The American church somehow has elevated the topic of Apostle to something it is not. It has become a glamor position for the most spiritual and deserving. This is not what the gift of Apostle is. Here are 3 questions I would ask anyone that thinks they are called to be an apostle. If they can say yes to all 3 questions then you may have some understanding of the job requirements.
1. Are you willing to plant and then others to see the growth?
The apostolic gift is the foundation of the church. This is good but as the work grows people don’t notice the foundation anymore. They only notice what is built on it. You are always a part of the work but as the church grows you are no longer the main public figure.
He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. Ephesians 2:20-21a (The Message)
2. Are you willing to give at all costs and not be paid for your time?
Being an apostle costs you much more in time, money, and reputation than you ever get back. Just look at the Apostle Paul.
Still, I want it made clear that I’ve never gotten anything out of this for myself, and that I’m not writing now to get something. I’d rather die than give anyone ammunition to discredit me or impugn my motives. If I proclaim the Message, it’s not to get something out of it for myself. I’m compelled to do it, and doomed if I don’t! If this was my own idea of just another way to make a living, I’d expect some pay. But since it’s not my idea but something solemnly entrusted to me, why would I expect to get paid? So am I getting anything out of it? Yes, as a matter of fact:the pleasure of proclaiming the Message at no cost to you. You don’t even have to pay my expenses. 1 Corinthians 9:15-18 (The Message)
I do believe we need to bless those who work among us but when you are the foundation starting things usually take a great price.
3. Allow others to take the credit for your work?
As a foundation gift you are supposed to turn over your work for others to build on. Many apostles don’t because it is hard to give up the attention and take a back seat. So if you are called to be an Apostle could you build something, step back, and let other people run with it and take the corresponding attention?
Apostle Paul wrote most of the New Testament and started at least 7 churches and he died in a jail cell. He knew his glamor was in heaven. May God raise up more apostles who know how to die for the church needs them!
I’ve (Paul) worked much harder, been jailed more often, beaten up more times than I can count, and at death’s door time after time. I’ve been flogged five times with the Jews ‘thirty–nine lashes, beaten by Roman rods three times, pummeled with rocks once. I’ve been shipwrecked three times, and immersed in the open sea for a night and a day. In hard traveling year in and year out, I’ve had to ford rivers, fend off robbers, struggle with friends, struggle with foes. I’ve been at risk in the city, at risk in the country, endangered by desert sun and sea storm, and betrayed by those I thought were my brothers. I’ve known drudgery and hard labor, many a long and lonely night without sleep, many a missed meal, blasted by the cold, naked to the weather. 2 Corinthians 11:23b-27 (The Message)