Summary: Congregations are not spiritual spas. They’re places where needs are met and people are served.
SERIES: “LESSONS FROM THE EARLY CHURCH”
TEXT: ACTS 6:1-7
TITLE: “A CHURCH THAT SERVES”
OPEN: A. A number of years ago, a team of white-jacketed scientists marched with clipboards in hand into
the barnyard and sat down outside the chicken coop. They were there to observe the chickens.
They saw many things they expected to see – some chickens clucked, some crowed, all
scratched and pecked around in the dirt. But they saw some things they didn’t expect to see.
For example, in the barnyard there was a top chicken, and there was a bottom chicken, and all
other chickens were aligned in a great poultry hierarchy between the top chicken and the bottom
chicken. The top chicken could peck any other chicken he wanted to peck without fear of reprisal.
The bottom chicken could not peck any other chicken without fear of reprisal. So in the “pecking
order,” there were lower chickens, middle chickens, and upper chickens.
One of the dominant features of barnyard life was a constant “jockeying” for a higher pecking
order position. Occasionally, there were serious fights in which the chickens sometimes actually
Very interesting! So the team of scientists picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and left
the barnyard. Then they walked out into the business world and sat down to observe humans.
They saw some things they expected to see. Some humans were tall, some were short, some
were outgoing, and other quiet. But they saw something they didn’t expect to see. In the business
“coops” of the world, there were top humans and bottom humans. And all the other humans were
aligned in a human “pecking order” in between.
And one of the dominant features of life in the business world was “jockeying” for a higher
position in the “pecking order.” Constant squabbles and posturing and faking went on as humans
tried to carve out a higher pecking order position. Occasionally, there were serious fights that
broke out in which humans sometimes actually got hurt. Perhaps not physically but emotionally.
Life in the corporate world was little better than life in the chicken coop.
1. It makes me want to ask: “Is life in the church better than life in the chicken coop?
2. Jesus said in Mk. 10:42-45 – “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles
lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead,
whoever want to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first
must be slave of all. For even the Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to
give his life as a ransom for many.”
B. In our text this evening, we see that a decisions was reached in the Jerusalem church
1. It was a decision to serve the needs of those who had needs
2. Acts 6:1-7 – “In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews
among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked
in the daily distribution of food. So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, ‘It
would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables.