Virtual Kollage: The selection of the seven Deacons in the early church

Posted by / Thursday, 25 February 2016 / No comments

The selection of the seven Deacons in the early church

THE SELECTION OF THE SEVEN DEACONS IN THE EARLY CHURCH
The early church included Jews born and bred in Palestine. It also included those Jews born and bred in other nations such as Greece. Possibly there were non-Jewish members too.

The Apostles engaged in evangelism and the number of the believers increased considerably. They lived a communal life involving the distribution of needed items among the members. 

At a point, the Greek members of the church complained that those who served the tables were discriminating against their widows in the distribution of the items.

When this matter got into the ears of the Apostles, they called the members together and told them it was not proper that they leave the work of preaching the gospel to serve tables. So the people should select from among themselves seven people to serve the tables. The people to be chosen must be men of repute, and be full of the spirit and wisdom. 

In the end, seven men of repute were chosen. They included Stephen, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolaus. The seven were presented to the Apostles who prayed and laid their hands on them.

The main duty of the seven deacons was to serve tables.

SOCIAL PROBLEMS FACING THE CHURCH TODAY. 
1. Lack of unity among the leadership of the present day churches.
2. There is the problem of polygamy in the church.
3. The proliferation of churches and doctrines is causing confusion among churches.
4. The love for material gain, some steal the church’s money.
5. The local traditional of the people is interfering with Christian practices.  

LESSONS CAN CHRISTIANS LEARN FROM THE APPOINTMENT OF THE SEVEN DEACONS
1. In the interest of love and unity, there is the need for communal life among Christians.
2. Christians must not blackmail each other; they must take their complaints to the people of God.
3. There must be a standard in churches for appointing people to positions of trust.
4. Christians must be ready to serve in any capacity.
5. Christians should inculcate the spirit of division of labour in the church.
6. Christians must avoid taking the misunderstandings to the courts for settlement.
7. Christians must not covet positions of responsibility.

SAMPLE QUESTIONS
1. What social problem brought about the appointment of the deacons in the early church?
b. Mention five social problems facing the church today.  
2. a. What events led to the appointment of the seven deacons in the early church?
   b. What three lessons can Christians learn from this episode?

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