Acts The Church and Ministerial Training

Kaitiaki's picture

Basically this is just a "what do we learn about the Church from Acts?" thread. As we watch Paul and Barnabas and then Paul and Silas building the Church in Acts, what can we learn about their concept of the Church as a whole? Robert suggested my original plan was too cumbersome so asked me to create new threads.

Thread Moderator: Kaitiaki

There are two aspects to this thread: the training of the local congregation (for the work of ministry - as in Ephesians) and the theological training of ministers (or pastors).

Acts shows us local congregations that trained young men (and women) for every appropriate aspect of Church work. That included the work of ministry and missions. Discuss this statement. Do you think it is valid? What implications (if any) are there for the present system in almost every denomination of sending young men to a seminary to be trained? How does your Church seek to apply those implications in the way they train ministers and missionaries?

ccemanes's picture

Clergymen and Bible Studies

Brother Clark,

There is so much in your studies. I wish I could respond to all. I’ll start with one below.

“We must go beyond bible studies so that we are no longer considered just "people of the book" but disciples of the Man, Jesus Christ. It is HIS voice we seek, HIS living presence in our midst (John 10:27)”.

“…But He answered and said to the one who told Him, "Who is My mother and who are My brothers?" And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, "Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother." (Mat 12:46-50).

Through the Word, we can see that our relationship with the Lord is a spiritual one. It is in doing the will of the Father that we become related to and followers of Christ. When we walk in obedience to the will of the Father, we experience His living presence in the midst of believers and non-believers alike. In the presence of believers, it is an experience of affirmation, a sense of belonging and being at home; with non-believers, it is an experience of peace and assurance.

Also, we can experience the living presence of the Lord in Sunday worships, bible studies, and prayer meetings, listening to sermons and doing ministry, in quiet times and being in the Word.

Furthermore, we need to be in bible studies so we can continue to fellowship with believers for support and encouragement and so we can mentor new believers. It is true that the early Christians did not have a written Word. But when Paul was no longer with the believers, he continues to teach them through his epistles and followers. He also solicited their prayers and support. During the persecution of the Christians, Paul wrote to the believers to encourage them.

I hope believers will always be a “people of the book”, the Bible. The Bible is a reference book for believers. It is a compass, a map to help us in our journey. It is a living book, which God reveals Himself in different ways each time we come to it. We are in a journey. When the weather is good and the water is calm, we can operate on familiar ways, we can depend on our experiences. We can walk on water just as long as we keep our eyes on the Lord. But when a storm comes, we get frazzled. We lost sight of the Lord and our faith is shaken. The Word of God through the Bible sustains us, sermons help us and fine Christians encourage us.

I will not minimize the importance of Bible studies and the power of sermons to sustain and/or transform lives. Human life is seasonal. There is a season in a believer’s life that only bible studies work. At other time only sermons; still another reading the Bible or hanging out with the pastors.