I saw this commercial last night while watching America's Got talent, which by the way, is the coolest summer show ever.
Anyways, as I was watching this commercial, I thought of how the concept of first can be both sequential OR level of importance. I think most people who misunderstand apostolic ministry see it as being first in the area of importance. Apostolic ministry is primarily first as a matter of sequence, and any level of of priority it gets in relation to the other giftings is derived from this element. It's placing among the logical sequence of movements makes it first. Apostolic ministry is significant because of it's sequential order in the beginning of movements, not because it is important all by it's lonesome.
One of the metaphors Paul uses to describe apostolic ministry in I Corinthians 3 bears this out. Paul compares apostolic ministry to a "master builder", which in Greekreek is the word "arche-tekton". It is a compound word that merges two meanings. Arche means origin, or first on site. Tekton is the term used to describe Jesus's father, a builder, craftsmen, or designer. Apostles are the designers, or craftsmen who are first on site. They begin the project. In this sense, they are more significant than the roofers. However, apostolic ministry is about laying foundations, not building the entire house. They get the project moving and hand it over to the community. In other words, if we use this commercial as out cue, they tip over the large train and start the chain reaction of disciple making and community formation. .