Can a Church Flourish without an Apostle?

Jim McCracken, Founder of TrueBridge, a family of churches in Minnesota and beyond, answers a pertinent question regarding churches and apostles.

Here’s the question: Can a church flourish without an apostle? Jim  relates with a number of churches. He’s a man with the background and experience to answer the question. He’s observed scores of fellowships over the decades. Let’s listen to the 50 second video.

Want to dig deeper? Check out a definitive book — Local Churches Global Apostles: How Churches Related to Apostles in the New Testament Era and Why It Matters Now

Should Apostles Today Use the Title?

Fred Herzog has a clear and concise answer to this question many are asking. Should apostles today use the title? Some say “Yes,” some say “No.” Here’s Fred’s take on the topic.


I have known Fred and his wife Char for about 50 years. They are a great team filled with years of wisdom and love.

Fred has been involved in developing congregations, leadership, and ministry opportunities including a successful ministry of helping individuals gain personal freedom through understanding the ways of God. Fred, along with his team, has started and trained up leadership for over 20 different ministries.

Consistent qualities of Fred’s ministries have included contemporary worship, spiritual counseling, informal services, and team-focused leadership. His aim continues in presenting cutting-edge worship, profound teaching, and discipleship for the advancement of the Kingdom of God in our present generation.

Fred and his wife Char live in Northfield and have 3 adult children.

Are Apostles Alive Today?

What do you say to people that believe that all apostles and prophets died with Peter and Paul? Are Apostles alive today? We asked Steve Fatow this question. Hear  his one minute response.

Are apostles alive today? If you’re watching the video, you’re looking at one!

Steve Fatow was born in New York and raised in a Jewish home in Miami, Florida. In 1970, he heard the Gospel and gave his life completely to Jesus Christ. Transformed by God’s power, Steve immediately felt a call to the ministry. Soon he began to manifest a powerful preaching gift coupled with signs powerfully confirming the word he preached.

In his early years, God gave Steve a clear word that he was called to take the Gospel to the nations. Soon, doors began opening up for him in Central and South America. He began traveling to those countries and holding crusades in every country in Latin America. God began to powerfully bless these crusades with thousands saved and healed to the glory of God.

After pastoring churches in Miami and Florence, Alabama, Steve moved to Knoxville, Tennessee to become pastor of Trinity Chapel. His crusade ministry has steadily grown, not only in Central and South America, but all over the world. Each month these crusades see thousands brought to Christ as well as many miraculous healings. Steve has a powerful prophetic word for his generation which he brings not only to his crusade ministry, but to many local churches in the U.S. and Europe as well. His passion for purity, coupled with his ability to stir people to preach the Gospel, have equipped him mightily as a voice to his generation.

Steve is married to his wife Sandi, an ex drug addict who is also mightily used throughout the United States to minister in prisons as well as churches. They have two daughters and reside in Knoxville, Tennessee where Steve continues to serve as senior pastor of Trinity Chapel.

Find Steve at


Signs of an Apostle

What are the signs of an apostle? Many are asking that question these days? Some folks are not even sure if there are apostles alive in the twenty-first century. We ran into Howard Jackson at a recent conference in Minneapolis. He’s a down-to-earth guy with down-to-earth insight.

We decided to ask Howard, a long time observer and participant in churches of New Testament caliber, “What are the signs of an apostle?” Howard’s answer may surprise you.

By the way, Howard plays a most delightful trumpet!

In this video snippet, Howard inserted no Scripture. If you want Scriptures and a whole lot more about ancient and modern day apostles and prophets, click here.

What are the top two things an apostle can do for the local church?

Steve Fatow offers insightful comments about the ministry of a modern day apostle.

Steve Fatow has been conducting evangelistic and healing crusades in Latin America for over 30 years. He has gained the trust of pastors and ministers in nearly every country in Central and South America.

Along with others, Steve Fatow founded Trinity College of Ministry. Trinity College of Ministry is the product of a long running desire in the hearts of the pastors at Trinity Chapel. For years, in many different forms and in various locations, systematic teaching has been implemented for the purpose of equipping members for the work of the ministry. Now, with the completion of a new facility on a forty-seven acre campus, the vision has taken shape. Faculty and staff were assembled and classes began in May of 2002.

