how does your garden grow?
"The word of God continued to spread, while at the same time the number of the disciples in Jerusalem enormously increased." —Acts 6:7
The early Church needed more workers for the harvest (Mt 9:37). The believers were feeding hundreds of people in their community meal and a whole group was overlooked (Acts 6:1). More workers were needed. They brought this to the attention of the community, which selected "seven men acknowledged to be deeply spiritual and prudent" (Acts 6:3).
Can your church community do the same? Can you raise up seven deeply spiritual men for full-time service? Most church communities have a small minority of men, many of whom are not mature enough to exercise much leadership. They would be hard-pressed to raise up one or two strong men for full-time service. How did the early Church get all these spiritually mature men?
Through community life, the growth rate of men was greatly accelerated. In true Christian community, we can grow more in one year than in twenty years of isolated, individualized "Christianity." Community life is the atmosphere conducive to growth and maturity in Christ. Growing anything is not only a matter of working but of climate. Community is the climate in which a Christian can grow.
Prayer: Father, I repent of destroying the fabric of Christianity by living as an individual rather than as part of a family.
Promise: "They were frightened, but He told them, 'It is I; do not be afraid.' They wanted to take Him into the boat, but suddenly it came aground on the shore." —Jn 6:19-21
Praise: By God's grace, Timothy and Daniel reconciled at a family reunion after many years of not speaking to each other.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape on Christian Community on audio AV 76-1 and AV 76-3 or video V-76.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 21, 2014
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