Wednesday, October 10, 2007

True Apostle - True Father

It's a thrill to see Terry Virgo embark back into the blog world with a full and comprehensive report of his summer! Unsurprisingly he has been excessively busy ministering all over the world (but mainly in Africa). I must admit when I read his blog I understood something of how the prodigal son felt when he saw the father again for the first time. I'm not saying I'm prodigal or coming home - but like many thousands upon thousands of us in Newfrontiers I do see Terry Virgo as a true father and when he's not around - I miss him! He doesn't know me but such is his ministry and calling.

I was browsing through some of the "touristy" photos he has posted there and found my attention seized by this one;

So why this one? Well firstly I noticed the T-shirt that Terry is wearing. "Newday"! The young people's Bible Week! I have yet to see another photo of any self-styled apostle around the world who is wearing a T-shirt with the logo of the young people in their movement of churches. If there is one - forgive me, name it in the comments and I will retract! But I think this is very significant. Apostles MUST be fathers. If they don't have a father's heart I wonder if they are really apostles. Terry has never failed to move me as I watch the joy and thrill in his face as he watches the Mobilise at Brighton dance wildly on the offering night, or hear the excitement in his voice as he recounts what Newday are doing or will be doing. I've never heard Terry utter a harsh or condemning word against the young people (as has been my sad experience in my past churches). He is for the young people and doesn't fail to show it.

Secondly (and this is me being a bit silly) - does anyone see the rainbow? I wonder if the photographer saw the rainbow when they took the picture? Rainbows are a sign of God's eternal and everlasting grace. It seems to me that God was putting His seal on that photograph too because Terry has consistently and faithfully exposed more people to the grace of God and the joyous freedom it brings than many. It's sort of like the famous William Branham photograph isn't it - where the halo of light came down!

Thirdly it made me quite excited to see this photo and the kind of people that Terry Virgo is travelling around with. Julian Adams made quite an impression on me at Brighton with his powerful prophetic ministry and I know a lot of people speak very highly of P J Symthe.

So all that being said - this post is all about a reflection on the excitement of being part of an apostolic/prophetic movement with an audacious vision to "change the expression of Christianity around the world". With a father like Terry Virgo who is for the young people in his family as well as travelling around in the company of prophets rather than Reformed scholars (not that there is anything wrong with scholars) I think Newfrontiers is set with it's sights on the horizon for some time to come!


James B said...

And don't forget the waterfall either!! A dramatic type of the power and glory of the Holy Spirit in His full, unquenched force coming to bless a man who has made it his life's work to never grieve God here manifest on earth!! A great post. We take Terry too much for granted. How we'd miss him if God took him to glory!

Joel Gill said...

Amen... i've been so blessed to have been part of a family embracing the apostolic and prophetic all my life. Men such as Terry Virgo and Keri Jones (another apostle of God) have influenced and inspired me so much. The Church needs apostles and prophets such as these mighty men of God!

Dan Bowen said...

Hey Joel - thanks for comment and yes important reminder that there are other true apostolic figures around! Keri Jones is a guy that I would like to get to hear more of, my parents remember him from the Dales Bible Week days. You are spot on - we need to be bolder I think in our call for these men to be needed broadly in the Church!

I have been powerfully moved by Rob Rufus's preaching and his vision of a corporate body of people rising up equipped in signs and wonders and miracles with no one spiritual guru that we all flock to. I think the same is true of apostles and prophets needed. We should be seeing apostles and prophets everywhere rising up! I am actively praying for my pastor friend Pete in London to encounter Ephesians 4 Ministries in his church.

Sorry got carried away ... I love the Ephesians 4 Ministries. Rob Rufus said in a recent sermon that it is apostles and prophets who are specially gifted and anointed to spy out the "Grace-Hating Spirit"!!