November 8, 2015 Sermon Titled: Working Together (Congregational Meeting)

First Mennonite Church

November 8, 2015

Working Together (Congregational Meeting)

Devotional: Acts 6:1-7

Sometimes Christians would like to believe that the Early Church was a perfect church besides having the advantage of operating in a unique manner under the power of the Holy Spirit to carry out healings and to do marvelous miracles. But the book of Acts of the Apostles reveals a different story. On various occasions the Early Church was confronted with some very difficult issues. Paul and Barnabas had a heated argument and could not agree on one issue. On another occasion, the apostles and Early Church leaders went through “much debate” on issues of doctrine and faith practices (Acts 15). As we will see today, there were certain practical elements the Early Church can teach when facing challenges. The passage for today can illustrate pretty clearly some of those steps the church took to address its problems.

When people come together, even for the holiest of purpose, trouble is likely to arise, needs will come along.

According to our passage, as early as chapter 6 of Acts the growing Christian community experienced its first congregational problem. So what did they do to address the issue?

The problem was identified and brought to the attention of the apostles. The church did not deny or hide the problem and the leaders did not suppress or avoid the problem either.

The leading apostle stayed focused on their priorities. For Peter and his fellow apostles, proclaiming the gospel and payer were first in their list of duties.

The apostles did not delay in addressing the problem. They got organized. Getting organized means communicating to the whole congregation about the problem and asking everyone to get involved in resolving it.

The apostles were open to a new leadership model. “Select from among yourselves men to serve the tables” (v. 3). Rigid leadership models stifle the Spirit’s leading.

Servant-leaders require certain qualities: good standing, full of the Spirit and wisdom (v.3).

(The meeting followed)

Thank you for reading!