To discover more about this man and his ministry, click here. I thank God the ministry of the apostle continues today.

I learned to relate to apostles the hard way. Personal agony and church crisis sparked my in-depth study of the New Testament. Local Churches Global Apostles contains case studies of every local church in the NT, reveals all 25 NT apostles mentioned, and describes the variety of local church and apostle relationships. Ground-breaking research and surprising conclusions offer fresh perspectives on apostles and elucidate why the early church exploded with growth. Targeted to pastors and church leaders, the book is a brilliant resource for all who yearn to grasp Biblical roots, unleash the Spirit-power of God’s people, and build vibrant churches today.

Journey to Authenticity with Sonny Misar

Journey to authenticity with Sonny Misar

Journey to authenticity with Sonny Misar

Sonny Misar is a treasure trove of apostolic and pastoral wisdom. His teachings regarding “surrender” and “brokenness” deftly tie puzzling pieces of life together for believers.

The Necessity of Converting Apostolic Ambitions (Part 2)

The Necessity of Converting Apostolic Ambitions

The Necessity of Converting Apostolic Ambitions


There’s a definite slippery slope when it comes to operating apostolically and/or prophetically. Along with any ascension gift comes the ability to influence and persuade people. With the apostolic and prophetic function there comes an inherent governmental nuance that is able to bring unprecedented impact into the life of a believer or community. However, if the potential to persuade is touched by carnal ambitions, it can wreak havoc in the lives of God’s People.

One of the sure signs of such apostolic carnality is that the ability to influence and persuade is used to direct people away from Christ and Christ being formed in them towards a “thing”, a new revelation, a mission, a project, an organization, etc. Essentially, rather than pointing believers to Christ, something is presented to believers as a lens that must be used in order to view Christ. It becomes THE THING and without it, a believer will “miss out” and “get left behind in what God is (really) doing.”

I’m pausing here because thinking about this and writing about this upsets me. I get angry. I get sad from having perpetrated such hijinks on precious believers in the past. It doesn’t matter that I was ignorant of it. I trusted my heart and went with what I thought God was speaking to me “to do”.  My heart betrayed me! I was an orphan looking for significance. I had to “build” some thing in order to validate who I thought I was. My heart became broken.  Since then, Father has been working at giving me a new one.  Would to Father, other apostolic types would take heed and listen to what I am saying.

I am extremely thankful for a brothers/sisters who loved me, suffered with me long enough and were forgiving enough to see some maturity emerge in my life, character and calling. The Body of Christ is a beautiful thing!

In a previous post, A Basic Understanding of Apostolic Being, I offered the following statement:

A true, genuine, authentic, God-called and equipped apostle has to have converted ambition.  Ambition is an earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction.  What is it that true apostles earnestly desire to achieve?  What is the distinction they hope to obtain?  Well, I can tell you that it isn’t to be known as God’s man of faith and power!  It isn’t to lead a large congregation or organization.  It is not desiring to plant/start churches or even to win the world for Jesus! (gasp!)

Would you like an example of what I am saying? Let’s just stick with apostles being THE THING, shall we?

One of the things which have been established as foundational principles in regards to the apostolic ministry is that apostles operate as wise-masterbuilers and are responsible for devising “apostolic strategies” to get this whole Kingdom thing d-o-n-e!

I REALLY wish apostolic brothers would STOP saying that……….especially about themselves!

I know Paul said it.   He said it once.

And, he said it to a group of carnal believers in Corinth, who at the present time, were dominated by their evil nature, spiritually immature and unable to receive Paul’s spiritual teaching because they were not governed by the Holy Spirit. He fed them with milk rather than solid food because they were not able to assimilate the latter. (1 Cor.3:1-2)

He never used the “wise-masterbuilder” metaphor again to the Corinthians or in any other letter written to the churches.  Nor, do you read anywhere in scripture where any other apostle does so.

Hmmmmm, I wonder why?

