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?

tomgroeneman's picture

current trend

Your assessment of the 'new' trend among evangelicals to argue against the structure of biblical leadership is accurate in my opinion. The movement away from the institutional Church and pulpit ministry is somewhat misguided. The sermon and office of bishop and deacon are the scriptural means by which the body of Christ can be equipped to do the work of the ministry. While the gifts of five-fold ministry (Eph. 4:11) have been blown out of proportion by some, they are legitimate positions of leadership that God has given to the Church. Those who claim they are obsolete will spend pages of teaching to assert that we do not need teachers; an obvious contradiction. No human organization can survive without designated leaders and as much as I would like to be totally dependent on the Holy Spirit I need the discipline, guidance and sustenance that the pastoral office provides. Paul was not the only preacher in the early Church in the book of Acts but his ministry was exemplary. Many others had word ministries and homilies are attested very early in the history of the Church. To say that the weekly sermon is a man made convention is probably a distortion. The proclamation of the message (kerygma) and preaching of the good news (euangellion) are necessary for the work of salvation to take place in an individual soul. The reality that this is done from a pulpit by designated leaders is only resisted by those who have a problem with submission to God's ordained authority. The skeptics criticize organized religion but one needs to be organized just to get out of bed in the morning and get dressed. Paul said in 1 Cor 14:40 that all the Church's business was to be done decently and in good order. We need a leader to do that. Christ is the head and we do need to honor Him and let Him do His work through the men and women He appoints.
Bro. TOM G.

Tom Groeneman