Apostles, Prophets and Apostolic Leaders

Jan-Aage Torp

The definition of «apostle» and «prophet» have varied from one extreme of being a historic, past function of the Early Church, to the other extreme of being titles that any Christian can take for themselves. European Apostolic Leaders emphasizes function as more important than title.

(Top photo: From one of the sessions with prayer and deliberations of the EAL Expanded Executive Committee with Members of the Romanian Parliament in the Palace of the Parliament on September  4th-7th, 2018.) 

The New Testament clearly outlines the gift of the apostle and prophet in Ephesians 4:11-12: «And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ», Also mentioned in Ephesians 2:20 and 1 Corinthians 12:28. The Apostle Paul and Christ’s apostles spoke of these gifts as essential for the healthy function of the Church and training of the Saints.

European Apostolic Leaders (EAL) believes that the dual leadership of apostles and prophets is needed in the Church for a balanced and healthy expansion and development globally.

  1. An apostle is a Christian leader who is gifted, taught, commissioned, and sent by God with the authority to establish the foundational government of a church, ministry, network, organization or business within an assigned sphere by hearing what the Spirit is saying, and sets things in order accordingly for the advancement of the Kingdom of God for the growth and maturity of the church. Since apostles minister in several different ways, EAL is open to «vertical apostles» (including ecclesiastical, functional, congregational, and team-member vertical apostles), to «horizontal apostles» (including convening, ambassadorial, mobilizing, and territorial horizontal apostles), and to different kinds of «workplace apostles».
  2. The ministry of the prophet is also clearly outlined in the New Testament (Ephesians 4:11-12). Both apostle and prophet are foundational gifts to the Body of Christ (Ephesians 2:20: «built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone».
  3. «Apostolic leader» is a pragmatic term that was coined by Jan-Aage Torp in 2012. EAL uses the term as a general term for apostles and prophets, and specifically as the designation of a ministry gift or an envoy that is closely related to an apostle and a prophet. Often, an apostolic leader will be emerging into an apostle or prophet.
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