By Karen Polich
When transformational teaching and humble servanthood collide, fusing together in tandem, the magnetic overflow is compassion.
Pastor Michael Cook continued his Compassionate Community sermon series, teaching from Acts with a look into the early church. Listen to the podcast here. We find believers about fifty days post Jesus’ death.
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Acts 2:42
Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts. Acts 2:46
Why was it important that they heard God’s teachings daily? We have the gift of digging into our bibles, but they learned straight from the disciples who had lived with Jesus for the previous 3 years. New Testament text was yet to be written. The Jesus way was being taught daily by the disciples.
Along with daily teaching, they were living lives of humble servanthood. (Read “Why” Compassion) Transitional teaching and humble servanthood result in compassion. It is the fruit of a life focused on Jesus’ commands.
Solid biblical teaching and people helping people…
Things were going well and the church was growing. Then complaining and divisiveness started. (Why can’t we all just get along?)
Acts 6:1-7 tells us, In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.” This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.
Pastor Michael Cook broke it down into four parts that demonstrate transitional teaching and humble servanthood in tandem.
- The Crisis. Everything was going well and as it does, the whitewater moments hit.
- The Proposal. The Disciples knew they couldn’t do it all. They remained focused on teaching and chose seven men to oversee the needs related to the conflict. Neither teaching nor servanthood should be neglected. It takes many (THE BODY…)
- The Response. Everyone was pleased with the proposal. (FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT). The chosen men were full of the Spirit and full of wisdom.
- The Result. The Word continued to spread and the number of disciples grew. Compassion that stems from transitional teaching and humble servanthood moves lives in a mighty way.
Soaked in the Word over and over, God whispers into our hearts and lives are changed. More than a “church” experience, it becomes a way of living, a result of transformation teaching. Add to this a servant’s heart and compassion flows.
Who are you looking out for?