Numerous trends are presently converging in ways that make this moment in mission history significant. These include the growth of short-term service, the multiplication of mission organizations, local churches sending missionaries without an agency, and the internationalization of missions. It is crucial in the midst of such change that we not lose connection with the New Testament model of the missionary apostles. Apostles, now commonly called missionaries, are God's gift for the initial planting phase of the church among every people, to the end of the age. This unique church-planting role is the forgotten foundation of the church. Much of the ineffectiveness in missions is due to our attempts to build Christ's church on a different foundation.
This book will examine five critical questions from the perspective of biblical scholarship, history, and contemporary experience:
Why are missions-minded Evangelicals reluctant to identify missionaries as apostles, considering that the two words have the same root meaning?
How is apostolos used in the New Testament, and specifically, is it sometimes used as a designation for missionaries?
How should we conceptualize an ongoing role for missionary apostles that does not detract from the crucial, unique role of the original Apostles?
What ministry pattern does the New Testament record from the lives of the early missionary apostles?
How should an awareness of missionary apostles guide our mission efforts today?