In Simply Apostolic Catherine Brown has clearly made the case for the gift of the apostle as one of God’s five-fold ministers for His present-day Church. I enjoyed and recommend this series of books because Catherine gives a unique perspective by weaving in allegories and personal stories along with an accurate hermeneutical interpretation and exegesis of the scriptures. Anyone interested in advancing the Kingdom of God and understanding the role of the apostle will gain valuable knowledge and insight.
I appreciate Catherine’s work because it represents a non-biased viewpoint and does not push a personal agenda or promote the apostolic gift in an elitist or officious manner. Simply Apostolic is not about promoting a new ecclesiastical position or superior attitude in the Church. Neither Catherine Brown, nor I, have any strong feelings regarding using the term ‘apostle’ as a title for oneself. We both agree that titles are not as important as function; leaders can have the title and not have the function. The Scripture is very clear that you will know them by their fruit; “Ye shall know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:16). Good fruit is evidenced when one functions properly in the gifts. It’s necessary for all ministers to understand that no matter what their title is, the Church and the world only knows them by their fruit.
The majority of apostles in the Church today are functioning in the gift without using the title. Many resist using the title ‘apostle’ for several reasons. Hopefully, the main reason is their personal humility before God and man and not the fear of what man will think of them or just for political expediency. As men and women of God, we must be above that. There is a great call from heaven today to understand the function of the apostolic gift. With this understanding and activation of God’s anointed apostles, the Church will grow as the mandate of preaching the gospel of the King and the Kingdom spreads throughout the world.
The word ‘apostle’ is used more than any other term to refer to ministers in the New Testament. Yes, there are some called evangelists, prophets, teachers, however other than Jesus Christ, it’s surprising that the term ‘pastor’ (shepherd) is not used to refer to anyone else in the New Testament. Yet few would argue that the term ‘pastor’ is obsolete! All of these terms: apostle, prophet, pastor, evangelist, teacher are for today’s Church; none of these terms have passed away. Instead they are all being restored to the Church. Ephesians 4:11-12 says: “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” The Apostle Paul is very clear on this; therefore, it’s appropriate that the Church include those who function in the gifts of pastor and apostle, as well as those who function in the gift of prophet, evangelist, and teacher.
Those who are ministering in the true apostolic calling and functioning in the gifts are seeing tremendous church growth in many parts of the world. These effective churches are primarily located in Central and South America, Africa and Asia. Present day church historians, sociologists and cultural anthropologists have documented these regions of the world as the fastest growing Christian religious movements; specifically, the Evangelical, Pentecostal, and Apostolic Movements. The Church in these areas of the world exhibits a strong evangelistic fervor along with a strong belief in the manifestation of Godly signs and wonders, spiritual warfare, intercessory prayer, healing and deliverance. More than 95% of the leaders of these churches and ministerial fellowships are indigenous and many have been educated in secular universities prior to ministry conversion. The majority also have success in the secular realm; operating one or more businesses. They are strong leaders, demonstrated by leading their churches through difficult situations especially in second and third world nations. And we know them by their fruits (Matt. 7:16). Among the academic writings on this phenomenon, I recommend – The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity by Philip Jenkins.
Scripturally, all ministers are called to a place, a region of the world, a country, or a city. We must minister in all of the Ephesian 4:11 grace ministries to all peoples of the world. The apostolic gift and grace was given by Jesus Christ to lead the Church to disciple nations so that the world may be reached with the full gospel of the King and His Kingdom. If we are to expand evangelism, then the first work of grace is essential. It is the beginning to witness Christ to all. It is also the work of grace to be an apostolic church with apostolic leaders causing the church to be evangelistic, prophetic, teaching and shepherding, not only inside the church, but to reach the community.
Now is the time to fully recognize and promote the apostolic grace gift for the sake of the Church as we face increasingly difficult days. We need Godly apostolic leadership and all the five-fold ministries to function in fullness. It is essential that apostolic leaders come together to form fellowships and coalitions to influence and build the Church in their nations and to reach all areas of culture; influencing them with Christian values, principles and morals.
Bible schools and all ministers should consider this book not only as a textbook, but a reference from which to build upon. I encourage and challenge all students of ministry and anyone who plans to be in church leadership to read Simply Apostolic.
Building together with Him and you,
John P. Kelly, Doctor of Ministry
CEO, LEAD (Leadership Education for Advancement and Development)
Convenor, ICAL (International Coalition of Apostolic Leaders)
Brian & Candice Simmons, Stairway Ministries, The Passion Translation — “Catherine knows first-hand the ins and outs of ministering apostolically as she is a well-known and respected apostolic leader in Scotland, Uganda, Europe and parts of the US! She has created a brilliant resource for the church today on the apostle and the apostolic call of the church! Her tremendous biblical insight on the subject brings clarity and understanding where there has oftentimes been misunderstanding and controversy. She’s done a great job covering all aspects of the apostle and the apostolic including marketplace apostles. What tremendous insight she has from her own personal experiences which she shares with the reader, a must read for emerging apostolic networks. Simply Apostolic is simply what is needed to point the global church into what God is doing today!”
