Where the Church stands and where it is going

Quo vadis, NAC? Where is the New Apostolic Church going? Answers to this are given in a three-part interview with Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider. It provides deep insights into the strategic outlook of the Church leaders.

There is no such thing as a “Schneider plan”. That was the reaction of the District Apostle from France when asked if he would be prepared to give an interview. Shortly before, the Church had announced that a Chief Apostle Helper would be appointed. What are Jean-Luc Schneider’s plans with the Church. After all, he was likely to be its next international leader? That was the big question in the year 2012.

Church leader and team player

Not a chance. There was no statement. Could it really be that this new man had no strategy? It was very unlikely. When he was called up to assist during the Pentecost service in 2011, he rang in a paradigm shift regarding the return of Christ: quality instead of quantity was to be the criterion, maturity of the soul instead of the last sheep at midnight. And when he was assigned as a Chief Apostle Helper a year later, he clarified his perspective: “I stand for a New Apostolic faith without complexes or arrogance.”

There we have it: Jean-Luc Schneider is a team player. He does not want to present himself as a politician with an action programme, but he wants to develop a strategy at the appropriate time and in a collaborative fashion together with the District Apostles. “In today’s world it is no longer conceivable for a global church such as ours to be led by a single man. Rather, decisions must be made in a collaborative fashion,” the Chief Apostle recently said in a comprehensive interview which Peter Johanning, the editor in charge of nac.today, had with him.

A series of questions – a three-part interview

What are the basic tasks and strategic goals of the New Apostolic Church? What are the global as well as regional challenges? And how will the Church set itself up to meet these challenges? These are the three range of topics which the Chief Apostle provides answers to. The interview has been divided into three parts, each with a distinct set of questions in a particular subject area. We are planning to publish the three parts over the next three Saturdays.

Whomever the above questions are too abstract, here are some concrete ones: Will the Church with all its tasks be able to manage financially? Is there an “apostolic pattern” in such things as music, dress, teaching methods, or even organisational aspects? What about our relationship to other Christian churches? What about involving the members in congregational councils and committees? The answers are tough: Christ comes before the Church, the gospel before rules, salvation of the soul before tradition—to mention just a few examples.

Comprehensive: insight, overview, outlook

Anyone who follows the sermons and statements of the Chief Apostle carefully will recognise certain angles. Nevertheless, this interview gives by far the most comprehensive insight into the strategic outlook of the Church leaders so far. No publication to date has provided such a broad view of the global church and an outlook on the requirements for the future.

And, no, this interview is not a “Schneider plan”. It contains the shared experiences and insights that the current board of trustees, consisting of the Chief Apostle and the District Apostles, has acquired in their collaboration over the last five years.

Photo: Oliver Rütten