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?


A final appeal

In the past a quote in defense of our opinions was considered as coming from our belief system. If I misrepresented you, I genuinely apologize. In responding to your post of another's writing that agree with your position, I responded to you. IM has adopted your position which could be viewed several ways.

1. God is moving in a 2nd reformation away from an organizaed church into a more organic paradigm, and this is happening all over the world.
2. Viola's poison, which has been out for several years now, has made its way all over the world and served to undermine sometimes excellent organized churches to push unsure people into his image of church
3. I dont like 2 alternatives because it creates an either/or fallacy; but I cant really think of a 3rd option. Except perhaps this. God works through people and people are never perfect. We all tend to take what God has done with and through us, measure success in our own terms, and codify it. That's people. It's pie in the sky to think we can devoid the church of that because in the act of doing so we just introduce and codify our own experience as tradition. In doing so we try to put God in our box. Overall my experience with organized church has been mixed, and I use small groups when I can. But I am not saying my personal experience is the only way. That is the problem I have with Viola/Clark. Clark, I can see God leading some people to a house church environment but that doesnt mean His will is that all the Body abandon their churches. The asserion we in organized churches are idolatrous is judgemental and a call to abandon all instituaional churches. It is that kind of statement I am calling you out publicly on Clark.

God cares we worship Him in Spirit and truth, and you cant prove we arent doing that. Do you see what has happened with VIola? Like Foxe he has served to divide the body of Christ and create a we/them attitude. God cares we hold Jesus supreme not just superior to all other consideration. Clark, do we not agree on that premise? Presencce or absence of Order of service doesnt matter either way: Jesus does. A congregation actively and willingly listening to their pastor, OR a congregation being openly but orderly participative every service is equally biblical. A congregation choosing to have a nice building wherein they can support special needs ministries and serve people of diverse backgrounds is just as valid and legit as a congregation choosing to meet in a house or having to meet in teh catacombs.

Yet one cannot escape the limitations of meeting in houses and catacombs in terms of dangers from unskilled leadership and lack of accountability, and lack of diversity/continuity. One cannot escape the weakness of a large meeting only paradigm which can be impersonal and not open opportunities for personal ministry from the Body to the Body. But who said it had to be either/or? Many of the people you are quoting are actually advocating both/and rather than the either/or you and Viola are pushing.

I am trying to say you have the wrong focus. You and Viola are focusing on the wrong problem, and in doing so drawing people away from the Body of Christ like never before. Add the disparagine remarks against the Body of Christ to the moral upheaval, and one wonders how much of each is to blame for people not knowing where to turn. The external lion is visible but is there a wolf among the flock too? In Acts 2 what did the people have: one accord in one place ... God moved ... and Peter did the Sermon ... and the Lord added to the Church. Now that's a church meeting, and is a perfectly acceptable model to add to a total biblical picture of church life in the 1st century. I am not saying this is the only way to do church meetings but it is part of the model in Acts. Simply, there is no support for your theory this wasnt a church service. You read that into this passage. We use all the Bible, not just 1 cor 12-14, in derermining what a church service should look like. But then we dont appear to be supporting an all or nothing agenda either. Are you?

In Christ,

Dan Fugett