Acts Challenge Day 6
Read Acts 6 then answer the questions at the end.
Seven Chosen to Serve
6 Now during those days, when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution of food. 2 And the twelve called together the whole community of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should neglect the word of God in order to wait on tables.[a] 3 Therefore, friends,[b] select from among yourselves seven men of good standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this task, 4 while we, for our part, will devote ourselves to prayer and to serving the word.” 5 What they said pleased the whole community, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, together with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. 6 They had these men stand before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.
7 The word of God continued to spread; the number of the disciples increased greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.
The Arrest of Stephen
8 Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and signs among the people. 9 Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and others of those from Cilicia and Asia, stood up and argued with Stephen. 10 But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit[c] with which he spoke. 11 Then they secretly instigated some men to say, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.” 12 They stirred up the people as well as the elders and the scribes; then they suddenly confronted him, seized him, and brought him before the council. 13 They set up false witnesses who said, “This man never stops saying things against this holy place and the law; 14 for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth[d] will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses handed on to us.” 15 And all who sat in the council looked intently at him, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.
Questions to Consider:
1) The first deacons. The apostles are accused of racism in favoring the Hebrew widows over the non-Hebrew widows in distribution of food. The twelve considered it an administrative problem not a discriminatin problem and named deacons to serve the church. Today at St. Croix we elect a new deacon. What do you think a deacon should do?
2) The disciples devoted themselves to prayer and serving the word. These are duties we have given to elders in the church. Today at St. Croix we elect two new elders. What do you think an elder should do?
3) The church increased greatly after this reorganization and Luke, the writer of Acts, says many of the priests became obedient to the faith. What do you think is the connection between good church order and good church growth?