Summary: God needs stable people who will support the church
PILLARS IN THE CHURCH
I. PAUL’S EARLY MINISTRY
A. After Paul’s conversion he wasn’t readily accepted
B. Paul spent some time ministering on his own
C. Paul taken in by the church upon seein the genuiness of his conversion
D. Three key people were there to take him in - Peter, James and John
E. How Paul viewed these three men
A. These three men were viewed as pillars in the church
B. What is a pillar? - a long, slender, vertical structure used to support a superstructure; column; a person who is a main support of an institution, movement, etc.
C. This identification had much significance and was very important
-it did not mean that they ran the show and everything was done their way
-it did not mean they had the last say so in matters
-the early church quickly established a group of seven men to oversee the affairs of the church
D. It did mean that they were men whose presence strengthened the church, their faith encouraged others, their knowledge of scripture gave others direction, their walk with God was looked up to as an example for all to follow, their spiritual sensitivity respected.
E. While they did not run the show, their presence held things together and kept it going in the right direction
III. WE NEED PILLARS IN THE CHURCH TODAY
A. Every church is made up of a wide variety of people but every church needs pillars
-people who hold things together and keep the ministries of the church going,
-people who will be there come what may, people who are loyal to God and the church
-people who spot false doctrine and teachers and keep the church on solid ground
-people who are there to encourage and pray for others
B. Without support columns the building would cave in, without pillars the church will cease to function
C. The responsibility of being a pillar is great but it is open to anyone with the right qualifications
D. What makes one a pillar in the church?
IV. HOW TO BE A PILLAR
A. How did these three men become pillars?
B. They went where ever they were needed
-are we willing to be where God needs us the most?
C. They were not afraid to speak
-are we willing to speak when and where God wants us too?
D. They took an unpopular stand for truth.
-are we ready to stand up for the truth no matter what the cost?
E. They were sensitive to the things of the Spirit. They recognized what God had done in His life and received him in and allowed him to pursue his calling
-do we see the hand of God’s grace in people’s lives and give them the chance to follow God?
-do we give people the right hand of fellowship and encourage them to work in the church?
F. They took care of the poor and needy
-do we care about those less fortunate than us and minister to their need, do we have a spirit of compassion for them?
G. God needs people who will stand as pillars and support the church
-being a pillar is not an easy job because pillars hold up most of the weight
-being a pillar is a rewarding job because God will reward every man according to his works