PlanetChristian: Apostolic Networks

In response to the post Leaving the Orbit of Planet Christian, I will do some posts about some of the terms on the list.  (Maybe once a week, we’ll see.)  Just to clarify, apparently from the title of that post some people fear that I am leaving the Christian faith.  No worries, I’m still following Jesus.

My experience with apostolic networks is from the charismatic realm, associated with prophetic churches, similar to but not connected with Peter Wagner’s NAR.

In this type of apostolic network, a person who has decided they are an apostle goes about finding churches who will join his network.  In exchange for their member$hip, these churches receive ongoing apostolic control support.

Admittedly it takes a certain level of ballsiness anointing to carry off this kind of a scheme vision. I wrote about apostolic networks in the posts Apostolic Bullshit III and An Apostolic Tale.

Less common but more accurate are apostolic networks associated with missionary or simple church movements.

Ideally an apostolic network is people loosely connected in relationship who through their existing relationships support and encourage one another in their ministries.

Typically a network is a system for amassing influence toward a particular individual or groups of individuals.  The flow of power and resources in networks tends to be inward rather than outward.

Just my opinion.  What do you think?

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16 thoughts on “PlanetChristian: Apostolic Networks

  1. I think you are profoundly insightful and discerning. There is more I would like to say, but we are warned: “Touch not the anointed.” :)

    1. Ken, I seriously doubt that true Christians want to murder each other. Stop taking scripture out of context and thus teaching false theology.

  2. This who apostolic network thing is news to me, and I intend to read your other two posts about what you’ve seen.

    Reading your definition above, it does strike me as somewhat odd that “apostles” are going to already established churches in search of followers. The only modern-day apostolic activity I am aware of is church-planting among those who were not believers (and became believers). This was the activity among the original apostles — in fact Paul was pretty adamant about not wanting to build on anyone else’s foundation.

    It sounds like, from this outsider’s view, the self-styled apostles who are looking for a network are just using the word “apostle” to mean “bishop” or “little pope” or something like that. Maybe I should say “king” looking for a “fiefdom.”

    Very interesting. Hope you keep explaining what some of these terms mean!

  3. When you get to the Christian Music item, I will ‘chime’ in…

    I cringe when radio station surfing & I hear a contemporary Christian song or a dirge of a song being sung on those more stodgy Christian radio stations…

    Did my stint listening to the latest Christian ‘worship’ category of music: delirious?, Kevin Prosch, JoAnn McFatter, Jaso Upton, Matt Redman, David Ruis, David Crowder, Tree63, Ashley Cleveland, Sarah Masen, Jars of Clay, Jennifer Knapp, Twila Paris, Sixpence None the Richer, the Vineyard music collections, etc. & some other short-live groups…

    Would turn them up loud & sing along in the car with the windows rolled down…

    Yup. Had quite the eclectic music collection. Now I do not listen to them. Cannot sit still in a church service now no matter how current the worship band tries to be. It all seem artificial/plastic/forced…

    Anyway…will add more than this $0.02 once you get to the music category…

  4. Interesting Joseph. I know some other people who also dont like Christian music (at all). I’ve never liked all of it (as I don’t like all musical styles in general), but I do still like some, though I listen to other stuff too (and always have). But I don’t have such hate towards it. It’d be interesting to know where that comes from? I’m looking forward to Grace’s post on it too.

    Joanne, you said it so well -“fiefdom” and little bishop :-) lol!!! so apt (unfortunately)

  5. The litmus test for a true apostle is money and status. A true apostle repels money and status like a waxed car repels rain: It don’t stick.

  6. Ideally a(n apostolic) network is people loosely connected in relationship who through their existing relationships support and encourage one another in their ministries.

    I think you got that right.

    Tom

  7. David wrote;

    The litmus test for a true apostle is money and status. A true apostle repels money and status like a waxed car repels rain: It don’t stick.

    Interesting that the Didache said the same thing–minus the waxed car metaphor ;o)

    Tom

  8. Wow Grace – I think you’re going to make Charismatics out of everyone here :) I think if you’ll add Joyner’s (the Harvest trilogy) of books to your reviews – then you’ll have everyone caught up to the Charismatic view of prophets too. Then when we all become exactly the same in our doctrines – we can start a Charismatic church – and have a different conference every week.

    Anyway …. Here’s the passage where Paul outlined what an apostle looks like –

    1 Cor 4:9-16

    I like what Wolfgang Simson said – go look for a pile of stones with a pair of feet sticking out – pull that person out from under that pile – and you probably have an apostle.

  9. Interesting Joseph. I know some other people who also dont like Christian music (at all). I’ve never liked all of it (as I don’t like all musical styles in general), but I do still like some… But I don’t have such hate towards it. It’d be interesting to know where that comes from?

    Mimosa:

    Will admit my previous involvement with the “River/Renewal” trend as well as the uber-prophetic movement that introduced the more lovey-dovey/passionate worship styles as well as the Jesus/Bride mysticism themed songs all took a toll on me I suppose.

    After singing different ‘worship’ songs that were very well sung/written, I had to be honest & admit I did not have that type of heart or emotion or perspective as those songs represented. I found I could not honestly sing such songs. The lyrics not something I could relate with on such a personal/emotional level.

    I did attend an Anglican Palm Sunday service & they sang a mix of standard liturgical hymns as well as the more contemporary songs for the offertory (Matt Redman, Paul Baloche). Neither the congregation nor the worship singers able to provide a polished performance. In fact, they struggled through both the older hymns as well as the contemporary worship tunes. Was hard on the ears, but I did appreciate the fact that they all participated anyway. Maybe not so confidently or loudly, but they did sing…

    I have found the less intimate songs more to my liking, but in a service they still seem more filler than what it is I feel like singing. We have included some type of singing in any service on any given Sunday. But if I don’t want to sing I really don’t want to sing. I could dispense with the ‘praise+worship’ aspects of the Sunday gathering & not miss it one bit. However, singing may be the apex for those that find it a valid worship outlet. Not sure that I am explaining myself adequately, but I did want to continue the convo since you keyed in on my post…

    And yes, I do like music. Play it all the time at home & in the car. I just avoid any of the worship/praise genre & totally avoid what is categorized as Contemporary Christian Music…

  10. Great comments everyone.

    Coincidentally jerry, I gave away all of my Rick Joyner books last week.

    Brother Maynard,
    You can join, but it will cost you, and you can never leave. ;)

  11. Grace: I actually loved those books – but for 5 years after the Harvest was written – I heard prophecy after prophecy spoken in settings – where the words were almost verbatim what was in that book.

    At least you didn’t burn the books…. BTW – a book burning thing is kind of fun for those books that you now radically disagree with – I highly recommend it – it is quite uplifting. In fact – I think it would be great for a group to do this – bring out all of those books you now radically disagree – and burn them together. Now that would be awesome..

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