If you work around an apostolic leader, you will eventually hear someone say something like this, “He is constantly changing things. Can’t he let things be?”
This is a true observation about apostles! They are constantly changing things. What is going on?
DEFINITION of Apostle – Its literal definition is “one who is sent”. In the Bible an apostle is one who is sent from God. But the word goes further than just a “sent one”. The word apostle was used in the Roman Empire. After the Roman Empire conquered a land, they sent an apostle to the region to tell them what the conqueror was like and to bring the culture of the Roman Empire to the conquered region. I believe Jesus set up this new office and on purpose called them an apostle. Jesus was saying I have conquered the kingdom of darkness and the apostle will share with you the culture I know want to bring from my kingdom in heaven to your culture in the earth.
The job of an apostle is to bring heaven’s culture as given to them by Jesus to the area they are assigned. They do this until the area they are assigned looks like the blueprint they keep changing things.
Bringing in a new culture is what distinguishes apostles from other builders. Don’t assume all builders are apostolic. You can build with an already determined plan using the gift of administration or leadership. If you are operating in the same culture as before, you are reproducing the existing culture. No apostolic gifting is required. An apostolic builder is bringing in or building a new culture.
It is often hard to work with an Apostle. Just ask Mark and Barnabas about working with Paul as recorded in the book of Acts. Buy why can’t they get all the changes done at once?
Apostles are like someone who is painting a picture. They put a little paint here, a little paint there, and eventually a picture emerges. Apostles figure it out as they go along because God only shows them what to do in part (1 Corinthians 13:9). He never gives the whole plan at once, only a starting point. Therefore, they rarely know exactly what the picture will look like when it is finished but they know what to paint next on the canvas.
In the same way, the apostle will keep changing things around, until the culture they are responsible for looks like the culture in heaven that God has showed them.
It may help to understand the 4 broad steps an apostle works through to change a culture. 1st, God gives them discernment of what their assignment’s culture is like; 2nd, a strategy to change the culture to what heaven desires; 3rd, wisdom and perseverance to change the culture; 4th, authority to do it.
I hope this helps! If you want to be a part of a new wineskin or culture change is a constant! Enjoy the change! May change live forever until it looks like what is in heaven!