The following is an excerpt from my upcoming book entitled “An Anthology Of Essays On The Apostolic.” These generalizations may or may not be true for particular denominations and apostolic movements:
I. Apostolic Movements vs. Denominations
1. An apostolic movement is usually led by one strong visionary/A denomination is usually directed by a board.
2. An apostolic movement is usually mission driven/A denomination is usually policy driven.
3. An apostolic movement is usually missiological in its biblical hermeneutic/A denomination is usually theological, sociological or culturally driven.
4. An apostolic movement emphasizes covenantal relationships based on voluntary associations/Denominations emphasize hierarchical structures and business in their gatherings.
5. An apostolic movement emphasizes the present move of God in the earth/Denominations the glory days of the past.
6. The apostolic emphasizes the movement/Denominations the institution.
7. Apostolic leaders are usually led by the Spirit in regards to ministry placement/Denominational clergy are usually told what parish to serve by their bishop or hierarchy.
8. Most apostolic movements adhere to a belief in biblical inerrancy/Most denominations believe in a higher critical form of inspiration. (Their line of reasoning goes like this: because the church gave the Scriptures the church has the right to change them, update them, etc. through church councils and official writings. Another thing sometimes taught in liberal denominations is that only the actual words of Jesus Christ in the Gospels are inspired of God.)
9. The apostolic emphasizes the power of Christ in terms of releasing faith to fulfill ministry/Denominations the power of committees to implement strategic plans.
10. Apostolic movements usually emphasize the local church as the primary training ground for ministry/Denominations usually only emphasize the seminary as the primary training ground for church ministry
11. Apostolic movements empower the laity to minister (Ephesians 4:11, 12)/ In denominations the clergy are expected to do the work of the ministry.
12 –Apostolic movements believe apostolic succession is functionally based upon a divine calling, ministerial fruit, and anointing / Denominations believe apostolic succession is transferred through the laying on of hands of the bishop during an ecclesiastical commissioning ceremony