|By Apostle Les D. Crause • 1st January 2002|
The Apostolic Role
2 What is the role of the apostle in the Body of Christ? He is to be the head husbandman in charge of taking care of God's garden. I want you to realize that the apostle has a specific realm of operation that is unique. It is the sphere of operation that God has given to him, (or her). The apostle is responsible for the trees in his garden alone. He is not responsible for the trees in somebody else's garden, but God holds him responsible for the condition of the trees in his garden. He does not try to interfere with the trees in somebody else's garden, but he acknowledges that somebody else is over that garden.
3 What is the Scriptural basis for this? Peter ministered to the Jews. The Scripture says that God had called Peter to be the apostle to the Jews. And although Peter opened the door for the Gentiles, Peter did not enter in. Peter just laid out the garden for the Gentiles and then he handed it over to Paul. Paul then came as the apostle to the Gentiles. He was responsible for the Gentile Christians. The Gentile church was Paul's garden and the Jewish church was Peter's garden.
4 As we look at different localities we see that the church in the Jerusalem area was under Peter, James and the other apostles. There were several of them that were responsible. Paul and Barnabus on the other hand, had gone out and founded churches elsewhere and they ministered to the churches that they had gone out and founded. When they had the Council at Jerusalem they called the apostles from all over. They brought them all together, and had one big Conference to discuss principles that would apply to the Universal Church.
Function of the Apostle
7 You say, "Well, what about the prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher? Don't they fit in here somewhere?"
Establishes the Workforce
10 The apostle is responsible for training the workforce. He must coordinate, bring in and even train the workforce before sending them out. How? Firstly by instructing them. In order to do this the apostle needs to be able to function as a teacher. He will have to train them by showing them how. So the apostle needs to be able to function in virtually the entire fivefold ministry, because he has to train the prophet and the teacher, the evangelist and the pastor. He has to show them how to do it. In order to do that he has to have been there first. He needs to have been trained in those areas himself.
11 You say, "Is it possible for one person to do that?"
12 Not always. It is the ideal situation, but very often one person lacks one or two of the ministries, so God builds a team. Paul, because he lacked on the prophetic side, brought in a prophet in the form of Barnabus to join with him, and so their ministries overlapped. They were both apostles - Paul with a teaching emphasis and Barnabus with a prophetic emphasis. Together they combine the fivefold ministry, because the entire fivefold ministry is necessary to plant a tree and cause it to grow. It is necessary to nurture a tree and protect it; to prune it; to make sure that it bears forth fruit. This requires the entire fivefold ministry. But who is to take charge? Who is to coordinate? The body cannot function without a head.
13 You say, "Well, of course it's the pastor who has to do that isn't it?" Is that not what is being taught in the church today? "Well the pastor's the guy at the top. He's the one in charge of the church." No he is not! He is only in charge of one tree. I am talking about a garden here, not one tree. I am talking about an entire sphere of operation. This sphere of operation could be an area, it could be a community, or it could be a city or a country. It could be a specific racial group. It could be a specific type of person. It could relate to a specific type of need or a specific group of people or strata of society that a work is started in. God is raising up different kinds of apostles who are called to different localities and are given different demarcations that they are to minister to.
The Apostolic Foundation
- Chapter 8