So, he is talking baby talk to infantile, carnal believers so they could potentially understand the point he was trying to make about himself and the other apostles mentioned in the chapter or that they knew. What was he trying to get across to them?  Paul and Apollos are NOTHING but God is the Source that causes growth. And, in light of such basic truth, as believers they should stop being divided by choosing which apostolic brand they wanted to associate with in the faith.

But, brothers who want/need for apostles to be THE THING will use that verse as a proof text to establish that apostles are wise-masterbuilders, and, as such, should be honored, supported and heeded.

My question is, “Why aren’t all apostles heralded as laborious gardeners?”  I’ve never heard an apostolic message on that one, especially in the Western world.

But before he lays down the wise-masterbuilder metaphor, Paul uses the gardening metaphor to illuminate his point. But, I reckon being identified as a sharecropper isn’t as glamorous to our unconverted ego as is being proclaimed a wise architect.

The truth of the matter is that Paul is referencing laying the foundation of Christ accurately in the life of believers so that they themselves can begin to build upon that foundation.  Ultimately, the grace Paul received belonged to God and the People belonged to God. He isn’t talking about using his apostolic grace in building a ministry, organization, network or any of the other stuff our religious, idolatrous, unconverted ambitions can devise.

So, while a crucified-with-Christ Apostle Paul uses the wise-masterbuilder metaphor in context to attempt to remove himself from in between the believer and God and resolve the division found in community, today’s apostles, with unconverted ambition, erroneously embrace the moniker of wise-masterbuilder and prop themselves up before the people.

Converted ambition is what I’m talking about.

Below is an excerpt from T. Austin Sparks’ writing, An Apostle’s Supreme Ambition.

The impressive thing about this expressed ambition is the time at which it is made. Here is a man who has had a revelation and knowledge of Jesus Christ greater than any other man up to that time. That knowledge commenced whence as he said, “it pleased God to reveal his Son in me“. That beginning devastated him, and sent him into the desert to try to grasp its implications. Later he had been “caught up into the third heaven and shown unspeakable things, which (he said) were not lawful to be uttered”. Between, and around those two experiences, there is evidence of an ever growing knowledge of Christ. Here, after all that, near the end of his life, he is crying passionately: “That I may know him.”

The very least that we can say about this is that the Christ in view was a very great Christ indeed, who outstrips the greatest capacity and comprehension of man. This stands in such tremendous contrast to the limited Christ of our recognition and apprehension! How very much more there is in Christ than we have ever seen! But we must break down our verse. It is divided by its main words, and can be stated in its four phrases.

(1) The all-governing passion: “That I may know him.”

(2) The effectual power: “The power of his resurrection.”

(3) The essential basis: “The fellowship of his sufferings.”

(4) The progressive principle: “Conformed to his death.”

You  can read the article in its entirety here.  If you made it this far, you might want to go check it out. It is definitely worth your time.

When I talk to someone claiming to be an apostle, I use the 4 points provided above to gauge the conversation.

If the majority of the exchange is regarding their latest and greatest (insert something here), then I bless them and go about my way.

If I hear or can sense any mixture of the 4 points in our discourse, I know there is a potential connection to discover and develop. It’s Christ! It is ALWAYS Christ!

Keep your peace!

The Necessity of Converting Apostolic Ambitions (Part 1)

Converting Apostolic Ambitions


apostle know himI happen to be a firm believer in the apostolic and prophetic graces functioning in the Body of Christ today.  As Ascension Gifts given to us by the Head of the Body, Christ Himself, I know their value to the People of God is irreplaceable and required for maturity to be developed in the believers, both individually and corporately.

In full disclosure, I haven’t always subscribed to apostolic and prophetic function.  Beyond NOT KNOWING what they were, I was taught and trained that the apostle and prophet were simply titular offices that ceased with the death of Peter, Paul and the other brothers way back in the day.  There was no need for God to “work or speak outside of sola scriptura now” since we have the Bible.

