10 Reasons the Apostolic Movement Is Essential to Gospel Expansion by JOSEPH MATTERA for Charisma News
The global apostolic movement is the most significant expression of Christianity today.
This is the view expressed by historian Philip Jenkins. He talks about the rapid expansion of the church in the global south, much of which is reminiscent of the first-century apostolic movement. In his writings he claims that in North America, the fastest expression of the church today is the apostolic movement. (See The Next Christendomby Jenkins and The Rise of Network Christianity by Christerson and Flory.)
This expansion based upon apostolicity is not a coincidence or a result of some manufactured institutional global conspiracy. It is because God is supernaturally restoring apostolic function in His church. It takes an apostolic wineskin to expand, multiply churches and produce disciples in every aspect of culture. Unfortunately, many denominations are dying because they replaced apostolic visionary leadership with hierarchical titular leadership.
Often in the historic, evangelical, and Pentecostal churches, their bishops and superintendents primarily operate in the ministry function of administration and management. In contrast, in 1 Corinthians 12:28, God puts apostles first and administrative gifts further down the list of importance for church foundations. Every major denomination started with an apostolic visionary that made it a movement in its initial generations. However, they fell into institutional routinization when in subsequent generations they replaced the apostolic visionary with administrators and managers.
The only way to have permanent movement and multiplication is to always appoint apostolic visionaries as the leaders of denominations, networks and movements after the initial visionary leader passes away.
There is a reason why Jesus chose 12 apostles instead of 12 prophets, teachers, pastors and/or evangelists to start His church. This eventually blossomed to become the greatest movement in the history of the world over the past 2,000 years.