Sunday, March 11, 2012

Apostles in scripture in relation to church Government. (Do we have it backwards?)


I have been contemplating some things about local church Government. I made a blog post at an earlier date here. This is an outgrowth of that post. 

It occurred to me that we, as Apostolics, should fulfill the ministries of the church as they did them in the book of Acts church. That having been said, our modern churches glorify bishops, pastors, and evangelists. Most of our churches don't use deacons and prophets are both revered and feared. But, what about the Apostle?

Scripturally speaking, aside from them having personally seen Jesus- something only the originals could do (unless he gives us a vision or dream)- they seemed to act as pastor/elders, evangelists, missionaries, bishops, prophets, and teachers in the scriptures. They would go to an "unchurched area", start preaching and teaching, and (if the Gospel gained traction there) they'd raise up a local body (or church, if you will) until God raised up some elders in that group to take over the leadership of the group. Then, the Apostle would move on to start another work, occasionally keeping an eye on their previous works- offering encouragement and correction to the elders and church body where needed.

Another thing they'd do, however, was that they seemed to be the authorities of the whole movement. Look at the disagreement over circumcision in Acts. Who was it that the dispute was taken to? Who was it that seemed to be the final arbitor of doctrinal truth for the whole body of Christ (under the direction of the Lord)? The Apostles!

So, since in our modern day movements, a missionary is probably the closest thing to an Apostle we have, do we have things backwards in our organizations? Instead of the Bishops and pastor/elders leading our organizations, shouldn't it be the missionaries? Why are they relegated to an almost fringe status in our movements, when they had such a HUGE role in the early church? 

Thoughts anyone?