Some Australian Apostles

In my previous post I talked about the spiritual gift of apostle.  I like C. Peter Wagner’s definition which is:

“The gift of apostle is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to assume and exercise general leadership over a number of churches with an extraordinary authority in spiritual matters that is spontaneously recognized and appreciated by those churches.”

So who are some people around at the moment who have this gift?  Here are some people I know that I believe are gifted in this way.

Brian Houston

Brian is the obvious Australian example.  Brian started a church (Hillsong Church) that has grown from a handful of people to be the largest in Australian history with over 20,000 people meeting in 4 campus’s and 18 extension services.  He is recognised as having great spiritual authority.  This is clear in 2 ways: his annual conference is attended by well over 10,000 people each year, many of them pastors, and secondly because his peers elected him to the position of National President of the Assemblies of God in 1997.  If Brian Houston is not an apostle thenAustraliadoesn’t have one.

Phil Pringle

Phil has essentially started an entire denomination – Christian City Church, who changed their name to C3 Churches.  C3 has planted churches not just in Australia but all over the world.  Phil planted the first church onSydney’s northern beaches where the movement is headquartered.

Philip Jensen

Philip is an Anglican priest, and the former rector of St Matthias Church in Centennial Park in Eastern Sydney.  He now serves as the Dean of St Andrew’s Cathedral in Sydney.  Philip quite possibly would not believe that the gift of apostle still exists but when you read his history ( link to this click here ) it is a biography that screams “I am an apostle”.  His leadership has produced a huge harvest of people committing themselves to full time church leadership.  He also has a strong track record of church planting despite working within denominational structures that often make this difficult.

Steve Wyndham

Steve certainly does not have the profile of the others listed here.  He is the former pastor of my church (Yarra Plenty Churchi n Melbourne’s North East) before it became a campus of Planetshakers Church.  Steve has now moved into a role working with aUK based missions group called Next Level International.  His role is to oversee church planting and church health in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary.  Pentecostal churches in those countries are (generally) very small and face significant opposition.  Steve’s authority is respected and received by pastors of churches that usually number 10 to 20 people.

I put Steve in this list to make the point that it is not just mega church pastors that have this gift.  Steve’s gift is not at the same level as the Brian Houston’s of the world, but he is operating in the gift of apostle on a smaller scale.  That is not a criticism of him – it is the Holy Spirit who gives the gifts out.  He gives to some in a greater measure than others.  The parable of the talents makes this point – Matthew 25:14-30.  Our role is simply to be faithful with what the Lord has given us.

I have left off this list my own pastor – Russell Evans – whose gift I commented on in my last post.  This gift abounds within his family, and I will do a post about them in due course.

What about you?  Do you know of anyone that you think has this gift?  Who comes to mind?

2 Comments to “Some Australian Apostles”

  1. Thanks, John. It’s so important for us to understand our own role in the body of Christ and to honour our God-appointed leaders. It’s really easy to lose sight of both in our ‘me, me, me’ culture. Your blog helps point the way to both.

  2. John, You pretty much covered the ‘Australian Apostles’ that come to my mind. Great blog.

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