C. Peter Wagner, one of the most influential leaders in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), died Friday at age 86. Many people who are part of the global NAR movement have been deeply influenced by Wagner without knowing it. In short, he did the heavy lifting theologically for the movement.
Wagner was a professor of church growth at Fuller Theological Seminary, where he taught for 30 years (1971 to 2001). He first coined the term “New Apostolic Reformation” to refer to the growing number of churches in the 1990s that started to accept the idea of present-day apostles. He wrote six books on the topic of apostles. He was the presiding leader over the International Coalition of Apostolic Leaders during its formative years, from 2001 to 2010.
Not all NAR leaders worked directly with Wagner or even agreed with all his teachings. Even so, there is significant overlap between the teachings of many NAR leaders and those of Wagner. To understand NAR, one must understand Wagner’s views.
Though Wagner is gone, his influence on the NAR movement is lasting as the baton of NAR teachings is carried on by others, including Bill Johnson, senior pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, California., and Mike Bickle, founder of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Missouri.
Holly Pivec is the co-author of A New Apostolic Reformation?: A Biblical Response to a Worldwide Movement and God’s Super-Apostles: Encountering the Worldwide Prophets and Apostles Movement. She has a master’s degree in Christian apologetics from Biola University.