Summary: What does it take to build a great church? It is all about people, not buildings. As an organisation grows, so does its problems and disagreements. How do we get past these disagreements so that we can achieve growth?
Can We Build It?
Intro: What it takes to build a great church
It is about all the people
As an organisation grows – so does its problems/disagreements
How do we get past these disagreements so that we can achieve growth
1. Going beyond Disagreements
With the growth – the apostles could not meet everyone’s needs and reach out to everyone
Greek speaking Christians (Jews from other lands) complained that the Hebrew (Jewish) speaking Christians were ignoring the ministry to their widows
They were being mistreated
Could be due to the language barrier
In dealing with the problem -- apostles were able to move beyond disagreement
We have to go beyond our disagreements
Putting aside our preferences
Ministry is a community effort
May have to choose what is right -- for the church -- to grow
To advance the kingdom of God
Might differ from what we want personally
2. Temptation to pull away
ILLUSTRATION: Pachomius – Early C 4th AD
We might not want to deal with our disagreements and be tempted to pull away from the community of faith
Pachomius was an Egyptian soldier won to Christ -- was baptised.
Determined to grow -- self-denial, solitary life of a religious hermit
Resisting the corruption of society
He began to question the methods and lifestyle of his mentors
How can you learn to love if no one else is around?
How can you learn humility living alone?
How can you learn kindness or gentleness or goodness in isolation?
How can you learn patience unless someone puts yours to the test?
He concluded, developing spiritual fruit requires being around people—ordinary, onere people. "To save souls," he said, "you must bring them together."
In community with flawed, demanding, sometimes disagreeable people, followers of Pachomius learned to take hurt rather than give it. They discovered that disagreements and opposition provide the opportunity to redeem life situations and experience God’s grace. Thus began genuine monastic life.
Pachomius, while largely forgotten in church history, points out to us that as attractive as solitary sanctification may seem, it is life amid people, busyness, and interruptions that develop many of the qualities God requires.
3. Serve According to YOUR Gifts
The advancement of God’s kingdom requires for us all to be committed
As the Kingdom advanced in the early church
Their leaders encountered a snag
Apostles couldn’t preach/pray & care for the needy – not that they didn’t want to
To fix the problem – Apostles appointed 7 deacons (ministry leaders)
Stott – “Everybody cannot do everything.”
I. God calls all his people to ministry
II. God calls different people to different ministries
Everybody can do something
Working together is a very important part of Christianity. God has so many different jobs for us to do. We need to be open and willing to serve one another and with one another.
The Word of God cannot spread when ministry OF the word is not spread
Words must be matched by actions
If we say we are loving church, but do not display our love in some tangible way, we are not as loving as we had hoped to portray
Can we build a church?
Yes we can
But are we willing to do it God’s way?