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?

Kaitiaki's picture

Discernment and those appointed

This interaction brings us to the heart of the questions I raised above:

"Dan: A tremendous price will be paid by denying those whom Jesus sends and anoints.

Clark: Who is to decide that one? So, let me get this right? A brother who goes to bible college for two or three years is ordained and is an "anointed" one, no matter if the brothers and sisters he is talking to have been walking with Christ for 30, 40, 50, 60 years? Is there less anointing on the other brothers and sisters because of this "ordination" from a bible college?

The question is basically, "how do we tell who Jesus sends and anoints?" And Clark's response is why I raised the question above. Here are some points for consideration:

1. At what point do the members of the Church have their input about whether a "brother" goes to Bible college (supposed such a thing is actually sanctioned by Acts) to study for the two or three years mentioned?

2. Is it true that Churches tend to assume that someone who has been "trained" in a Bible College are anointed for the ministry of the Word and Sacraments? Should there not be some measure of assessment of the way he behaves before such an assessment is made? (There's where the more mature Christians get their say - at the very least.)

3. For me the most telling is that, even if we see Paul's time after conversion until collected by Barnabas to help out in Antioch as him being "trained" and a justification of Bible College education, in Antioch it was the leaders of the congregation who separated Paul and Barnabas for the "work" Christ had prepared them for after prayer and fasting. Prior to that they had been considered as part of the group known as "prophets and teachers." And we are told beforehand that Jesus had already told Ananias that he (Paul) was "my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles ..." It is at least possible that those in Damascas (including Barnabas) knew what the Lord had revealed to Ananias - but Paul was not sent out on his main work until the Antiochene elders were told to send him.

I hope these factors may be a help in discussing this further.

Christ died for one Church:
Our failure to recognise other Christians
changes neither their place in the Kingdom of Heaven
nor our responsibility to encourage them in the faith

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Christ died for one Church:
Our failure to recognize other Christians
changes neither their place in the Kingdom of Heaven
nor our responsibility to encourage them in the faith