Strategies for Today's Leaders, July 2001
By Joel Comiskey
Apostles and Prophets: The Foundation of the Church
Author: C. Peter Wagner
Ventura: CA: Regal Books, 2000, 144 pp.
Peter Wagner’s book Apostles and Prophets: The Foundation of the Church will challenge you to acknowledge and appreciate the role of apostle and prophet in today’s church. Wagner critiques the lack of leadership so common in today’s denominations and argues that God’s next move is among networks of churches that have gathered around God-ordained apostles.
While Wagner’s superb book Churchquake provides the foundational understanding of the New Apostolic Movement, this book focuses narrowly on three areas:
· Definition and functions of an apostle
· Ministry of prophets
· How the two can work together to have a greater impact
At times I felt that Wagner was actually writing to the apostles and prophets themselves in order to encourage them to work together more effectively.
The beauty of this book is how Wagner entwines his own journey into each chapter. In explaining the difference between a vertical apostle (over a network of churches) and a horizontal apostle (over leaders in a particular ministry sphere), he says,
In recent years it seems that God
has given me a horizontal apostolic ministry. I believe that I have
responsibility for some horizontal spheres of authority such as apostles,
prophets, prayer leaders and educators (50).
When he explains the prophet’s role in today’s church, he gives numerous examples of personal prophecies that he has received.
Finally, he shows how apostles and prophets should be hitched together in mutual submission. The prophet gives guidance to the apostle through prophetic utterance, while the apostle provides the leadership covering for the prophet.
To understand the roles, functions, and relationship of apostles and prophets, this is a must read book.