Apostles for today

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers.  (Ephesians 4:11)
5 Through him we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, 6 including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:5-6)
22 This is the reason why I have so often been hindered from coming to you. 23 But now, since I no longer have any room for work in these regions, and since I have longed for many years to come to you, 24 I hope to see you in passing as I go to Spain, and to be helped on my journey there by you, once I have enjoyed your company for a while.  (Romans 15:22-24)
Most Christians are happy to acknowledge that evangelists and pastor-teachers are still around today, but some are not so sure about apostles and prophets. Some Christians even believe that apostles died out in the first century. That’s why we need Ephesians 4:11 to remind us that the ascended Jesus will give all of these gifts to his Church until he returns from heaven. There is never any indication in the New Testament that we should expect these gifts die out during Church history. This is really good news because, right now, we need apostles as much as ever!

Scripture explains to us what God has called apostles to do for the Church throughout the ages. Apostles lay strong biblical foundations for local churches and provide ongoing care for those churches. They are deeply concerned about sound doctrine, about bringing people into an ongoing experience of the Holy Spirit, and about planting new churches in order to reach the towns and cities of the world with the Gospel. The primary calling of an apostle is underlined by the Apostle Paul in Romans 1:5 as “to ensure that all nations hear the good news of the gospel.” Apostles catch local churches up in local and global mission. That’s why Paul is always going from one region to another (Romans 15:22-24). Being part of New Ground reminds us that Everyday Church exists for God’s mission.

What will apostolic ministry do for Everyday Church? Encourage and provide oversight and accountability for our elders? Yes. Ask questions and express concerns if the church is struggling? Yes. But above all this, they will help to ensure that Everyday Church continues to have a Gospel impact locally, across the UK and into the nations of the world (Acts 1:8). We thank God that our church benefits from the apostolic ministry of New Ground. It helps us to break free of parochial thinking and to keep on pushing our church’s vision and reach ever wider into the world.
1) Are you convinced that apostles are for today? If so, what is your expectation of what they are called to do?

2)  Why do you think we sometimes have a wrong view of apostolic ministry? Why is it easier to ask them to come and sort out our problems rather than to let them catch us up in global mission?

3)   If Everyday Church were increasingly shaped by apostolic input, then what would be visibly different? How can you pray for Dave Holden and the other New Ground leaders to be a real gift from God to us?
Father God, I thank you for continuing to extend your Kingdom throughout the earth. Thank you for catching the church that I am part of up in this great global mission. Please use Dave Holden and the other leaders of New Ground to shape us as a church apostolically, so that we can reach more people with the good news of the Gospel. Amen.
If you have time, consider carrying on your conversation with God using one of our helpful Prayer Pathways.
Today’s Everyday Devotions have also inspired a devotional video that you can watch on our YouTube channel.
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