SYMPOSIUM: Response 4: Creating Systems and Relational Structures for the Gospel

by Jessica Fick

At the recent Urbana Missions Convention, hosted by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Toby Capps, a businessman in the medical supply field shared about his work to change his corporate environment to build the Kingdom of God. Toby had personally supported World Vision for many years; however, after God sparked what Alan Hirsch describes as “Apostolic Genius,” defined as “the built-in life force and guiding mechanism of God’s people,” Toby began to saturate his networks and business with a kingdom influence.

Toby negotiated discounts for medical supplies used in World Vision caregiver kits for churches, corporations, and community groups to build kits for caregivers serving patients with AIDS. Because of Toby’s influence his company used money that was typically spent on gifts for sales conference attendees to instead do a company-wide caregiver kit build. Toby’s apostolic impulse to serve Jesus as Lord created opportunities for faith conversations with colleagues. It offered the opportunity for others to participate in the Kingdom of God regardless of their faith background and to provide necessary resources for caregivers serving AIDS patients in Africa.  

As a missionary to the college campus with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship USA, stories like these are what we long for our 18-22-year-old students to live out on campus as apostles to their dormitory, fraternity or sorority, or ethnic-specific group on campus. Apostles are the sent ones who personally and corporately plant and build the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven.

Being an apostle involves looking around to pray and ask, “What is God doing in my midst that he is inviting me to both plant and grow?” An apostle plays an integral role in creating the systems and relational structures for those who hear the good news to continue to be influenced by Jesus long after the apostle has been called to plant new things.

As Rasmussen points out, Jesus is described as our apostle and high priest in Hebrews 3:1. Jesus was the ultimate apostle, demonstrating that he is able to connect people to God, but also to change the very fabric of our cultures and world. Jesus was sent to do exactly as he taught the disciples to do in his prayer “your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.” Apostles are the kingdom planters; they start new things so that more of Jesus is lived out individually, communally, and corporately.  

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Jessica Fick serves with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship as the regional evangelism coordinator in Great Lakes East. She is passionate about preaching the gospel and teaching and training in evangelism. She lives in Cleveland, Ohio, with her husband and two sons and blogs at www.sidewalktheologian.com.

EMQ, Vol. 49, No. 2, pp. 338-339. Copyright  © 2013 Billy Graham Center.  All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced or copied in any form without written permission from EMIS.

REPONSES:

1. A Deeper Look at the Criteria of the Apostle, Jude Hamas

2.  Apostles as Dream Awakeners, J.R. Woodward

3. A Closer Look at Epheisans, Doug Beacham

4. Creating Systems and Relational Structures for the Gospel, Jessica Flick


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