Answering the Christian mission
Synonyms: Being an apostolate
Sending on a religious mission
Messenger of Christ
Description: Believing in the ongoing incarnation of the Word of Christ in history and actively participating in that incarnation by being ordained and sent on a mission by Church hierarchy, through sacraments, spiritual gifts and the charisma as a member of the Church, by assuming responsibility for a mandate of the hierarchy as a lay apostle, or through the close imitation of Christ, known as the apostolate of the counsels.
Context: In Greek or Latin terms prior to Christianity, the word applied to the mission and status of the person sent to do a task. The early Christian church developed its own symbolism and ceremony for entry into the Apostolate, using the twelve disciples of Christ as a model for later members of the Apostolate. Only in the middle of the 19th century did the church begin to call the activity of lay people an apostolate.
Implementation: The early Christian Church used the strategy to promote its religion. It continues to use the symbolism of the Apostolate in the commissioning of clergy and the self-understanding of those engaged in missionary and service activities.
Claim: The Apostolate conveys to its participants the understanding that they do not act on their own, but are sent on behalf of all past, present and future believers. This context, and the symbols and rites which support it, provide great stamina and motivation to do difficult tasks under trying circumstances.
Counter Claim: The inference of an elite status to the Apostolate may induce a bias of moral or judgemental superiority in its members. Action within this bias may disrupt the polity and the cultural mores of the society within which the Apostolate acts.
Type Classification: D: Detailed strategies