and more are all outer things. These things can easily substantiate a claim to not only legitimate ministry, but to what can seem apostolic ministry.
The route to apostolic ministry doesn't go down this outer path. The outer path works for certain things, but the route to being a genuine apostle is surrender, submission, knowing Christ, obedience, and frequently a great deal of personal pain and suffering is mixed up in that.
There is an inner path, or an inner life that is found in Christ. God calls apostles who are humble, and then he humbles them some more. They will do great external things, but that is not the way you become an apostle.
God is gracious towards us all. While the corporate Body of Christ is learning these ideas, He allows room for mistakes to be made. Simultaneously, He is steering the Church as a whole towards a clearer understanding of what it means to be an apostle.
It is hard to find a clearer example, than this: "He who wants to be great in the kingdom, must be the servant of all." Mark 9:35 And apostles are servants of all. They support, encourage and lift others up. It is through their efforts that others find grace.
It is time to seek God, and find Him. It is time to put aside every ambition. It is time to say to Christ, "I lay down my desire for recognition, for position, for acceptance. I desire to do your will." Don't claim to be an apostle. Don't cling to what you think you should have, or to what you want to be. Simply surrender to God's will, and let Him make of you what He intends. His purpose for you will bring the greatest blessing to you, and for others.
Even if you are not an apostle, this type of inner life and heart for God is surely apostolic.