Doctoral Project Abstract
Developing an Apostolic Leadership Culture for Effective Transformation
When Jesus told His first cohort of leaders to pray "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" He set the benchmark for all future generations. The kingdom of God coming on earth as it is in heaven is what Jesus paid for with His blood and what God's people have been called, graced and gifted to accomplish. When the apostle Paul told the Colossians that they were "delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred into the kingdom of God's beloved son," he was not referring to the celestial afterlife. He was underscoring a present application of divine authority in all walks of life; as Jesus said, "If I cast out demons by the Spirit of God the kingdom of God has come upon you." In other words, His kingdom does not begin with "end of the age" rewards, but with Spirit-empowered leaders encountering God daily, connecting in communities of faith and engaging a fallen world with transformational truth and power. This transformational environment, or kingdom culture, can and should be available throughout the Body of Christ. Critical to achieving this quintessential kingdom environment are apostles, apostolic leaders and an apostolic people. Far from being an antiquated approach to Biblical leadership, the apostolic is an essential part of any sustainable transformation.
Apostles are more than just pioneers, miracle workers and church planters. They are social transformers commissioned by God to serve people, shape culture and transform cities. Apostles and apostolic leaders function in a sphere of authority that equips and empowers others for effective transformation and positive change. They create environments where a diversity of leadership callings, gifting, skills, personalities and relationships partner together towards an improved future. Not only are apostolic leaders and ministries among God's greatest agents for fostering transformative change, the twenty-first century global context is providing more traction and leverage for that change.
This book looks at the calling, focuses and impact of apostolic leadership in the twenty-first century. It draws from Biblical history, church history, contemporary culture and thirty years of ministry experience in Africa and the United States. By combining principles and patterns from scripture with the ministry experiences and insights of many diverse leaders, this book addresses a category of leadership vital for effecting broad-based transformation. Rather than focusing on specific leadership personalities, traits and abilities, this book looks at values, beliefs, behaviors, actions and processes most essential for creating an environment where people can become transformed and transformational within their communities. Among the topics covered in this book that are most necessary for developing an apostolic leadership culture are: 1) a Biblical and contextual understanding of the "kingdom mandate" and the apostolic; 2) the vitality of apostolic values; 3) non-negotiable relational foundations; 4) effective team leadership; 5) global competence and innovative capacity; and 6) Spirit-filled enablement and the long haul. This book reflects the convergence of kingdom truths most relevant for stewarding transformation in communities and cities.