We continue with our sermon series “The church goes out”. Preaching from Nathan Gordon and our service will be led by Richard Sills.
The results of growth pains – v1
– The Hellenistic v The Hebraic Jews/ contrasting cultures/language barriers etc
– Church growth will always be accompanied with challenges
– Don’t be too alarmed with growing pains in the church
– Commit to finding solutions, rather than adding to the problem
Challenge: The question is not can God grow his church; the question is, are we prepared for God to grow His church? – are we prepared to encounter growth pains that are part and parcel of growth.
The Priority of God’s word – v2
– The apostles were not prepared to neglect the ministry of teaching & preaching to wait on tables
– The apostles weren’t lazy; they understood their assignment!
– What are we neglecting the word of God for today?
– own agenda?
– family life?
Challenge: Like the apostles, the challenge for us is to develop a balanced lifestyle that includes ample space for devotion to the word of God.
The word of God in action – v8-10 & ch. 7
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
– The word of God produces wisdom, knowledge, and perseverance
– The word of God produces the character of Christ
– Stephen, despite opposition from the Sanhedrin, stood his ground and defended his faith in Jesus Christ
– Stephen, whilst being stoned, prayed that God would forgive those stoning him
Challenge: The word of God comes alive when we internalise and demonstrate the Bible through our daily lives. Bible-bashing is not the call for the church, but through showing God’s love, the light of Christ shines and points people to Jesus.
1) How can we help all generations feel valued and ministered to within the church? What can you do, personally, to aid in this?
2) God’s blessings were apparent in the early church. In 2:41—3,000 believed and were baptised.
In 4:4—the church grew to 5,000 (not including
women and children).
In 6:1 and 6:7—the church increased “rapidly.”
What problem arose as the church grew (6:1)?
3) What are your thoughts on pastoral leadership? Should they do the majority of the work of the ministry, or should they delegate most responsibilities?
4) Why do you think it was important for those “waiting on tables” to be wise and spiritual?
5) When you see a need at the church or in your community, how do you respond?
6) What can we learn from Stephen’s preaching?
Sermon Title: Know your Bible
Bible Reading: Acts 6 & 7
Preacher: Nathan Gordon
Worship Leader: Richard Sills