This blog concludes the impact of Acts 6:1-7 on the early church. In essence, why lay people are essential to church growth. The apostles took two significant steps to disarm the crisis in Jerusalem.
First, they retained their God-given priority as men of prayer and study. Emphasizing the reason ministers must be students of God’s word. Only by such study, reinforced with prayer, will preaching regain its rightful place in worship.
Second, to give the time those duties demanded, they put the laity in charge of daily church activity—in this case, feeding Grecian widows. The men chosen had to be Spirit-filled disciples, even if they only served tables. Any ministry needs Christ-like messengers because any ministry is a sacred trust. Whatever giftedness may be needed to lead, Christ-centered life in the person is essential.
The apostles’ decision had astonishing results. One, those who complained—the “Monday-morning quarterbacks”—were enlisted in the solution to problems they defined. Nothing turns skeptics into believers like personal involvement.
Two, this pleased the people. And why? Because, for the first time in religious history, lay people assumed an active role in their faith. They chose their own leaders, who determined a procedure to meet the need.
Three, RAPID growth occurred, as more-than-ever additions came to the church. Even priests as a group converted. An especially significant change since leaders of a religious faith are the last to surrender their theological position.
All this came from an administrative, not a doctrinal, change. The apostles kept preaching Jesus Christ crucified! A correction for ministers today who think a new message has to be employed to reach people. Do not alter the Gospel message. Change only methods.
A concluding thought. It’s only natural for us to sink to whatever mediocrity is allowed OR to rise to whatever excellence is demanded. Jesus constantly calls his people to their feet and forward in his cause. Let us be reminded that people can find a church in the Yellow Pages, but find Christ only in Christians. – Fini –
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