About Apollos Watered

Our Story

Our Story:

Apollos Watered was born in a test podcast and a back porch conversation in the fall of 2020, but the seeds of its genesis came much earlier. In his very first ministry, Travis Fleming realized that many of the Church ministry models and practices he had been taught didn’t seem to work in the urban, multicultural environment of Chicago’s north side. Instead, Travis looked to lessons learned from a missionary mentor and applied missionary approaches and practices. Quickly he saw that these approaches were producing fruit as those he ministered to grew in their faith.

Because he wanted to better understand this missionary mindset and be better equipped to reach those whom the traditional methods were missing, Travis went on to study at two different seminaries, one in New England and one in the Midwest. In both places he pastored churches which had been in deep decline. Each church experienced renewal and transformation in a short time, in part because of this same but growing missionary encounter mindset. Both churches grew in ethnic diversity as well as spiritually and numerically.

In 2020, after a season of personal and professional challenges, Travis realized that God was doing a work and calling him to a work to help individual Christians and churches to embrace a new way of being the Church which would match the realities of our changing culture. He didn’t know what shape this work would take, but recorded a podcast introducing the idea and asked his friend Kevin O’Brien to listen and let him know what he thought. Kevin listened, took notes, and told Travis that he had something bigger than a podcast. A three-hour discussion on Kevin’s back porch led to the first mission statement and a rudimentary plan. The next week Travis asked Kevin to join him and Apollos Watered began.

In the intervening years, the approach has been refined, team members have joined the cause, and over 200 podcasts have been produced, including some of the most important evangelical voices of our time. Though we have changed and honed our language, our overall focus has remained the same: equip and encourage individual Christians, leaders, and churches in their ministry encounter with Western culture so that God may receive glory and his Kingdom will continue to grow as his servants experience the joy of doing what he has called us to in this cultural moment.


Our Name


"I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow."
1 Cor. 3:6

Apollos was bold. A gifted speaker who understood the Scriptures. This North African Jew was cultured and confident, boldly proclaiming Jesus. But he didn’t have all the facts. More mature believers, Priscilla and Aquila, took him aside and taught him the rest of the story (Acts 18).

Apollos was one of the influential leaders in the Church at Corinth. When factions rose in the church, Paul acknowledged the important role Apollos played at the same time he admonished the Corinthian church for choosing sides between him, Apollos, and Peter. After all they were all on the same team as servants of God (I Cor. 3). Later, Paul told his protégé Titus to do everything he could to help Apollos on a trip he was undertaking (Titus 3:13).

More than bold, Apollos was teachable. His hometown Alexandria was a center of Jewish life and learning in the first century. It would have been easy for Apollos to assume that he had it all together, that he had nothing to learn from others. But he didn’t. He was humble enough to learn, even though he was a leader and a powerful preacher. He grew under the watering of others and in turn watered the Church, engaging his culture and world skillfully.

Apollos was willing to go where God called to water Jesus’ Church. He traveled the Empire and ministered across boundaries of class, culture, gender, and ethnicity. Always pointing to Jesus.

Some scholars believe that Apollos was the author of Hebrews. We can’t say for sure, but we’d like to think it is true. Hebrews is a single sermon, one with considerable rhetorical flair (sounds like Apollos to us). Over and over, it keeps coming back to Jesus, encouraging and even demanding an active faith.

Boundary Crosser
100% sold out to Jesus. To His Kingdom. To His Church.

Apollos watered.

We want to be like Apollos.

Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Hebrews 13:20-21


Our Mission


To be a catalyst that encourages and equips Christians, leaders, and churches in their missionary encounter with Western culture.

By producing resources to help us

Rethink the greatness of God and the scope of his mission,
Reimagine our identity as individual believers created in his image and called into his Church,
Redeploy as the Body of Christ pursuing his Kingdom in the power of the Holy Spirit in all of life,

For the glory of God and our good.

Our Vision


A global community of Christians and churches awakened to and growing in our identity and mission to build the Kingdom of God to his glory and our good.

To that end we:

  • Have CONVERSATIONS with leading voices about the issues that affect our everyday lives as believers.
  • CONNECT you to people and organizations who are actively living as missionaries in and to Western culture.
  • CREATE resources and events to challenge, refresh and offer hope to you and your ministry.
  • CONSULT with churches, organizations, and denominations to assess and establish structures to facilitate an ongoing missionary encounter with Western culture.

Our Guiding Principles


All of our conversations, resources, and initiatives are guided by four principles:

  1. Biblical: we are grounded in the revelation of God in the Scriptures.
  2. Historical: while today’s cultural moment seems overwhelming, the teachings of the Church and the lessons of its success and failures over time function as guard rails as we seek to understand and apply the Scriptures in our time and place.
  3. Global: Christianity is not Western. The Body of Christ spans ethnicity and culture. A true missionary encounter with Western culture requires that we celebrate, learn from, and participate with the global Body of Christ.
  4. Holistic: Overcoming a truncated Gospel and vision of the Christian life requires a holistic faith which recognizes that the Gospel has implications for every area of life. It both affirms and challenges areas in all of our lives as individuals, churches, and our broader culture.

Our Beliefs


Statements of belief remind us what matters and tell the world where we stand. Over the centuries the Church has developed many Creeds and Confessions of Faith summarizing Christian belief. We have chosen three–one ancient and two modern–to convey the heart of what we believe. Two are included here in full, the third is considerably longer and is therefore only introduced and linked to here.

We decided on these to:

  1. Affirm historic Christian orthodoxy.
  2. Include as many Christians as possible in our teaching and discussions, while maintaining our commitment to #1.
  3. Reflect our heritage as American evangelicals.
  4. Recognize that we are a part of the Global Church.

The Nicene Creed

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary
and became truly human.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father [and the Son],
who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

English translation, © 1998, English Language Liturgical Consultation (ELLC), and used by permission. www.englishtexts.org

NAE Statement of Faith

We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.

We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.

We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful people, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.

We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.

We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.

We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.

As adopted by the National Association of Evangelicals.

The Lausanne Covenant

The Lausanne Covenant emerged from the First Lausanne Congress in 1974. British evangelical theologian John Stott was its chief architect. In the words of the Lausanne organization, “it served as a great rallying call to the evangelical Church around the world. It defined what it means to be evangelical, and challenged Christians to work together to make Jesus known throughout the world. It is a covenant with one another, and a covenant with God himself.”

The Lausanne Covenant contains fifteen articles focused on worldwide evangelical theological distinctives. Topics include God, the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, the Church, Culture, and Social Responsibility with a significant emphasis on Evangelism.

The text of the covenant can be found here.


Our Team


Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Hebrews 13:20-21

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