By John Eckhardt
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Saint Francis of Assisi is arguably the main beautiful saint ever produced by way of the Catholic Church. The surprisingly excessive regard with which he's held has served to insulate him from any actual feedback of the type of sanctity that he embodied: sanctity dependent firstly on his planned pursuit of poverty.
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If most leaders would leave their churches for any period of time to do apostolic ministry, their churches would fall apart. This is not to imply that an apostle must give up a local work completely. It simply means that you must be able to obey God without losing what you have spent years building. You must build your ministry in such a way that you are not tied down, but are free to obey God. If churches do not release their leaders to move into a higher level of ministry, they will frustrate the leaders and grieve the Holy Spirit.
If churches develop and strengthen these ministries, they will see a greater release of the apostolic. This is not to imply that everyone who teaches or prophesies will become an apostle. The calling of an apostle is sovereign and based upon the will of God. There are people who are called to be teachers and prophets. They can have an apostolic spirit, but their primary calling will be as a prophet or a teacher. Apostolic churches need to be places of strong teaching and strong prophetic ministry.
First also means principle or primary. The apostolic anointing should be the primary, foundational anointing of the Church. We are first and foremost sent by the risen Lord. As sent ones, we have a purpose and mission. The commission Jesus gave the church is an apostolic commission. This is why the apostolic anointing should be the dominant anointing of the Church. The word proton is also the root of the word prototype. We need to see prototype churches built that will be models for the 21st century.