The Function and Office of an Apostle as the Guide for Pastoral Leadership in the Contemporary Church
The office and ministry of the „apostles‟ is of great importance to the modern church in the understanding of what has been referred to as the apostolic church. There has been considerable debate over the origin of the apostolic church and the criteria for apostleship. Besides, the apostolic church and more so its succession has been literally understood. This has caused a lot of theological discussion. For instance, Reimund Bieringer (2003) has argued that Ordinatio Sacerdotalis presupposes that, “the ordination of priests in the Catholic Church imitates Jesus‟ example of choosing the apostles.” While on his part, Peter Schmidt has challenged the notion that tradition can go through the whole history unchanged, as though time is static (1995, p.45-49). Some modern-day ministers have embraced the title „apostle‟ with others depicting reservations over its use in the contemporary setting. This debate necessarily prompts a theological historical exploration of the historicity or originality and meaning of the term „apostle‟ and its applicable meaning for contemporary Christian pastoral leadership.
Keywords: Apostle; Function; Office, Leadership, Pastoral