Sunday, August 7, 2022
Memory Verse: “We will turn this responsibility over to them 4 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.” – Acts 6:3b-4
Big Idea: As the Early Church grew exponentially, the Apostles knew they needed help to fulfill the mission of the Church. They had to remain committed to their unique calling, while identifying other mature believers to operate in their calling in order for the Body of Christ to continue to grow.
1. The people look to the Apostles to fix the problem
They had the COMPETENCTY
They had the CHARACTER
But it wasn’t their CALLING
2. What is a Calling?
Greek word – invitation, summons
In this context – your unique purpose in the Kingdom, your function in the Body of Christ
“But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it…11It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:7,11-13)
“If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?” (1 Cor. 12:17)
Directions: Take a few minutes in silence to reflect on the message and read through the descriptions of the five ministry functions from Ephesians 4. Which one or two resonate with you the most? How have you seen this at work in your life? When instructed, take turns sharing your responses with others at your table.
APOSTLES extend the gospel. They ensure that the faith is transmitted from one context to another and from one generation to the next; always thinking about the future, bridging barriers, establishing the church in new contexts, developing leaders, networking trans-locally. (Descriptors: visionary, entrepreneurial, pioneering, strategic, innovative, systematic.)
PROPHETS know God’s will. They are particularly attuned to God and his truth for today. They bring correction and challenge the dominant assumptions we inherit from the culture. They insist that the community obey what God has commanded. They question the status quo. (Descriptors: disruptive, discerning, urgent, truth-teller, inspirational, just.)
EVANGELISTS recruit. These infectious communicators of the gospel message recruit others to the cause. They call for a personal response to God’s redemption in Christ, and also draw believers to engage the wider mission, growing the church. (Descriptors: recruiter, clear communicator, enthusiastic, contagious, inspirational.)
SHEPHERDS nurture and protect. Caregivers of the community, they focus on the protection and spiritual maturity of God’s flock, cultivating a loving and spiritually mature network of relationships, making and developing disciples. (Descriptors: nurturing, caring, patient, empathetic, connector, protector.)
TEACHERS understand and explain. Communicators of God’s truth and wisdom, they help others remain biblically grounded to better discern God’s will, guiding others toward wisdom, helping the community remain faithful to Christ’s word, and constructing a transferable doctrine. (Descriptor: communicator, philosopher, curious, learner, thinker.)