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									Title Page
Lesson Six
      Acts 6:1-2
Acts 6:1-2
1 And in those days, when the number of the

disciples was multiplied, there arose a
murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews,
because their widows were neglected in the daily
2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the

disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason
that we should leave the word of God, and
serve tables.
      Acts 6:3-5
Acts 6:3-5
3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you

seven men of honest report, full of the Holy
Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over
this business.
4 But we will give ourselves continually to

prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude:

and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and
of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus,
and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and
Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:
       Acts 6:6-8
Acts 6:6-8
6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when

they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.
7 And the word of God increased; and the

number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem
greatly; and a great company of the priests were
obedient to the faith.
8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great

wonders and miracles among the people.
Focus Verse

            Romans 12:13
 Distributing to the necessity of saints;
          given to hospitality.
Focus Thought

 Every Christian has a ministry and calling
  to use his individual abilities and talents
   for the glory of God. Those who serve
     must be spiritual, wise, and willing
                 to minister.
The Book of Acts recorded the rapid growth of the
early church. At the birth of the church on the Day
of Pentecost, ―there were added unto them about
three thousand souls‖ (Acts 2:41), and the Lord
continued to add more believers daily (Acts 2:47).
Even persecution could not stop the church‘s
phenomenal growth. After the first outside attacks
on the church, the Lord added approximately five
thousand men (Acts 4:4). By this time, the
congregation numbered at least twenty thousand,
and Luke indicated that God later added
―multitudes both of men and women‖ to the
number of believers. (See Acts 5:14.)
The early church certainly had all the signs that
identify a growing, spiritual church.

