The following notes have been adapted from an audio clip by Graham Cooke. They are a perfect and truthful response to the modern day apostolic movement. Nowadays, church leaders are quick to upgrade their titles to “apostles” because it’s trendy, higher up there, and it sounds more powerful.
If you are writing “apostle” on your business card, you have not been humbled and brought to a place of servanthood, stewardship, and slavery. You are trusting in self-promotion to advance yourself. You have not let God fully develop you. In Ephesians 4:11, “Apostle”, “Prophet”, “Evangelist”, “Pastor”, “Teacher” are not titles, they are job descriptions. You cannot put them before your name. That is not what they are there for. The real ministry titles are those of servant, steward, and slave.
In the Bible, preceding the part where Paul calls himself an apostle, he says:
“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God” Romans 1:1
Apostle was his job description, but servant was his real spiritual designation and title.
Even Jesus called himself a servant and a slave.
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45
Jesus said there were 3 things not to let anyone call you by: Rabbi, Father, or Teacher.
“[the scribes and pharisees love] greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others. 8 But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. 10 Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. 11 The greatest among you shall be your servant.” Matthew 23:7-11
In Acts 16:17, the slave girl with a spirit of divination follows after Paul and Silas and she calls them servants and not apostles.
“She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.”
Notice that she did not say they were apostles of the most High God. She called them servants because that is their real title in the spiritual realm. Why is it that the demonic realm can understand something that the Church is slow to understand?
We must die to titles. Nowadays, there are more false apostles than real ones right now. They are not all false in the sense of being demonic, but they are ignorant of what real humble biblical ministry really is about.
We don’t need a title because we serve an audience of one and what God thinks about us is the most important thing in the world.