This week, Pastor Chris sought to answer what brings people true happiness this side of heaven. The Bible is clear that we will find our lives when we give them away. God’s Word calls each one of us to be actively engaged servants, doing our part to advance the Kingdom. In our text, we find ourselves roughly five years after Pentecost with the Hebrews and Hellenists responding dramatically different to the social issues of their age. In the midst of tension, God’s people need to live sacrificially, not neglecting to meet with and serve the body of Christ.
Acts 6:1 (ESV)
1 Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution.
Acts 6:2 (ESV)
2 And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables.
- Learn From Failure & Mistakes – If you want to grow, you will have to fail. Failure is one of our greatest teachers.
Let’s be more like Barnabas and less like a Pharisee.
Failure is a Requirement, not an Option.
Acts 6:3–4 (ESV)
3 Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. 4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
- Marks of Godly Leadership
- A Good Reputation
- Have the Holy Spirit
- Delegate Authority
- Level 1: Volunteer: (doing) Working through tasks
- Level 2: Volunteer Shepherd (developing) Working through discipleship
- Level 3: Coordinator (delegating): Working through people
- Level 4: Ministry Director (deciding): Working through leaders
- Level 5: Pastor (designing): Working through organization
- Level 6: Senior Leadership (discerning): Working through vision
Acts 6:5–6 (ESV)
5 And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. 6 These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them.
- Serving as One New Man – This happens when individuals learn how to serve together as fellow heirs with Jesus.
Ephesians 3:6,10 (ESV)
6 This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.
The Third Option
Ephesians 2:15–16 (ESV)
15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.
“After Jesus’ resurrection, a third ethnicity was supernaturally born: the multicolored, multiethnic church.” Dr. Derwin Gray
Acts 6:7 (ESV)
7 And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.
The Spirit-Empowered Church Cycle:
Preach Jesus > Grow > Learn from Mistakes > Reassess/Reorganize > Preach Jesus
- How would you answer this question: “The happiest people in the world are _________.”?
- Chris said, “If you want to grow, you will have to fail.” How does this reality sit with you?
- Do you struggle with hiding? What are some of the reasons Christians may hide from meeting with or serving the body?
- What would it look like to be more like Barnabas and less like a Pharisee?
- Which of the marks of Godly leadership could you use an upgrade in?
- Are you currently engaged in what God is doing at City Central? Be honest with yourself this week.
- Do you have vision for something that you have not practically sought to make happen? Choose to take a step forward in a practical way this week.
- Do you know your spiritual gifts? Take the Spiritual Gifts test on the City Central Tacoma app this week and find out. Choose to start serving in your gifting.