• Matt Beaney

#135 – TOGETHER WITH… DEACONS (26/6/20)

If you missed Sunday's broadcast, please catch up by following the link below. (For the foreseeable future, we be running our Sunday morning services digitally. Please go to our website on Sundays at 10:30 to join in)



‘Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus. To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons’ (Philippians 1:1)

Deacon, derived from ‘Diakonos’, means servant - someone who serves others. Deacons are those who serve in practical ways. Particularly, they are those who lead teams: Community Group leaders, overseers of women’s ministry, leaders of youth, student work, social action… These people do not form the doctrine - what a church believes - but they are boots on the ground.


In Acts 6, we have a model of what Deacons can do. In response to a practical problem of feeding the poor in the church community.

“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.” (Matthew 6:3-5)

And the amazing result of solving this practical problem was that,

‘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.’ (Matthew 6:7)


RESPONSE

We are all called to be ‘together with’ - united with and serving our local church community. However, some are gifted to be ‘deacons’. If God has gifted you with particular skills, pray about how you might use them to serve your church family.


If you are a deacon - a ministry leader - it’s easy to become tired and discouraged. Oftentimes, people do not appreciate your sacrifice. The antidote to this is to allow Jesus to encourage your heart. You are doing this for Him.


How can we all encourage our deacons? A good start might be to take a moment to think about who is serving you in your local church. Spend time praying and thanking God For for them.


COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY – A LIFE WORTH LIVING IS...'TOGETHER WITH'.


Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.


Quiz Night



We are planning to hold an online quiz night on Tuesday 7th July starting at 8pm.

This therefore means that Community Groups won't be meeting for that week.

More details to follow!





Suggested opener/Ice-breaker

Please share from your experience, what has been the greatest lesson you've learned about the importance of working in a team?


Introduction - please share in your group

‘Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus. To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons’ (Philippians 1:1)

Sunday's message was entitled 'together with'. A key theme of Philippians is pursuing unity. There was relational tensions that were threatening the health of the church. The phrase 'all of you' occurs 5 times in the first 11 verses. The author Lightfoot writes, 'there is a “studied repetition” of “all” in the letter '.

The church is like a good meal - it has different ingredients that, in unity, create something that is beautiful.

There are four relationships that we are 'together with':

1. Together with...Apostles - This means that we seek to live under the teaching of the Apostles in the New Testament.

2. Together with... one another – Our unity is based on being 'God's holy people in Christ Jesus'. We were equally sinful, equally needing forgiveness and grace.

3. Together with... overseers - Overseer is a term interchangeable with elders. These are the spiritual leadership team in a local church.

4. Together with... deacons - Deacon, means 'to serve'. These are ministry team leaders. A Community Group leader is a good example of a deacon.


In what ways can we seek to improve our 'together with' relationships in each of these four relationships?


Finally, read Paul's encouragement to us,

‘Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel.’ (Philippians 1:27).


Discuss/share/pray in smaller groups:

1. What is the Holy Spirit speaking to you about (maybe from Sunday's message or your bible reading this week)?

2. What will you do in response?

3. How can we pray for you?

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