Apostolic Leaders are planters. They are driven to start new things where the things of God are not happening. Most clearly, planting churches. Be it in neighborhoods, businesses, college campuses or an unreached country, apostolic leaders are all about planting communities of faith in areas where there is no community of faith currently!
They want the Blue Oceans
This was a big reason for me moving to LA this year to start Greek InterVarsity in the county. There are 17 campuses with Greek Systems and very little happening to reach these students. What caused me to ultimately move here and take this assignment from God was the obsession with unreached people, starting something new, and being able to give years towards planting a completely new work that not many people were thinking about.
I resonate with Paul big time when he says in Romans 15:20,
“It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation.”
Los Angeles Greek Ministry is a Blue Ocean.
“Blue Oceans, in contrast, denote all the industries not in existence today– the unknown market space, untainted by competition. In blue oceans, demand is created rather than fought over. There is ample opportunity for growth that is both profitable and rapid. In blue oceans, competition is irrelevant because the rules of the game are waiting to be set. There is no frenzied feeding, and so little competition. Blue ocean describes the wider, deeper potential of spiritual idea-space that is not yet explored.” [i]
Red Oceans are places and markets fought over, blue oceans as stated are places and territories with very little competition.
Planters want to go to the
- forgotten places
- the unchartered places
- the waiting to be discovered places
They want to be where things are not happening so God can start to grow them.
This is what makes them apostolic.
Planters are much more concerned about starting new things than they are about growing what is currently existing. They are not that motivated by making the current church bigger or better.
They want to get out and start a new one. They are waiting for you to cut them lose. They want to hear you say,
“well done, thanks for getting this started, now go and do it again! We release you from this work!”
- Wants to go outside the local church/community
- Wants to start something new for people “outside” the church
- Doesn’t have a need or intention to bring “the new” thing back to the local community or church.
- They are just fine letting it be its own thing and/or a new church. In fact they may really prefer it.
- Would much rather decentralize and help people move out to the margins and start new things than keep building up one local community or church.
- Is often motivated to go by themselves or with a team of people to go start something new completely away from and maybe outside of the local movement. They don’t feel the need for the group to back them up. There can be a “I am going to go do this whether anyone is coming or not” attitude in them.
Do you have the planting bug in you? Have you ever named that as part of the apostolic calling? Please share with us in the comments. We would love to hear.
[i] Alan Hirsch and Dave Ferguson, On The Verge: A Journey into the Apostolic Future of the Church. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011),