Let’s tap the brakes here. I am not wanting to turn this post into a discussion of the grand old debate regarding Scripture Only and whether or not apostles and prophets exist today and are relevant to the life of current day believers. I’ve circled around that mountain far too many times along the way in my faith journey and such discussions have rarely proven fruitful in cultivating things that truly matter, such as love and mutual respect. So, if you want to bail on this post now, I would encourage you to do so.  No hard feelings on my part!

I have discovered over the years (and yes, innumerable debates, arguments and conversations) that people usually fall in three categories regarding the topic of apostolic and prophetic function.  First, there is the “No way, Jose” crowd.  Second, “Yes, they exist so we are going to make it THE thing now!” crowd.  And, finally, those who being led by the Holy Spirit to consider, look into and explore such things and are open to them operating should they actually exist.

Having been indoctrinated into the first group of naysayers as I set out on my ministerial journey years ago, through time and experience,  I wholeheartedly plunged full bore into the other extreme of apostolic/prophetic EVERYTHING where the restoration of the apostle and prophet was THE KEY to the closing out this age.  With such a mindset, the structures, organizations and schemes to “DO THIS THING” emerge and, rather than equipping believers to function, the apostolic everything serves only to hold believers captive.

Regardless of who is at the top of the hierarchical system, a pastor or an apostle, the fact remains that the order is an inaccurate biblical and Kingdom representation fabricated by men’s whims, ambitions  and imaginations and, therefore, cannot/will not bring about Father’s purpose for and in His family.  While both functions of Christ’s Grace are absolutely required and have their role to play respectively, Pastors are not to be preeminent and Apostles are not to be the central, necessary component.

Over the past 15 years or so as I have merged back into the median of the two extremes, I have been blessed by the impact of Christ’s apostolic and prophetic graces functioning and being administered in a balanced and healthy manner.

As a matter of fact, I credit Christ making significant changes and bringing unforeseen growth in my life and character via the apostolic and prophetic graces over the past several years. The administration of those graces has, indeed, come through graced individuals but, more importantly in my opinion, has been administered through a corporate body and community (local and global) who have been equipped by those graces and released to operate accordingly. More about that in a later post.

While authentic apostolic/prophetic function can serve as a catalyst to believer’s growth and maturity,  much harm can come to believers and their maturation can be thwarted by inaccurate apostolic/prophetic figures who consider the respective grace in which they function to be THEIR OWN. The key to effectiveness in authentic apostolic and prophetic graces are that they function accurately and according to Father’s intent and Christ’s grace……..not according to men’s intentions, interpretations and men’s design. Although the ego induced shenanigans of ME and MY ANOINTING thrive within the parameters of men’s configured religious settings, such carnality has NO PLACE in the Kingdom and Father’s Economy.

When Jesus said, “I will build (MY) Church (of ME)….”, my opinion is that he really, really meant it. It is His Grace – whether apostle, prophet, pastor, teacher and/or evangelist – that functions through a DEAD to SELF, yielded vessel, who, as the Apostle Paul stated, ” I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me.”

(To be continued in a subsequent post)

What is the Role of Apostles in Current Culture?

What is the Role of Apostles in Current Culture?

Role of Apostles in Current Culture

Role of Apostles in Current Culture



The Church is the pillar and support of the truth in society. If the church compromises, culture degenerates, which describes the current state of crisis in the Western World. When the church stands strong, culture is positively affected.

Apostles and prophets are the foundation of the church, not only historically, but in every generation. The living Christ Jesus serves as Chief Cornerstone of the foundation of the church; apostles and prophets function as human leaders of the church in every age.

Essentially, as apostles lead, so goes the church. And as is the church goes, so goes society. The role of apostles is pivotal for our day. To understand more about apostolic ministry, come to Local Churches Global Apostles.

Let’s apply these concepts to modern day society and the current marriage crisis in view of the Supreme Court decision.

What does God say about marriage in the Bible?

Human marriage is a graphic illustration of the mysterious union of Christ (the Bridegroom) and His church (the bride). When anyone looks at a Christian marriage, he should sense Christ’s love for His people. He should also glimpse the wife’s respect for her husband that leads to the same kind of obedience that is the hallmark of the church’s relationship with Christ Jesus.