Thamo Naidoo, Gate Ministries Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa — “During the last two decades or so there has emerged from different parts of the world trickling streams of teachings (oral and literal) on the ecclesial leadership of apostles and insights into the apostolic ministry of the Church of Jesus Christ. Presently these streams (to some degree) have confluenced to become a flowing river into the nations of the world. On the one hand these variant streams communicates peculiar perspectives of the restoration of present truths from the throne of God, but on the other they congruently convey the common need for the church to return to biblical patterns in becoming an exact representation of Christ and the kingdom of God to the whole of creation.
Catherine Brown is one such stream trumpeting the necessity for the return of the Church to apostolic ways. By connecting aspects of Charismatic teachings to her understanding of apostolic ministry she erects the scaffolding for the Church to shift its horizon and reclaim its predetermined place in this world. Undergirding her writing is the emphasis on the ministry of apostles, a significant key, granting access into the heavenly design of how the ‘corporate man,’ the Church, is built to governmentally represent the ‘image and likeness’ of deity (Christ) to the visible and invisible realms of creation located in heaven and on the earth.
Finally, I’m sure that the enquirer tracking global trends in the unfolding developments of apostolic ministry will find Catherine’s writing insightful, informative and comparative. Hopefully Simply Apostolic will stimulate spiritual exploration into an inexhaustible and fascinating field of study.”
Mark Pfeifer, Lead Apostle, Soma Family of Ministries, International Director, International Coalition of Apostolic Leaders — “This is an outstanding work on apostolic ministry written by Catherine Brown! While not all believers are apostles – all believers can be apostolic! In her book ‘Simply Apostolic,’ Catherine Brown does a great job of defining the work of apostles while at the same time, helping all believers see how they can become apostolic. This book will go a long way in helping us become the apostolic church that Jesus spoke about and the First Century apostles modelled.”
Bishop Joseph Mattera, Presiding Bishop of Christ Covenant Coalition and Overseeing Bishop of Resurrection Church in New York — “Catherine Brown has been involved with the International Coalition of Apostolic Leaders for many years and has experienced much in the way of both the prophetic and apostolic. Both her story and insight will inspire and bless you.”
Jan-Aage Torp, Convenor of European Coalition of Apostolic Leaders — “‘Simply Apostolic’ by Catherine Brown is a well-researched book that covers a broad range of topics on the apostolic. Catherine Brown has experience from high-profile itinerant ministry all over the world, yet still shares insights from her personal life and ministry. I particularly appreciate the personal touch which I believe will give the apostolic churches, ministers and movements help to build with faith and realism in these end times of great opportunity.”
Obii Pax-Harry, Senior Pastor/Overseeing apostle, Resurrection Life Assembly, Birmingham, United Kingdom. CEO, Nehemiah Apostolic Resource Centre, Abuja, Nigeria. Convener, Coalition Of Nigerian Apostolic Leaders, Abuja Chapter (affiliate of International Coalition Of Apostolic Leaders ICAL), Convener, Apostles In The Marketplace Network (Abuja Chapter) — “Catherine has written comprehensively on the apostolic ministry; bringing invaluable and cutting edge insight regarding the gift of apostle, the function of apostle, the ministry of apostle to church and marketplace; understanding of apostolic government, and the apostolic move within the twenty first century church, to impact and transform culture and sub-cultures. She has expounded on protocols of administrating the gift, and of functionality, as well as offering practical guidelines to identifying those who are called to serve as apostles. Through this brilliant manual on the apostolic dimension, Catherine helps the reader identify- what it is, what it means and how it looks to be a “sent one”. This book ‘Simply Apostolic’ will go down in history as a marker, and a book that helped the church navigate through charted and unchartered waters of the apostolic ministry by a profound apostolic combination of – courageous articulation of biblical truth, sound doctrine, wisdom and practical experience. I highly recommend this book and also endorse my friend and covenant sister Catherine, whose life remains a shining light of love, humility and sheer dedication to cause. A must read!!!”
- Volume 1 – The Apostolic Ministry of the Church (£6.95 paperback; £5.94 kindle)
- Volume 2 – Foundations, Building, Planting & Nurturing (£6.95 paperback; £5.69 kindle)
- Volume 3 – Mission & Discipleship (£6.95 paperback; £5.94 kindle)