• Worship. They believed in glorifying God.
• Instruction. They believed in training disciples.
• Fellowship. They believed in loving one another.
• Evangelism. They believed in winning the lost to
  Jesus Christ.
• Service. They believed in caring for the needs of
Since the church experienced such phenomenal
growth, it became difficult for the apostles to
minister to everyone. In the most exciting moments
in the history of the early-church revival, a
dissension arose among the people.
Persecution and corruption failed to stop the
church, but internal fighting now threatened its
progress. Disunity and division was ready to
achieve what beatings and imprisonments had not
been able to accomplish. Fortunately, however, the
church corrected this error and continued to move
forward in revival, refusing to allow their
differences to derail revival.
      Spiritual Growth
I. Spiritual Growth (A)
       Brings Physical
 In Jewish society, widows were particularly needy
 and dependent. Both the Old Testament and the
 New Testament single them out along with
 orphans as those most in need of help.
   Spiritual Growth (A)
I. A natural division already existed within the
   church because on the Day of Pentecost
   thousands of Hebrew Jews who were born in
   Israel united with Grecian Jews born outside the
   Holy Land. As wonderful as the new-birth
   experience was, it did not erase all their earlier
   prejudices, and the Grecian widows soon began
   feeling ignored in the daily distribution of food.
   Spiritual Growth (A)
I. The word ―murmuring‖ comes from the Greek
   word gongysmos. The translators of the
   Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Old
   Testament, used the same word for the murmuring
   of the people against Moses in the wilderness.
   (See Exodus 16:7; Numbers 14:27.)
   Spiritual Growth (A)
I. When the Grecian Christians at Jerusalem began
   complaining, they simply did so among
   themselves instead of appealing to those in
   authority. Their grievances soon became
   contagious, and the church was in turmoil.
   Spiritual are unhappy (A)
I. When Christians Growthand begin to
  murmur, they should always begin by first
  searching their own hearts.
  One day a family traveling down the highway
I. Spiritual Growth (A)
  between Johnstown and Jamestown stopped at
  Farmer Jones‘ place for a drink of water, which he
  gladly gave them. ―Where are you headed?‖ he
  asked them. ―We are moving from Johnstown to
  Jamestown to live,‖ they told him. ―Can you tell
  us what the people are like?‖ ―Well, what kind of
  people did you find where you lived before?‖
  Farmer Jones asked. ―Oh, they were the very
  worst kind!‖ the people said. ―They were gossipy
  and unkind and indifferent. We are glad to move
  away.‖ ―Well, I am afraid you will find the same
  in Jamestown,‖ replied Farmer Jones.
  The next day another car stopped at the farm, and
I. Spiritual Growth (A)
  the same conversation took place. These people
  were moving to Jamestown, too. ―What kind of
  neighbors will we find there?‖ they asked. ―Well,‖
  said Farmer Jones, ―what kind of neighbors did
  you have where you lived before?‖ ―Oh, they
  were the very best! They were so kind and
  considerate that it almost broke our hearts to have
  to move away.‖ ―Well, you will find exactly the
  same kind again,‖ replied Farmer Jones (R. Kent
  Hughes, Acts: The Church Afire [Wheaton, IL:
  Crossway Books, 1996], 98-99).
  A. The Word Must
     Take Priority (A)
I. Spiritual Growth
Many pastors and church leaders must deal with
petty issues that hinder them from accomplishing
God‘s highest purposes in ministry. They may have
to miss a prayer meeting in order to repair the
plumbing or the bus. Bible study and preparation
for teaching can give way to menial tasks that daily
confront them. Such necessary tasks can become
distractions that potentially inhibit the church‘s
    Spiritual Growthand the preaching
I.Uppermost in the minds of the apostles was the
  necessity of maintaining prayer
 of the Word of God. They were convinced that their
 primary calling was to proclaim the Word of God
 and lead in the spiritual matters of the church.
 Sometimes a person demonstrates false modesty
 when he states, ―If Jesus washed the disciples feet,
 then I can clean the bathrooms.‖
            is not one‘s willingness or
I.The issueseeminglyGrowth but resistance to
    Spiritual menial tasks, (A) letting such
  perform                               his
 tasks cause him to neglect what God has called him
 to do. As one person said, ―When I do your job, I
 am not doing my job, and we both are denied a
    Spiritual Growth physical seek of
      apostles delegated the daily (A)
I.Thechurch to others. ―Therefore, brethren,needsout
 from among you seven men of good reputation, full
 of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may
 appoint over this business‖ (Acts 6:3, NKJV). The
 apostles did not regard this work as beneath their
 dignity, but it was outside their primary calling.
  B. The Gospel Moves
     in a Physical Realm
I. Spiritual Growth (B)
 William Booth, founder of The Salvation Army,
 was interviewed near the close of his life. He stated
 to the interviewer: ―God had all there was of me.
 There have been others who had greater plans,
 greater opportunities than I; but from the day I got a
 vision of what God could do, I made up my mind
 God would have all there was of William Booth.‖
I. Spiritual Growth (B)
When the New Testament speaks of ministering to
the saints, it does not mean just preaching to them;
it rather involves the devoting of time, effort, and
substance to provide all the practical help possible.
As our supreme example, Jesus taught that the
purpose of leadership and ministry is to serve.
        Matthew 20:26-28
  “But it shall not be so among you:
 but whosoever will be great among
  you, let him be your minister; and
 whosoever will be chief among you,
 let him be your servant: even as the
Son of man came not to be ministered
 unto, but to minister, and to give his
       life a ransom for many”
         (Matthew 20:26-28).
   Spiritual comes from the same
I.The word minister Growth (B) Greek
 word from which we get our title deacon, and it
 means ―an attendant, a waiter, a servant.‖
 Therefore, ministry is using what God has given us
 to serve Him and others.

