Lecturer: Apostle Colette Toach
Based on the Apostolic Handbook book by Apostle Colette Toach
You read the signs, so this will inspire you... what you are about to learn in this lesson cuts right across the Status Quo. I am going to challenge everything that most people believe an apostle does. Why be normal? Besides, if you have an apostolic calling, rocking the boat is something you thrive on. So let's rock that boat! Hold on tight because this is what an apostle is NOT!
- An apostle is not a missionary sent out by a missionary organization.
- An apostle is not someone that starts a new church.
- An apostle is not someone who produces scripture.
- An apostle is not someone that ONLY has an apostolic calling without being any of the other fivefold.
- Someone does not become an apostle just because they have succeeded in ministry and built a church.
So what IS an apostle then?
What we must do here is change the pictures. Many get the impression that you are called to be a pastor, an evangelist, a teacher, a prophet, or an apostle. This is not the case at all. The apostle will learn to do all the functions of the fivefold ministry. In fact, he is the one that brings them all together. He is not a loner and you will not find him rising up like a shooting star solo. No, he is a team player and has the ability to 'glue' people together and make them into a team.
- An apostle builds and constructs, organizing and putting people into place.
- An apostle is one that trains, equips, and establishes his team and those under Him.
- An apostle is always heading for new ground. He does not work on just one tree... but has an entire garden with many various activities.
- An apostle is one that knows the job of the most humble to being able to take the highest position.
- The apostle is the one with the new ideas, the ability to implement them, and then train others to take them over as he moves on.
These five points give you some of the foundational functions of an apostle. Sure, an apostle can be chosen to work in a specific area of influence, just as Apostle Paul was called to the Gentiles. Each apostle will have his garden.
Chapter 23 - The Functions of the Apostle
1. To Receive a Mandate and Implement It
2 Timothy 3:10 But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance,
How can you even fulfill your mandate when you do not know what it is?
Let’s start with step one, get a mandate, or should I rather say, recognize your mandate. You cannot go and get a mandate because God gives us a mandate. It is like I said with a vision. You cannot just catch it.
No one is throwing a mandate at you that you can catch. You receive one from the Holy Spirit. So, number one is to recognize your mandate and begin implementing it.
2. To Equip the Leaders Within that Mandate
The next thing that you need to do is equip the leaders within that mandate. You know who you are. Obviously, with this mandate in place, God has already brought those to you that share aspects and visions within that mandate.
Are you equipping them for it, or are you just worrying about yourself?
2 Timothy 4:1 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom:
2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
Paul is instructing Timothy. He did not just give Timothy the pattern. He trained him in it. He equipped him in the pattern. Do not just throw a pattern at someone and expect that they suddenly know how to build it, finish it, or do anything with it.
Paul laid it out very clearly. Have you equipped the leaders?
David positioned his mighty men. Moses imparted the anointing that was on him to the seventy elders. Paul raised up Timothy and Silas.
So what, you have a mandate... big deal!
Who is running with you?
Have you taken time to raise up those who are going to fulfill it with you?
3. To Establish Structure
If you are an apostle, you should have established a structure. This is another function that you should be fulfilling in the church. If you call yourself an apostle, I want to know what your mandate is, I want to see the fruit of that in those that you have raised up, and I want to see your structure.
2 Timothy 1:13 Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.
1 Corinthians 14:39 Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues.
40 Let all things be done decently and in order.
He did not just teach them about the spiritual gifts. He brought structure. Moses, Paul, James - they all gave structure. Even David, who was a trainer, had structure. What does your structure look like?
You need organization. I know that prophets often hate this. However, this is not a prophetic book, is it? This is an apostolic book. So, tell me, apostle, what does your structure look like?
4. To Drive the Vision Forward (Including Displacement)
You should be familiar with this next point. You need to drive the vision forward. This scripture epitomizes driving the vision forward.
Philippians 3:13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,
14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
I see Paul running a race, saying, “I forget those things that are behind, and I continue to press forward. I drive the vision forward. Those things that are behind me are past, over, and done. What is the next vision?”
An apostle is one who drives the vision forward. He is one who takes the Church through transition. He allows it to evolve. You have Joshua who took the children of Israel from the wilderness and into the Promised Land.
You have David who took the children of Israel from a divided kingdom into a united kingdom. You have Paul who took them from the Old Testament into the New Testament.
The apostle is one who takes the Church through transition because they drive the vision forward, and they continue to get revelation. You cannot just rip the old way away from them and take away the old vision.
You have to drive a vision forward and help the Church transition into it. If you are an apostle, what are you transitioning the Church into?
Even if you are a pattern maker, that means that you are displacing an old pattern. If you are a trainer, that means that you are teaching them a new way of doing things. If you are blazing a trail, of course, you are challenging old mindsets, status quo, doctrines, religion, and archetypes.
You know that there is a displacement going on, regardless of your mandate. You are driving it forward. What are you doing to transition the Church from the old to the new?
You cannot just wait for God to do it all by Himself. God chose you. You have to step forward and fulfill your function. Drive the vision forward.
Excerpt from The Apostolic Mandate by Colette Toach