“More than any other gift, the apostle delights most when disciples carry the work on to others, and in everything he or she does is designed with this in mind.” [i]
Apostles transfer power and authority to others so they can carry out the God-given mission that is inside of them.
Apostles are what Neil Cole calls “Foundation Layers” and they lay down the principles of mission and the DNA that others then carry out.
You know a true apostle when others around him/her are getting stronger, more confident and more bold in mission. Apostles release people into mission and love propping others up to carry on the work.
They don’t want to steal the show and they don’t want to cast a shadow.
They want to transfer power.
Unfortunately we have so many bad examples of people who call themselves “apostle” today. They want power, wield it and often times abuse it. They tend to want the spot light and use the title as some kind of status symbol.
It is why so many in the church reject the vocation and get creepy goose bumps when they hear the word “apostle” outside the new testament.
Neil Cole comments further on this,
“…many people claim apostolic authority, but in fact they expect everyone to be drawn to and directed by him or her. A foundation does not cast a shadow. It is not the most noticed part of a building; it is usually ignored and walked all over. This is often the response to a true apostle. (1 Cor. 4:9-13)” [i]
So if you think you have an apostolic calling and vocation, lets remember it is a call to be a foundation for others to build on and launch out of.
Apostles that transfer power and authority well
- Develop others to be better than themselves
- Send people out more than attract them in
- Would rather multiply 10 leaders to go preach to 100 people than themselves preach to 1000
- Are always looking for ways to call people “upward” into their calling
- Want to replace themselves as soon as possible
- Are obsessed with multiplication, not addition
Here are a few questions I like to ask my self to make sure I am transferring well.
- Where am I on purpose or unintentionally casting a shadow?
- How are people around me and under my leadership getting stronger, more confident and bold in their calling and initiative?
- When is the last time I multiplied my leadership? When is the last time I let someone take my job or task?
- How much of the mission am I carrying out compared to the rest of my team or disciples?
- If I was to ask the closest people to my ministry would they say I am casting shadows onto or laying foundations for others?
Do any of these questions speak to you? What would you add?
[i] Cole, Neil. “What about Evangelism?” Church 3.0: Upgrades for the Future of the Church. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2010. 167-68. Print.