 In his book The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren
 used the word shape as an acronym for
Rick Warren SHAPE
     The Physical Realm
II. The Physical Realm
     Must Be Delegated
      to Godly Men and
 It is interesting that Jesus, who could do all things,
 realized the limitations of His humanity. His
 leadership and ministry on this earth began with
 the choosing and equipping of twelve men, who in
 just three and one-half years would assume the
 leadership of the church.
 Church growth advocate Tim Massengale wrote:
II. The Physical Realm
 ―In his book A Quest for Vitality in Religion, F. B.
 Edge draws a marked distinction between ‗the
 work of the Church‘ and ‗church work.‘ Church
 work is the every day routine of necessary, but
 often superficial, tasks. After all, someone must
 have the church van inspected, copy off the Sunday
 bulletin, and take Sunday‘s offering deposit to the
 bank. . . . On the other hand, ‗The work of the
 Church‘ is to do the tasks that Jesus would be
 doing if He was pastoring in your place‖ (Tim
 Massengale, Total Church Growth, Vol. 1, 1-1).
 What would Jesus do if He lived in our
II. The Physical Realm
 community? Perhaps a good answer appears in
 Matthew‘s Gospel: ―And Jesus went about all the
 cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues,
 and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and
 healing every sickness and every disease among
 the people‖ (Matthew 9:35).
 ―Did you ever go to the bank and find the president
II. The Physical Realm
 typing the interoffice bulletin for printing? It‘s not
 that he‘s too good to prepare the bulletin or feels
 that it‘s beneath him. Rather, he‘s simply too busy;
 he has more important things to do. His time is
 valuable. True, the bulletin needs to be typed, but
 let others do it. Let the pastor give himself to study,
 to prayer, and to winning the lost. Delegation is not
 so a pastor can sit back and do nothing; it is so he
 can do the things only he can do!‖ (Total Church
 Growth, Vol. 1, 1-1–1-2).
   A. Moses Delegated to Leaders
II. The Physical Realm (A)
   According to L. A. Allen, ―Delegation is entrusting
   responsibility and authority and establishing lines
   of accountability‖ (quoted in Total Church Growth,
   Vol. 1, 1-2). The Book of Exodus reveals the
   enormous load that Moses carried as he led the
   Israelites through the wilderness. (See Exodus
   Up to this point, the people of Israel had
II. The Physical Realm (A)
   experienced deliverance from Egypt and the
   bondage of Pharaoh. God had taken them through
   the Red Sea on dry ground, fed them manna from
   heaven, and enabled them to be victorious over the
   Amalekites. Now, they were camped next to Mount
   Sinai. After all these accomplishments, Moses‘
   leadership was stymied by his determination to
   handle all the work himself. He was settling
   disputes and counseling people from morning to
   evening until his father-in-law, Jethro, pulled him
   aside and advised him to delegate the workload.
   It is interesting that after he delegated various
II. The Physical Realm (A)
   responsibilities to others, Moses had a great
   encounter with God and received the Ten
   Commandments. What Moses had been doing was
   both important and urgent, but someone else could
   better accomplish these tasks so Moses could seek
   B. Qualifications for Leaders
II. The Physical Realm (B)
   Leaders should not only be called of God but also
   meet certain qualifications in order for the Lord to
   use them effectively. The greater the position of
   trust and influence, the more stringent the
   qualifications should be.
II. The Physical Realm (B)
   ―The universal church has the authority to
   recognize God‘s calling upon a person, to ascertain
   his qualifications, to send him forth into the
   ministry, to evaluate his subsequent teachings and
   actions, to ask for a report of his activities, to
   recommend a course of action, and to establish
   standards for continual fellowship. (See Acts 13:2-
   3; 21:17-26; I Timothy 1:19-20; 3:1-7; III John 9-
   12.)‖ (J. T. Pugh, The Forward, January, 1993.)
II. The Physical Realm (B)
   Apostolic leaders receive divine authority only as
   they submit themselves to authority. One reason for
   the outstanding characteristics of Christ‘s ministry
   was that the people listened to Him and recognized
   that He spoke with authority (Matthew 7:29). How
   was Jesus able to do this? The centurion revealed
   the key: he understood that a person who is under
   authority could exercise authority (Matthew 8:8-9).
II. The Physical Realm (B)
   The Book of Acts clearly defines qualifications for
   leaders in the church:

