Saturday, June 18, 2011

Apostlic and my Church Plant -Sean Dooley

From my friend Sean Dooley who leads a church plant in the UK....


I think I have come to the place where I am able to define what I am looking for in the relationship between a local church and an apostle. Excuse the vowel-ish alliteration but I am looking for an apostolic ministry that is:

  • Apostolic - where the man that I am looking to has a clearly apostolic anointing upon him. Not that he has a big church or has people flocking to his ministry. Sometimes we mistakenly equate church success with apostolicity.
  • Equipping - they and the ministries that revolve around their apostolic ministry are indeed equipping the saints in my church.
  • International - they connect us with other churches, church plants and kingdom initiatives in our nation and the nations.
  • Open - they are totally unthreatened by us inviting in other Eph 4:11 ministries that we feel are what we need at the time. That they themselves are also open to work with other Eph 4:11 flows. Their highest agenda must be the health of the local churches, not the size or shape of their "apostolic team" (if there even is such a clearly defined thing in the NT). They must also be willing to joyfully release any emerging apostles to their own spheres without holding them into their sphere.
  • Unbounded - this apostle and the other Eph 4:11 ministries that revolve around him should not create a clearly bounded "team", but work with an organically fluid group of Eph 4:11 ministries as is appropriate for different nations, different situations and different local churches . Each local church will know very clearly which apostle and which other Eph 4:11 ministries they are looking to. The apostle and the other Eph 4:11 ministries however, will NOT know exactly how many churches are looking to them at any one time. Some churches may call on them once, or twice and then never again. Some may call on them for many years.

The local church has got to remain centre stage. Not the "apostolic teams" as loosely defined as these may be. They are there to help the local church be all she has been called to be by our Lord Jesus Christ.


  1. That is a great list and obviously much reflection has gone into it. Maybe the first point inherently already includes this, but since it is so explicit in the bible, I would like to draw attention to it:

    Truly the signs of an apostle were worked among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds. (2 Corinthians 12:12)

    Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible: "Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you,... Not only the doctrine which he preached, the power that attended it, and the success it met with among them, were clear signs and evident proofs of his being sent by Christ; not only they themselves, who were converted under his ministry, were testimonials and seals of his apostleship, but also the many other wonderful works done by him confirmed the same, and showed him to be an apostle ..."

  2. Brad - I enjoy this post and the desire for the apostolic relationship. It's very simple and I think that simplicity is what we should be looking for. My concern with this new season in the Apo adventure is that we become overly Architectural and spend more time at the drawing board instead of actually building anything. I do however understand the need to have blueprints as I am an engineer by trade and have worked in the construction industry for 14 years , yet we have been planting a church for 15 months now and are still involved in assisting churches into many differnt nations to advance the kingdom and strengthen their work into those areas, something that stirs be to the core.

    On saturday I helped two guys build an Italian style brick pizza oven in this guys barbie area. We had some pictures of the different stages and some discriptive on how to lay the bricks in order to get the arch that would eventually hold this thing together. The amazing thing is that we actually found out how to do it as we built and not by spending to much time looking at the pictures. We would cut the bricks and then see if it fit, then took it out and cut it some more, each brick being cut uniquely for its position, some we had to remove as we found a better cut etc. but eventually this pizza oven was built. We followed the basic principals of the instructions but we had to find out what was working best for us at that time. An intersting thing about the instructions was that they were not just from one guy but the manual had been taken from about 7 different people who had built ovens themselves and all of them were giving similar instructions yet there were some substantial differences, and we were able to get a basic idea, but we would now be able to write our own set of instructions and take our own pictures to add to that manual.

    I believe this pizza oven project gave me some insight into how we can build apostolicaly, not becoming overly obsessed with the pattern but having some basic biblical principals in place and then letting it unfold as we go along. This is what I see in scripture and believe this is how the Spirit will lead us.


  3. I do like this simplicity... I will be in Brisbane around the 9th July... can you swing by?

  4. Brad - How long will you be here? Give me a call on +61 406353368 would like to catch up. I can drive up from the Gold Coast.