Sunday, 22 November 2009

Concerns about the "New Apostles"

Having expressed some of the benefits I see I also want to have a ponder about the potential pitfalls with this approach.

All the leaders thus far seem to be white and American and have big Churches. Big Church sells, big Church is worth a book contract, American often means good use of media, so big Church = big exposure = we hear about it and as we hear about it that makes them bigger.

Nothing wrong with that, until you get the media engines chasing the dollar driving the truck off a cliff like they did with Todd Bentley and Lakeland...

Another concern is if I am letting people speak into my life through their preaching and resources but they do not have any level of relationship with me then who helps me put it into practice? Who shows the weaknesses in me, personally, that I need to iron out? Who keeps me on track? Have I actually understood what they are saying?

If I can watch Driscoll on a Monday, see Bill Johnson on TV on Tuesday etc then what time / level of relationship do I have with people who are actually engaged in functional, pastoral, apostolic oversight and encouragement of me or my Church? Do I need that less because I am so pumped up with other teaching? Have I actually farmed out, contracted out, that role to a vodcast rather than a person?

Is it really full of integrity if I don't see them off the platform? If I don't know their personal lives well. If I don't have any reality beyond what you see on the stage? Again take Lakeland, or Michael Guglielmucci and we know that what you see is sadly not always what you get.

I have no similar concerns with the people I have mentioned, but then, how would I know? Are we adopting an attitude to international speakers etc which actually sets ourselves up for a future fall if it all turns sour?

Or is God using new media to bring a new wave of blessing upon his body? And if so where does that leave our current apostolic structures / ideas within newfrontiers? If I can get a Driscoll vodcast every Monday morning but I only see my Church overseer every few months then who am I closest to? That is why I read Steve Tibbert's blog for example but how else can we make things closer? I see this as an opportunity rather than a challenge. I think we could be much more creative.

Finally, what if the various new apostles start to diverge in their thinking? What if a newfrontiers church heavily influenced by one of these people takes on a theology or practice others are really uncomfortable with? Who helps iron that out? Where would the ultimate loyalty lie?

I really do not mean to be throwing stones at anyone. I am just mulling over these things in my mind and am open to both comments and correction.

1 comment:

timsimmonds said...

I kinda see what you are saying.

However, when someone preaches at my church do I have to know them personally to be able to listen and apply what they are saying?

I dont know any of these guys personally so I have no idea whether they have a dodgy family life or any hidden secrets. But does it have anything to do with me? It seems to me that God has good track record on allowing hidden sin find its way into the public domain.