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?


Excellent questions Kaitiaki

Christ's apostles, including Paul, spent time in preparation before going into active ministry. The Gospels speak of the 3 years with the Master, and Paul spent time in the desert relearning the Old Testament from the standpoint of Jesus as the Messiah. Much of this appears to have been accompanied by direct revelation/vision. I believe that the current move that has infiltrated the church seeks to re-draw biblical authority away from those specifically placed into leadership, and onto themselves.

Preaching to a group wherein some actively listened and then actively lived the message is found throughout Jesus ministry and that of the apostles. Using Acts as a model, as the topic head suggests, there appears to be no biblical distinction between the homiletic method and approach used in evangelistic meetings and in meetings of the saints. In Acts 2, Peter spoke and the audience either actively listened and were moved by the Spirit, or rejected the message. But certainly not all spoke. Now, unless one buys into the theory (with no biblical basis) that says this was a different kind of meeting than Christians held, Acts 20 also indicates precisely the model most churches still use. In fact young Eutychus fell asleep doing what? Actively involved in the service? NO, I dont think so? He was listening while Paul spoke for a very long time. Is there any indication in this service by and for Christians that that others spoke? NO there isnt. Paul's sermon continued past midnight and the youth fell asleep. There were many lamps in the building and it was probably rather hot and stuffy. Clearly there was no indication of each person doing something actively involved in the service, and there was clear leadership from one person: Paul. Paul was leading the meeting, or at least THE sole preacher at that meeting.

In fact 20:11 indicated Paul continued talking and the audience continued listening until daybreak. Why here is there no indication that each had a psalm and a song and a message? Such a principle is certainly not supported at the fellowship at Troas. For one, not all are called to preach and not all are prepared as Paul was for most certainly before he bagan full time ministry there was a preparation (See Galatians). Only since certain literature hit the US market has it become fashionable to question that the the Christian congregation's responsibility is to actively listen to the sermon in church, and then each Christian to prayerfully apply those principles in his/her daily life.

In Christ,

Dan Fugett