Wow! Do people see that in my own marriage? Probably not. No one yet that I know of has seen my marriage, fallen on his knees, and converted his life to Christ! But at the least, he should marvel and admire the dynamic that builds a long and happy marriage relationship.

What does the Bible say about homosexual behavior?  First, let’s note “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through him” (John 3:17).

When I speak about homosexual behavior, I speak with grief and love, My wife and I invited a lesbian in need into our home. During her two month stay with us we cared for her, prayed with her, and gave her Christian love and nurture. At the end, she was freed from nearly twenty years of homosexual bondage and has continued in righteous living to this day. Do we hate homosexuals? No, and we have the goods to prove it.

What does the Bible say about homosexual behavior?

Romans 1:18-32 speaks with clarity. I quote only one sentence from that section. “And just as they did not see fit to knowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper . . . ” Romans 1:28).

Then again we find “Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these engaged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example, in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire” (Jude 7).

What is the role of apostles in the current marriage crisis?

Multiphasic, of course. Still, a critical role of apostles is to strengthen marriages. All leaders, especially apostles and prophets, need to have their own great marriage and lead the churches with whom they have a relationship to develop beautiful marriages. The role of apostles is to equip church members to be salt and light in their communities and nowhere is this more needed than in the matter of marriage. For some, though not everyone, the role of apostles is to lead deliverance ministries to see people with unwanted same sex attraction liberated.

The role of apostles and prophets is high and necessary. Thankfully, God gives grace to fulfill the demands of the office.

In one sense, the rise of a righteous society depends on the role of apostles. So we cry, “Rise up, O men of God!” and “Apostles, come forth!”

Should Modern Day Apostles Use the Title “Apostle?”

Should Modern Day Apostles Use the Title "Apostle?"

Should Modern Day Apostles Use the Title “Apostle?”

Should modern day apostles use the title “apostle?” (Note: The graphic to the left is attributed to apostolic-community-living)
The question is controversial. Some genuine modern day apostles use it, others refuse it. Some think the title apostle should never be applied to 21st century ministers, others bandy it about as commonplace. Let’s attempt some clarity in the matter.

First off, we can all agree that function supersedes title. We’ve all seen the danger and disgrace when someone assumes a title or position when he has nothing to back it up. We’ve also seen the beauty and humility of one who functions in a capacity, yet eschews the honors that could go with it.

Should modern day apostles use the title “apostle?” Let’s look at the pros and cons of both sides of the question.

The Cons: Should Modern Day Apostles Use the Title “Apostle?”

Anyone who claims or accepts the title of apostle will be be subject to higher expectations. Pastor James (who performed the role of an apostle but never adopted the title for himself) warns, “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we shall incur a stricter judgment (James 3:1). If the warning holds for teachers, how much more for apostles!

Here’s another drawback. Anyone who claims the title of apostle today will be tossed into controversy. Some well-meaning and knowledgeable people don’t even believe in modern day apostles!  Saint Paul was forced to spend unusual amounts of time defending his claim to be an apostle.

A third “con” is perhaps most important. No one should use the title of apostle until he’s proven in that ministry. If God has in fact called a minister as an apostle, he may well use the concept in prayer to God, but woe to the man who uses the title before his time.

Some Pros: Should Modern Day Apostles use the Title “Apostle?”

Use of the term is Biblical and common occurring about 85 times in the New Testament. No one can deny St Paul used the term prolifically and applied it to himself.

Another Pro. Use of the title can help define a man and his role in the church. Napoleon said, “A man becomes the clothes he wears,” and dressed his army well. Think of the New York Yankees dressed in pinstripes. They defined themselves as “elite” and went out to win pennants. In much the same way, a minister needs to see himself doing what he’s called to do.

A title can (if used rightly) help others to relate to a minister in his God-anointed gifting. For example, a man who functions as an evangelist and wears the tile appropriately may receive more open doors to minister. He doesn’t need to hide his gifts and calling. For some apostles, it may be similar.

Obviously, there’s more to the question. Come to Local Churches Global Apostles for eye-opening insights many scholars have overlooked. What do you think? Should modern day apostles use the title  “apostle?”
Use the comment box to weigh in.