   1. Have an Honest Report. For God to use us, it is
   essential that we be honest and trustworthy.
   Certainly, a person in leadership should be credible
   so that people find it easy to follow him. One who
   aspires to a leadership position need not think he
   can fill that role without the trust of others.
   When Fred Phillips, retired public-safety director
II. The Physical Realm (B)
   and police chief of Johnson City, Tennessee, was a
   regular police officer, he and his partner pulled
   over an unlicensed motorist. They asked the man to
   follow them to the police station. While en route,
   they spotted a North Carolina vehicle whose
   license plate and driver matched the description in
   an all-points bulletin. The officers took off in a
   high-speed chase, and finally stopped the wanted
   man‘s car. Minutes later, as the felon was being
   arrested, the unlicensed motorist drove up. ―If y‘all
   will just tell me how to get to the station, I‘ll wait
   for you there,‖ he said. ―I‘m having a time trying to
   keep up with you.‖
   2. Be Full of the Holy Ghost. One of the first
II. The Physical Realm (B)
   characteristics the disciples were to look for in
   leaders was that they be full of the Holy Ghost.
   Certainly, that is important since the Holy Spirit
   would provide unity among the leaders. Writing to
   young pastor Timothy, Paul provided him with
   some other practical qualities that should be in a
   church leader.
   ―Likewise must the deacons be grave, not
II. The Physical Realm (B)
   doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy
   of filthy lucre; holding the mystery of the faith in a
   pure conscience. And let these also first be proved;
   then let them use the office of a deacon, being
   found blameless. Even so must their wives be
   grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
   Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling
   their children and their own houses well‖ (I
   Timothy 3:8-12).
   3. Be Full of Wisdom. Wisdom is necessary to
II. The Physical Realm (B)
   minister in the kingdom of God. Ministry requires
   the knowledge that comes from faithfulness to the
   house of God and from the study of His Word.
   Pastor F. Joe Ellis noted: ―It is estimated that a
   person who has gone to church faithfully, from
   ages eighteen to forty, has been exposed to
   approximately 4,000 hours of preaching and
II. The Physical Realm (B)
   The same person could have received a bachelor‘s
   degree in college with approximately 1,800 hours
   in the classroom. For a master‘s degree, it would
   be 3,150 hours. But for 4,000 hours of training, he
   could receive a doctorate‖ (The Forward, April
   1992). What wisdom we find in the Word of God!
II. The Physical Realm (B)
   According to Solomon, the fear of God is the
   beginning of wisdom, defined as ―the ability to
   discern what is true or right.‖ The English word
   has both moral implications, discerning what is
   right, and intellectual implications, discerning what
   is true.
     Ministry in the Physical
III. Ministry in the Physical
       Realm Is Necessary
  Jesus clearly stated that ministry of spiritual things
  was closely related to the ministering of physical
  needs within the community. (See Matthew 25:41-
  45.) When we use the word love in association with
  God, we also find an accompanying action. We
  should consider the words of John 3:16 in light of
  this principle: ―For God so loved the world, that he
  gave his only begotten Son‖ (John 3:16, italics
  added for emphasis).
     Ministry in the Physical
III.God‘s love is demonstrative. He does not merely
     say, ―I love you,‖ but He proves it with His actions.
     The love of God is living and active, tangible and
     easily recognized. When God pours out His love,
     action always accompanies it.
     Ministry us the Physical
III.God‘s love within incalls us to loving service. Jesus
     equates our acts of kindness on behalf of those in
     need around us as acts of kindness given to Him:
     ―Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to
     one of the least of these, ye did it not to me‖
     (Matthew 25:45).
     Ministry in the W. Tozer made
III.Renowned Christian author A.Physical this
    observation: ―Before the judgment seat of Christ my
    service will be judged not by how much I have done
    but by how much I could have done! In God‘s sight,
    my giving is measured not by how much I have
    given but how much I have left after I made my gift
    . . . not by its size is my gift judged, but by how
    much of me there is in it. No man gives at all until
    he has given all! No man gives anything acceptable
    to God until he has first given himself in love and
    sacrifice‖ (A. W. Tozer, Renewed).
     Ministry in the Physical
III.Jesus used the images of sheep and goats to describe
     two different groups of people based on how well
     they served those who were in need around them.
     He said that the sheep were those who saw the
     needy and responded to their needs with acts of
     loving service. On the other hand, the goats were
     those who saw the same needs but failed to act to
     alleviate the suffering they witnessed. As a result of
     their decisions, each was given what was due—to
     the sheep was given great reward; to the goats a
     harsh judgment.
     Ministry in the Physical
III.As a man was coming out of the church service, the
     preacher was standing at the door as he always did
     to shake hands. Grabbing the man by the hand and
