As we are involved in the exciting work of developing structures and strategies for the coalitions of apostolic leaders around the world, we constantly face challenges. Very much so in Europe. The question is often implicitly or explicitly asked: "Is Brother/Sister X a true apostle that belongs among us?"
I can´t tell you how often I have been told by legitimate apostles that "Brother/Sister X is not a real apostle!" It seems that we at times have a disproportionately high view of our own understanding and position, and equally limited appreciation of others.
When I started relating to John P. Kelly in 1999, he warned me against something which really exposed my own inclination at the time: Being narrow-minded! I have consciously been moving away from that mindset for several years.
In building Kingdom structures and strategies together with other apostolic leaders, it is important to be apostolic, meaning also "not narrow". Apostolic leaders have a calling to gather the true Church in real unity in Christ with all the variations and rich nuances. We must not create environments where we cut off apostolic leaders with other inclinations.
As we discuss who belongs or does not belong, we need a basic grasp of what an apostle is. EAL has a clear definition.
I am in no way advocating that we call everybody an apostle. I would actually be hesitant to put that label on anyone. Let´s not be negative and critical of each other, but cautious, like Paul indicated to young Timothy: "Do not lay hands on anyone hastily" (1Timothy 5:22).
We renamed our movement in November 2013, introducing the term "apostolic leaders" in our name, instead of "apostles". This doesn´t change our definitions, but perhaps indicates a need for humility, cautiousness and thoroughness in our dealings. We are indicating that there is room for different emphases, and even different levels of maturity and experience in our lives and ministries.
It seems that one of the hallmarks of true apostolic patriarchs is their broad scope and big heart: A true father gives room for variations, nuances, perspectives, emphases. A sound apostolic movement will be led by such patriarchs and matriarchs, whereas prophetically inclined apostolic movements sometimes demand only one way, one emphasis, one method....
Biblical covenant is an important concept, especially for apostolic leaders. Covenant relationship begins with a spiritual act of being knit together. Our leadership and our life will be much more fulfilling and fruitful when we have covenant relationships.
A question I have asked myself is: Are we basing our work in EAL on Biblical covenant, or are we building coalitions?
The answer is: Yes and Yes!
I believe that all apostolic leaders yearn for and practice some dimensions of covenant relationships. That´s deeply rooted in our theology and revelation.
But not every apostolic leader can be in a real covenant relationship with every other apostolic leader. There are far too many of us. And there are so many big variations in our callings and mandates.
But we are definitely rooted in covenant!
The anwer to this crucial question should be understood by every member of EAL:
A coalition is not the same as covenant relationships. In a coalition, there will be those who don´t even agree on vital matters pertaining to ministry and revelation. But we agree on the key matters about our calling for revival, reformation and restoration! Our mandate is to equip and unite the true Church, possess the land, disciple the people groups, and bring transformation!
So in a healthy national, regional, continental or global coalition, there will be members with totally different focus: Some emphasize the local church, others equipping the saints, others prophetic acts, others the election of the Jewish people, others evangelical unity, and even others spiritual warfare. Plus, plus, plus.... If you are trying to create a national coalition consisting of your own group of tight-knit friends, then it wouldn´t be a coalition. That could probably be a covenant-based task-force, which may develop into something great. It is not a coalition, but it might become a part of a coalition.
Several apostolic leaders try to find out what my emphases are. But as the Convening Apostle, I choose to avoid having only one special emphases. My concern is that all true apostolic leaders work together, complement each other, honor one another, and maximize our service for the King of Kings in Europe! That´s what a coalition seeks to accomplish!
In closing, I find it helpful to read how Wikipedia defines a coalition. Please allow it to shed some light on our development of coalitions in Europe and around the world:
A coalition is a pact or treaty among individuals or groups, during which they cooperate in joint action, each in their own self-interest, joining forces together for a common cause. This alliance may be temporary or a matter of convenience. A coalition thus differs from a more formal covenant. Possibly described as a joining of ‘factions’, usually those with overlapping interests rather than opposing.