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?


Certainly a balance is needed

I am not proposing any of the extremes you refer.

Each member of the congregation as a duty, as the Bereans did, to align the message heard with scripture and the revelation of the Gospel found in the Bible. Yet we should not abandon the teaching/preaching minstry of our current assembly just because that person isnt eloquent. We arent all Church Swindoll. So some may wander from the theme text a little at times, and I think we should try to be gracious and prayerful. Tozer speaks of the requirement of the congregation to pray for their pastor, and I believe that.

In fact, I fully support the idea that we each will stand accountable before God for our soul and so I try not to accept or reject anything anyone says without lining it up with God's revealed Word. Yet, I concur that we should certainly honor those who labor in the Word of God.

    The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, “YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”
    New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (1 Ti 5:17–18). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

That is, I fully support a paid full time teaching/preaching ministry in the local assembly. I think it is essential to realize that the church grew up from Acts 2 forward. We cant stop in Acts 2 or we will be stunted. Subsequent church planting work required the creation of an ifrastructure that wasnt necessary in the beginning chapters of Acts. We see that in the so called pastoral epistles.

Sometimes the church did not have direct VISIBLE Divine leading when the decision was made to act. Yet they had received in Acts 2 the Comforter of the same kind Jesus promised the church in Jn 14-16. These men knew the power of a changed heart when the Spirit of Christ brings Christ to life fresh in our hearts. May we experience the Risen Christ fresh and anew. Now there was no demonstrable moving of the Spirit when the church decided to elect a 12th apostle. They did so because that was their understanding of the Word, and Acts 2:43 says signs were done by the Apostles. That included Matthias.

In Acts 15 there was no distinct move of the Spirit that told the leadership it was time to deal with the Judaizers. They met and decided. But in chapter 14 there was praying and fasting going on for the Gospel outreach. In Acts 15 there was debating ... arguing. Peter and Paul/Silas spoke, and James stated his judgment. And the whole church at Jerusalem stood behind the Apostles.

Then the result was attributed as being the Holy Spirit at work.

In 15:28 the result of the process, which even included arguing (just like today), was attributed to the Holy Spirit !!!! The church and these leaders fasted and prayed, and sometimes God quietly spoke in their heart what to do. Sometimes He spoke through the gifts active at that time.

In Christ,

Dan Fugett