The idea of the restoration of apostolic ministry teams around the world raises a certain degree of controversy; and even more so Messianic apostolic ministry here in Israel. Consider a few thoughts in approaching the topic:
- NT Churches – 100% of the churches mentioned in the New Covenant were connected to an apostolic team. What about today?
- Jerusalem – 100% of those apostolic networks were connected to the Messianic Jewish community in Israel and Jerusalem. Why?
- Kingdom – The apostles in general, and particularly in Israel, maintained the vision for the coming kingdom of God on earth, with its capital in Jerusalem. Without that connection, the churches would have had only a vision for the “Ecclesia” itself, without a clear understanding of the Second Coming and Millennial Kingdom.
- Warfare – There is intense spiritual warfare connected with Messianic apostolic restoration. The context of Paul’s description of spiritual warfare in II Corinthians 10:5 is the general controversy about his apostolic ministry, covering four entire chapters, II Corinthians 10 through 13.
- Authority – One of the underlying issues is spiritual authority. It might be easier to have congregations with no eldership at all, just a kind of egalitarian fellowship. However scriptures clearly describe the role of elders. Along the same line of reasoning it might be easier to have just pastor-led congregations with no involvement of apostolic or prophetic ministry. Most congregations in the world are that way today.
- Teamwork – In order to have teamwork, there must be awareness of different roles for different types of leaders. The scriptures describe at least 5 functions: apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher (Ephesians 4:11). If everyone tries to be a pastor, there will be competition and division; the pastor will have to fulfill all 5 of the functions himself; and will be tired, lonely and frustrated.
- Action – Most of the “action” of ministry in the New Covenant came out of apostolic teams: first of Yeshua and His twelve in the gospels; then of Peter and the first congregation in Jerusalem; then of Paul and his church-planting team. Yeshua is Himself the chief apostle (Hebrews 3:1) and the first one to start an apostolic team (Luke 6:13).