Monday, April 29, 2013

Preacher, Apostle, Teacher (2 Timothy 1:11)

“…for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher,”

This is an important verse for the “Universal Disciple” approach to ministry from Thom Wolf. This is where Paul lists his rolls as a sent out one. It also serves as a guide of sorts for anyone interested in living a missional life.

Paul lists the jobs of missional types as being (1) preacher, (2) apostle, and (3) teacher. The preacher task here is something that all followers of Christ have been sent out to do. We are all supposed to be proclaimers. We are to share the story of Christ, the gospel message.

The “apostle” literally means “sent out one” so we have also been given that marching order. We are to do the preaching as we go out in the world. However, the Biblical example of apostle is always one that is “sent” into new areas to start new work. A church planter in a sense. So, once Paul sees people changed through the message of the Gospel, he gets them busy being church.

Finally, he teaches, which—when understood contextually in the culture of the day—means he was about discipling the new believers in the new church. He trained them to obey the things that Jesus taught us. To do things the way Jesus did.

When you look at the great commission, this is a better outworking of the command than what you usually hear. That is to say, sharing, grouping, and discipling is more in line with what Jesus commanded His followers to do that “go make converts.” Even THAT would be better than our current practice of interpreting the great commission which has somehow become an elaborate justification for doing essentially nothing.

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