Summary: A servant church that trains is a church that releases people from spiritual bondage.
A Servant Church Trains
Teach the way of God more perfectly.
And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures; came to Ephesus. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard; they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.
Have you every meet someone that needed to be informed, but you couldn’t tell them anything? You know a person who gets part of the story, but not the entire story; a person who runs off half-cocked with a part of the truth, but not the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Interestingly, I believe everyone at some point in one’s life takes action on incomplete information: a rumor, a saying often repeated. One of the dangers I find with talk radio is that a lot of people only really want to hear themselves talk. They will talk and talk and talk, but when you question their information, you’ll find that they really don’t know what they are talking about.
Let me say it this way, how many persons driving on a trip without looking at a map drive the wrong way, not listening to your loved one telling you to pull over and ask for directions, because you know where you are going, and its just a little way up the road. And the little way up the road, turns into miles to go before we sleep.
History is always under revision because we find out new information every day. Can you imagine the number of people who died and went to heaven thinking the world was flat? Or, thinking that people of color where inferior?
You remember the infamous news report stating the Gore had won and then pulling back the information because of Florida. Headlines where printed. News Stories were told. Only to find out that our worst nightmare was true – Bush won!
Some of my more seasoned members remember the Presidential election of Thomas Dewey and Harry Truman. Many of you went to bed at night thinking because the headlines said, “Dewey Won” and to find that Truman was indeed the president.
Partial information, unsubstantiated information, false information, misleading information, unproven information has found itself in historical and political life.
Nevertheless, in the world of religious faith, not having all the information, not having the correct information, not having the true information – in other words being ignorant to the truth can bind one’s soul, mind and spirit to an inescapable reality of spiritual bondage.
Jesus talking one day to a group of Jews as recorded in the Gospel of John, “and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
That’s what this text is all about the liberating spirit of the truth. I say to you that the Servant Church that trains is a church that releases people from spiritual bondage.
I thought at one time that the essence of our problem as a people was political, economic or academic. Politically, we as a people have elected more people to office across this country, but our conditions are worse than ever. I believe more there are more than 9,000 Black elected officials in America. We may have a problem electing an African American to the top spots in Maryland, but as a race of people even in this state we have more Black elective officials now than at any time in our history. But our schools are in a troubled state and we as a people appear to be retrogressing instead of progressing.
I even thought that maybe our problem is economic. When you look at the wealth gap between Blacks and Whites, you will find that there has been little change in that ratio since the time of Dr. Harvey Johnson over one hundred years ago. Even through as Black people in America we have a gross national product of over 790 billion dollars, because we are a race of consumers, the wealth gap between Blacks and Whites remains the same.
Our problem is not even academic. I understand that over 17% of Black people in America have a college degree or better. A speaker said we have surpassed W.E.B. DuBois’s vision of a talented tenth and we are on our way to a talented twentieth.
Given our academic acumen, we have enough college trained people to have a one on one relationship with every public school student in America.
In our church according to our own 2003 demographic survey almost 60% of our congregation has a college degree.