Mark 3:14 states, “Then Jesus appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach…”
Over and over again in the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life and ministry we see that He declared that He had been sent by the Father; He was a ‘sent one’ and thus an apostle on a mission from the Father. This mission was to establish His Kingdom on earth by “seeking and saving the lost” (Luke 19:10). Jesus Himself said, “I must preach the Kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent” (Luke 4:43). His mission – apostolic mission – was to announce and establish the Kingdom of God throughout the world. Just as Jesus was sent, He selected a group of men who had the same mandate as He did and He sent them to do the same thing He did…. “go into all the world and make disciples.”
The “selecting and sending” did not end there. He has continued throughout the history of the Church to select men, call them, commission them, and send them out as apostles. These current day apostles will be firmly planted in a local church and connected relationally in that church. They will be sent out from the local church (apostles are “sent ones”) and report back to the local church. As part of the ministry team in the local church they will influence the DNA of the local church and it will acquire an apostolic flavour with the people themselves becoming apostolic. The people of God, due to the influence of the ministry of an apostle, will become apostolic and will know that they have an apostolic mission to fulfill and will fully embrace it. This, however, does not mean that every believer is an apostle. The believers will be members of a team lead by an apostle and will do apostolic work and flow in an apostolic anointing because their leader is an apostle.
Jesus said, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” (John 20:21). With apostles as part of the leadership team of the Church that Jesus is building the Church will be apostolic in nature. The Church will be a sending body of believers – sending forth teams , expeditions, to conquer and establish His Name and His Kingdom in the enemy’s territory. Therefore, to be an apostle or to be a part of an apostolic team means to be involved in a series of “military maneuvers” and to be involved in a war to establish His Kingdom in foreign territory. The apostles and those who join their teams are not “stay at home, comfort seekers” but are willing to risk everything to see the lost saved.
An apostle is not just a preacher who travels; he is someone who has a call from God, is commissioned to be an apostle, is recognized by his church to have that call and is trained, equipped, and mentored to fulfill the call. He has been released and is sent out – traveling with a purpose and a specific mission in mind.