     pulling him aside, the pastor said, ―You need to join
     the army of the Lord!‖ The guy replied, ―What do
     you mean? I‘m saved! I‘m already in the army of the
     Lord, Pastor.‖ The pastor questioned, ―How come I
     don‘t see you except at Easter, Mother‘s Day, and
     Christmas?‖ He whispered back, ―I‘m in the secret
      A. Visiting Prisoners
III. Ministry in the Physical
     Spending time behind the walls and fences of
      correctional facilities are millions of men and
      women whom society has locked away because of
      their crimes. Each one of them has a soul for whom
      Jesus died when He went to the cross. In Jesus‘
      first sermon, He specifically cited those in prison
      as some of those whom He had come to save (Luke
III. Ministry in the Physical
     The mission of the church is not to secure their
      release from the physical prison of stone and
      barbed wire, but to deliver them from their spiritual
      prison of sin, guilt, and desperation. Without Jesus
      Christ, the prisoner has no hope. While the prisoner
      cannot reverse his crime, God will forgive it when
      he obeys the gospel message.
      B. Visiting the Sick
III. Ministry in the Physical
    Throughout America, many of the hospitals and
     healthcare systems bear the names of religious
     groups. Although various large corporations may
     now own them, these names reflect a time when
     churches took quite literally Jesus‘ commandment
     to care for the sick and the dying.
III. Ministry in the Physical
    The Old Testament prophet asked the rhetorical
     question, ―Is there no balm in Gilead . . . ?‖
     (Jeremiah 8:22). God intended the church to be a
     place of healing and recovery. Jesus‘ death included
     provision for physical, emotional, and spiritual
     healing. The prophet Isaiah declared, ―But he was
     wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for
     our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was
     upon him; and with his stripes we are healed‖
     (Isaiah 53:5).
     C. Caring for the Widows
III. Ministry in the Physical
        and Fatherless
   The role of both a husband and a father is to protect
   and provide for his family. When he deprives his
   family of that support, God has mandated that the
   church care for them. In modern society where
   government plays such a large role in providing a
   social safety net, the church may feel that it no
   longer has a part to play. However, the needs of
   widows and children with single or no parents go far
   beyond medical care, food, and shelter. Indeed, the
   church should reach out to assure that those who are
   most vulnerable in our communities are never left
   out or forgotten.
     D. Giving to the Needs
        of the in the
III. Ministry Poor Physical
   Someone taunted a young boy in the ghetto by
   saying, ―If God loves you, why doesn‘t He take
   care of you? Why doesn‘t God tell someone to
   bring you shoes and a warm coat and better food?‖
   The young boy thought for a moment and then,
   with tears starting in his eyes, said, ―I guess He
   does tell somebody, but somebody forgets.‖
III. Ministry in the Physical
   God places many people along our paths to help,
   and He has chosen us to be the answer to alleviate
   much of the suffering around us. God will call us to
   account for those opportunities—offering us
   blessing or judgment based on how we respond.
   Certainly, God will judge us based on our loving
       E. Being Hospitable
III. Ministry in the Physical
                  (E) and hotels, but it still plays
     Hospitality has almost become a lost art in our day
     of fast food restaurants
      an important part in ministry. When a new family
      visits the church, the ministry of hospitality should
      motivate believers to invite them either to a church
      member‘s home or to a local restaurant for a meal.
      Moreover, the ministry of hospitality should cause
      us to reach to someone who is ill or bedridden, or
      to a family who has recently lost a loved one.
      Certainly, these acts of caring speak more loudly
      than words.
     F. Serving through the
        Ministry the Physical
III. Ministry in of Helps
   God does not call everyone to preach or to sing, but
   many other opportunities are available for one to
   give of himself through the ministry of helps.
   Cooking meals, maintaining the church facilities,
   driving a Sunday school bus, or printing a
   newsletter are examples of ways in which someone
   may minister to the needs in the church.
     G. Sharing Craftsmanship
III. Ministry in the Physical
   Just as God may give a musician great talents to use
   for Him, He may also entrust someone else with
   other talents. Sewing, woodworking, construction,
   artwork, and computer skills are just a few of the
   many talents of craftsmanship that a person could
   dedicate to the purpose of God‘s kingdom. (See
   Exodus 31:3.)
The work of the church could never be a one-man
show. It takes the efforts of many people with
various talents working together to affect their
world with the gospel. Moreover, every Christian
has a ministry and a calling to use his abilities and
talents for the glory of God. When a church utilizes
these various ministries, the work of God reaches
its fullest potential.
Those who serve in the church should be spiritual,
wise, and willing to minister to others. When they
serve others, they also are serving Jesus Christ.

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