The Centrality of the Word and the Health of the Church
Preacher: Jeremiah Fyffe
1. A healthy church maintains the word and prayer at the center of its ministry.
2. A healthy church ministers in both word and deed.
3. A healthy church appoints ministry leaders for the right reasons.
4. A healthy church equips and empowers the saints for the work of ministry.
5. A healthy church displays the power of the gospel through unity in diversity.
6. A healthy church embraces change when needed.
Most importantly, however, the present context suggests that, if decisive action had not been taken to deal with the social issue disturbing the church, ‘growth’ of the word may not have continued.
I think success [in ministry] is … seeing the Word of God taken by the Spirit of God in the lives of the people of God and just changing them, making them more like Christ, and [non-believers] being attracted by the kind of corporate life [of the church] and seeing the Gospel as the only explanation for what is going on and them responding in repentance and faith.
1 Corinthians 13:1
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
What wisdom the disciples had on this day to maintain the centrality of the ministry of the word, while also maintaining the integrity of that ministry by seeing to its necessary implications.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.
… the church which is the creature of the word grew.
Community Group Questions
The first mark of a healthy church Jeremiah mentioned Sunday was, “A healthy church maintains the word and prayer at the center of its ministry.” What are some ways you have see this as a strength in our Celebration Services, Community Groups and daily lives? How can we improve?
Read James 1:22-27. What is the relationship between the ministering in word and deed? How does placing the word of God at the center of our devotion help us to address any other concerns or priorities that may arise?
While the elders are not apostles, we are entrusted with the apostles’ teaching. How can we better equip and send leaders to serve the church in a variety of areas so that the word and prayer can remain our central concern of the elders?