A Herald, An Apostle, A Teacher

I’ll opt for two out of three. How about you?

Paul identifies himself as being appointed as a herald, an apostle and a teacher of the gospel. Good news is for sharing, isn’t it? Over the past 11 days that’s what I’ve been seeking to do by God’s grace. I’ve had many conversations with leaders in a culture radically different from my own.  

What difference does the gospel make to the lives of those who believe it? The gospel changes everything, or rather God changes everything through the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

To be able to announce ‘good news,’ to share the wonders of God’s amazing grace is our life calling. From the first day of his conversion Paul’s lifework became a focused ambition to preach and teach the gospel. From his early preaching in the synagogues that ‘Jesus is the Son of God,’ (Acts 9:20) to his church planting missions team which saturated the message throughout the Roman Empire, Paul accepted his ‘appointment.’

He was appointed as a herald–an announcer, a proclaimer of a message to individuals, families and even entire communities.

He was appointed as an apostle–a foundation layer (Ephesians 2:20), #14 in the list of men specially chosen and equipped to build as a team a new ‘building’ to gather God’s people.

He was appointed as a teacher–exactly what Christ has mandated in the Great Commission.  Not simply teaching ‘information’ but teaching obedience to the very words of the Master.

I understand apostles to be a first century office, qualified (Acts 1) by one’s witnessing the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and empowered as a foundation layer to shape this newly designed church, built by Christ Himself.  Once the building has a foundation it seems contradictory to rebuild it.  We have a firm foundation, crafted by the apostles and prophets, with Christ Himself serving as the formative cornerstone.

Thanks for praying for my teaching of the gospel.  Privately, through email, I’ll unpack details of what’s been happening.  The work continues.  The hunger for training is palpable and the vision to pass on this training to future generations through intentional discipleship and leadership training by those I served left me humming ‘The Doxoogy’ more than once.  

To be called to be a herald and teacher of the gospel is no fleeting fancy.  The title of our training sessions was “Envisioning a Fruitful Lifework.”  Philippians 1:22 reminded me that leaders may seek and experience ‘fruitful labour’ something every Vine-abiding branch (John 15) proves to be a ‘normal reality.’

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