Wagner, Peter, C. Church Quake. How The New Reformation Is Shaking Up The Church As We Know It. Regal, Ventura. 1999.
Wagner uses the term New Apostolic Churches to describe churches that are doing ministry in a way that contrasts the traditional way ministry has been done. He defines his terms and identifies examples of those who fall within those definitions. He then goes on explain how this is a new movement that is ‘shaking up the church as we know it’. Since the writing of this book many things have happened that probably have impacted the views presented here. This is a resource that would be helpful in assessing the ongoing ministry of any church. New Apostolic Churches are not a specific group or organization of churches. What they have in common is how they do church.
Ch. 1. The “Why” Of New Wineskins.
The term New Apostolic Reformation is explained. A brief history of church growth and/or decline is presented. “Seven institutional factors that have caused and perpetrated denominational decline” 23 are presented.
Ch. 2. Protestantism’s New Look.
Wagner explains the origin and meaning of the name he has chosen to describe churches of today that share some charismatic characteristics. There are many churches world wide that are part of the “New Apostolic Reformation” 34 movement. They reflect significant changes regarding traditional emphases.
Ch. 3. Churches Driven By Vision and Values.
New apostolic thinking is very much future focused. “Begin with the future and then look to the present.” 56. Tradition should be a faith booster not a faith blocker. Renewal doesn’t work because it focuses on the past. “Five compass-point values” 64 of new apostolic churches are discussed.
Ch. 4. The Pastor Leads The Church.
“The most radical change in the New Apostolic Reformation is the recognition of the amount of spiritual authority delegated by the Holy Spirit to individuals.” 81. Six “fundamental assumptions” 86 that characterize a new apostolic pastor are discussed. Pastors are accountable to other pastors not church boards.
Ch. 5. Five Crucial Questions About Apostolic Ministry.
1. What is an apostle? 2. Are there apostles today? 3. How important are apostles? 4. How does an apostle gain authority? 5. What are the qualities of a genuine apostle? This chapter explains the basics of the New Apostolic movement. The crucial chapter of the book.
Ch. 6. The Nuts And Bolts Of Apostolic Networks.
An Apostolic Network is “a band of autonomous churches and individual ministries that are3 voluntarily united in an organized structure”. 127 Common characteristics of networks are discussed. “Routinization of charisma” 133 addresses the tendency of groups of churches (networks) becoming denominations. E.g. C.& M. A., Vineyard. A plan is presented on how to avoid this with the New Apostolic movement by following three mandates.
Ch. 7. Plugged In Worship.
Eight “significant changes from traditional worship to new apostolic worship” are discussed.
Ch. 8. Outreach In Overdrive.
The outreach focus in N. A. churches involves four tasks; “Expanding the local church, Planting new churches, Mercy ministries in the surrounding community, Crosscultural missions.” 183
Ch. 9. Multiplying Ministries.
Each believer ministers according to his or her giftedness. They minister in “ministry teams or small groups”. 218 Most of the staff of N. A. churches comes from within the congregation. Training is done through apprenticeships. To remain relevant for churches seminaries need to experience paramount changes.
Ch. 10. Money? No Problem!
“The church is a good investment of your money.” John Osteen. Four axioms of apostolic financing are; “Giving is expected. Giving is profitable. Giving responds to vision. Giving is cheerful.” 245