Book of Acts Chapter 6 Part 1
Introduction: a key idea in the book of Acts is that believers should be witnesses for Jesus everywhere they go. Today we hope to discuss the choosing of co-laborers.
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Read Acts 6:1-7
F. Choosing Co-laborers (6:1-7). In this section of the book of Acts there was complaining by the Grecian Jews about the Hebraic Jews getting all of the daily distribution of food.
The "twelve" proposed that seven spiritually mature men would be assigned the task of handling tables, while the twelve stayed with the Word. The proposal was accepted.
Men were present to the Apostles for the Apostles to lay their hands on them. This led to the church being more effective in winning people to Christ and growing them in Christ.
- Increasing the number of disciples. Notice in vs. 1 of this section of the book of Acts that the number of disciples in the early church was increasing.
Our churches should be known for increasing in the number of disciples. Because our mission is to evangelize and edify, we cannot be satisfied with a large group of visitors or members.
We are to work on helping those we know and see to become visitors, visitors become members, members become disciples, and disciples become leaders. Furthermore, if we are really disciples then we will have a passion for evangelism.
Consequently, the church that is not growing numerically cannot simply say that they are a church of quality. A quality/discipleship church would be evangelistic/quantity church.
Let's work on being an evangelistic church of disciples. Every disciple should study, serve, and give. A great part of service is inviting and bringing loved ones to church, so they can get saved and grow in the Lord.
- Handling conflicts in ministry. Notice in vs. 1 of this section of the book of Acts that there was a conflict regarding the daily food giveaway.
On one hand, at least the church was doing something about the need of the widows. Too many churches do too little to help those who are less fortunate. This is often the case, when most of the church goers rob God of His tithes and offering.
But on the other hand, conflict is not strange, even among disciples. When conflict comes, we should strive to solve the problem in a godly way. Simply complaining is not a godly way.
Take the problem to the person(s) who is responsible and work out the issues. Let's work on being responsive to the needs of people and handling conflict in godly ways.
- Responding to conflicts. Notice in vss. 2-6 of this section of the book of Acts that the leaders did not simply let the matter fester. They took action. Too often we let stuff that we know need to be addressed just build up over time.
Issues that could have been handled when they were small matters can easily grow into big matters. But on the other hand, some issues would have worked themselves out, if they were left alone.
Let's seek the wisdom to know which issues to address and how to address them. This is a good principle for not only the church, but think about your family, community, and job as well.
- Ministry priorities. Notice in vs. 2 the priority placed on prayer and the Word. God sends Pastors to feed and lead the church. Nobody can do these things like the one God sent to do them.
When the Pastor is distracted with work that can be delegated to others, the church suffers from being good, when it could be great. However, in order for the Pastor to delegate to others, the Pastor must be secure enough to delegate authority.
Helpers need to understand that they have delegated authority but are yet responsible to the Pastor (i.e., the Pastor, not the church, lays his hands).
And then the people need to understand that someone else can handle the tables and other issues in the church besides the Pastor.
Let's work on everyone focusing on his or her part to play in the body of Christ. We can do so much more, when everyone is doing his or her part.
We can minister to the less fortunate and minister to everyone's spiritual needs, when we operate as a body. We don't have to choose between one or the other. We can do all that God is calling us to do.
- Trained discipled helpers. Notice in vss. 3-6 of this section of the book of Acts that the helpers had to be qualified. This text talks about the men being known for being full of the Spirit and wisdom.
To be filled with the Spirit and wisdom is to be controlled the Spirit and wisdom. Notice that the men were to be known for such, which mean they had to be conducting themselves in such a way that others could see they were filled with the Spirit and wisdom.
And then they had to be of such a character that the Apostles were willing to lay their hands on them, showing appointment into office with blessings and authority. In our church, we use the language of studying, serving, and giving.
If a person cannot master these basics then they are surely not filled with the Spirit and wisdom. We also talk about getting along with the people, which is often indicated by people recommending them.
We talk about getting along with the Pastor, which is often indicated by the Pastor's appointment. In order for the church to be as helpful to its members and community as it needs to be, there is a huge need for qualified helpers.
Let's work on being trained discipled helpers and encouraging others to do the same. We should thank God for our Training Union and high emphasis on teaching and training.
Too many churches don't have a formal way to help people who are willing to become trained discipled helpers.
- Pleasing God more than the people. Notice in vs. 5 of the book of Acts that the people were pleased with the ideas being presented.
This is always a great thing – the leaders, people, and God are pleased. However, when the leader cannot please God and the people, they would do well to make sure God is pleased.
When leaders put pleasing the people over pleasing God, they may be great politicians, but at judgment, they will be reminded of their call to follow God's instructions. As people/members, fight the temptation of lobbying for your will to be done.
Seek God's will and submit yourself to it. God's ways are best for us. Let's work on pleasing God more than pleasing people.
- Positive results from teamwork. Notice in vs. 7 of this section of the book of Acts that there were so many positive results of the church's response to the issues at hand.
Whereas there were disciples being added in vs. 1, now they are increasing rapidly. Even priests are being added to the number.
The church can do so much more, when it lines up with God's will than it can with only a few people working and most people watching. Let's work on playing our part in our church family/team.
The stronger the church is the greater a blessing it can be to her members and community. The church can help youth, men, women, and seniors.
The church can help with community focused economic empowerment, health issues, and even crime prevention. But most of all, the church can help people get saved and grow in the Lord.
Conclusion: Let's be mindful of being witnesses for Jesus everywhere we go. God has much for those who obey His will.
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