Summary: This address is meant to validate the work of people already serving in ministry and to empower those who are wanting to minister in the church.
Clovis Christian Church
12 August 2007
Body of Christ, on behalf of church leaders I must apologize to you.
For the sake of expedience we have short changed you and let you be cheated out of the greatest pleasure and blessing of the Christian life.
With good intentions we have surrendered to a select few the rights and privileges you should have claimed for yourselves and exercised.
There have been and still are rare places where the perceptive few have not allowed themselves to be taken in by the prevailing deception and are reaping blessings untold for their grasp onto what is rightfully theirs.
It’s time to reclaim what Christ intended every believer to be and the joy that comes with it.
Let me tell you how it was at the start and how it is always intended to be.
It all started with Jesus.
It is because of him and in His name that we do what we do but we have drifted away from His way
Early in His ministry He selected twelve men to train up in His teaching and His Way.
When He selected them they didn’t know what they were signing on for
But He did and He spent the next three years showing and telling them everything it would take to carry on what He started when His time on earth was finished.
Jesus completed His purpose for all mankind at the cross and three days later came from the grave victorious over sin and death.
These twelve men Jesus chose were not professional rabbis or preachers they all made their livings in common occupations before He got hold of them.
Legend says one of them was a plasterer
Before He returned to the Father Jesus gave His final assignment to His disciples:
He told them:
Matt 28:18-20 "God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age." Msg
Moments before He ascended to the right hand of the Father Jesus told his disciples:
Acts 1:8 8 ". . . you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes into your life. You will tell about Me in the city of Jerusalem and over all the countries of Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth." New Life Version
A week and a half later the power Jesus promised was released with an explosion
It was in Jerusalem
There were Jews and converts to Judaism in the neighborhood of the temple and there were lights and noises and sermons and confessions and baptizings and the church began.
It was no modest beginning
The day the church was brought fourth it was more like a hatch or a spawn than a birth
It began with 3000
The number grew daily
Only a page and a half later in my Bible the next time a count is given there were five thousand men
I don’t know how generically “men” is used here.
After that the number is not given
It became multitudes
Even some who had been priests of Judaism gave that up along with the perks of the service and enrolled in the Way
About that same time the church in Jerusalem had become so large that some of its ministry overwhelmed even the apostles so helpers were selected from the multitudes.
Luke tells us of seven selected for table waiters and meals on wheels directors or we might say Sandwiches by Sandals or Food on Foot
Or maybe Groceries for Grandma
Now I don’t want to second guess an inspired writer but I think it’s a fair assumption that there were other specialized services of the church that Luke does not mention which were carried out by others like the seven but Luke does not name them or describe their service.
I can think of some things like putting workers together with employers.
Coordinating places to meet and publicizing meeting times
Remember Christianity was not universally accepted and its practitioners were subject to arrest, jail and other persecution so this needed to be done but not too visibly
Maybe there were clearing houses for outgrown or surplus clothing just like there were distributions of groceries
There could even have been a Christian housing committee to put people with needs into the homes of people with space.
The reason I bring this up is because some of those Jews who became part of the Way were cast out of family and home and could have lost jobs or livelihood.