By Dick Scoggins
Two Types of Apostles
Apostles tend to be the “movers and shakers” who bring passion and fervor to the spiritual atmosphere. There are two types of apostles: those who are like Paul, and those like Peter (whom I call Pauline and Petrine apostles, respectively).
Galatians 2:8-10 describes these distinct identities, when Peter recognizes Paul’s apostolic calling to the Gentiles, and Paul recognizes Peter’s apostolic calling to the Jews. These verses reveal that Pauline apostles are called to the unreached, and Petrine apostles are called to minister to the sphere where there is an exiting expression of church.
Of course, Jesus is the forerunner for both types, because he spent his time as an apostle primarily among the Jews, but also as the high priest and apostle to the Gentiles (Hebrews 3:1).
What is needed today is an explosion of apostolic ministry beyond the reaches of the existing church (Pauline apostles) and within the sphere where the church already exists(Petrine apostles). These apostolic families will blaze the trail to new kinds of communities and structures suitable to today’s mobile and technological society, as well as communities for the poor and disenfranchised who have largely missed out on the very things that power the new world.
The concept of Pauline apostles are well understood within the Western church: these apostles travel to other cultures where there are no churches to proclaim the Kingdom of God. I believe a new generation of Pauline apostles will seek forms appropriate and indigenous to the new cultures they are bringing the Kingdom to, and not merely export Western church culture, as has often been the case in the last era.
Though there is a great need for Pauline apostles, there will also be an increasing need for apostolic ministry within the Western church or places that have been greatly influenced by the Western church. In order for the Western church to not die out, there must be new expressions of Kingdom communities in the West. I think this will require a recovery of Petrine apostles – creative pioneers who will initiate forming Kingdom communities appropriate to our postmodern world.
For much of my career, I had given most of my attention to mentoring Pauline apostles. However, as I’ve studied the Scriptures, I continue to uncover examples of Peter’s apostleship model, which is arguably highlighted in nearly half of the New Testament. If the Scripture gives that much attention to this specific form of apostleship (creating new forms and methodologies radically different from those that already existed in Israel), I think we in the “Christian West” need to give it significant attention too.
These Petrine pioneers are not called to make further adaptations to faltering temple models, but rather, like Jesus, Peter, James and John, call God’s people to move on from old traditions and start down a totally new road. Such a journey will be every bit as radical and terrifying as it must have been for those early Jewish believers who watched the destruction of their nation and traditions and had to create new traditions out of necessity.
We also should expect that today’s Petrine apostles will bear the same primary mark of apostleship – persecution – which will likely come from existing church leadership who will greatly misunderstand them and feel threatened by them.
It is my hope that these Petrine apostles can bring the Western church into a new era of fruitfulness in which Kingdom communities reflect the glory of the Living God and impart faith, hope and love to those in darkness.
– Dick Scoggins