Sunday Morning 2-5-2012

Posted by Sherry


PASTORAL CARE
Acts 6:1-7
CBC 2/5/12
INTRO:
  • I’m mad at a few people in my life:
    • Police - they haven’t called me & checked on me in the 7 yrs I’ve lived here
    • Doctor - hasn’t called me once to see how I was feeling
    • Pharmacist - hasn’t checked to see if I need any medicine refilled
    • Mechanic - hasn’t come by to see if my vehicle is running ok
    • Firemen - haven’t driven over to see if they can assist me
    • Grocery Clerk - hasn’t checked to see if I need any food
    • Hair Dressers - not one of 6 has called me to see if I need a hair cut
    • Financial Advisor - hasn’t called me to tell me how to invest my money
    • Tax Preparer - hasn’t been by to get all my receipts & to my taxes yet
** NEITHER ARE THEY SUPPOSED TOO! (I’m really not mad at them)
  • We have raised a couple of generations through small church ministries to believe the preacher is supposed to be all, fix all, check on all, be at all, & know all
  • that’s not biblical
 1NOW ABOUT this time, when the number of the disciples was greatly increasing, complaint was made by the Hellenists (the Greek-speaking Jews) against the [native] Hebrews because their widows were being overlooked and neglected in the daily ministration (distribution of relief).
    2So the Twelve [apostles] convened the multitude of the disciples and said, It is not seemly or desirable or right that we should have to give up or neglect [preaching] the Word of God in order to attend to serving at tables and superintending the distribution of food.
    3Therefore select out from among yourselves, brethren, seven men of good and attested character and repute, full of the [Holy] Spirit and wisdom, whom we may assign to look after this business and duty.
    4But we will continue to devote ourselves steadfastly to prayer and the ministry of the Word.
    5And the suggestion pleased the whole assembly, and they selected Stephen, a man full of faith (a strong and welcome belief that Jesus is the Messiah) and full of and controlled by the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte (convert) from Antioch.
    6These they presented to the apostles, who after prayer laid their hands on them.
    7And the message of God kept on spreading, and the number of disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem;
CBC has entered a ministry phase where “Pastoral Ministry & Care” must be defined.
  • v1 According to this scripture every growing Church reaches this same point
    • membership increasing
    • complaints increase
    • people’s needs being overlooked & neglected
    • this never becomes a problem if the church doesn’t grow in number beyond what the pastor can visit & meet the needs, but when it does, an adjustment must be made.
      • typically we add staff members, Youth pastor, Worship pastor, ...
  • problem arises when membership mentality doesn’t make the adjustment that someone other than the Sr. Pastor may come to meet their need.
    • that is “unbiblical” thinking according to this text
  • v2 The 12 preachers got together & made this statement & included it in the inspired Word of God
    • It’s not right for preachers to give up or neglect the preaching of the Word of God in order to attend to the physical needs of the members
  • v3 SOLUTION: select out from among yourselves, brethren of good & attested character & repute, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may assign to look after this business and duty
    • we call them deacons
    • a list of deacons & their wives along with their contact information can be obtained from the church office.
    • when a member has a need the biblical thing to do is to contact a deacon or wife if a female member is not comfortable contacting the deacon herself and let them know they have a need.
    • the unbiblical thing to do is for a member to have a need, expect the pastors to know supernaturally there is a need and respond to it personally and immediately, and get their feelings hurt when the pastor’s don’t.
  • v4 The biblical job description for the pastors is this, “continue to devote ourselves steadfastly to prayer and the ministry of the Word.”
    • Sr. Pastor pray and study so as to deliver God’s Word to the congregation
    • Youth Pastor to pray and study so as to deliver God’s Word to the youth
    • Worship Pastor to pray and study so as to deliver God’s Word to the congregation and community in song
    • let’s define “ministry of the Word”
    • 1st priority is get those messages & lessons ready for Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday
    • Be on “patrol” to minister the Word to the needy
      • @ hospital
      • @ recovery group
      • @ college campus
      • @ police station
      • @ sports events
      • @ any place people frequent
    • problem w/ patrolling - when the pastors & deacons are one place there are 359 other places he’s not
    • solution to the “patrol” limitation - DISPATCH
    • a call is placed to the person on patrol giving them the location and the need
    • then the pastor/deacon knows exactly where to be & what is needed there
    • almost too simple
    • complication1: Member has this attitude, “I’m just not one to call...”
      • but they sure don’t mind getting their feelings hurt when no one shows up to help or meet their need
      • they don’t mind running the pastors/deacons down b/c they didn’t show up in a time of need
      • they don’t mind expecting help from their church leaders
      • let’s apply that same philosophy to the police...burglar breaking in your house in middle of the night/sit there and “expect” the police to come, they never do/ you get robbed & hurt because, “I’m not one to call”....DUH!
    • complication 2: Member calls pastor on his “holy day - sabbath” 
    • Exodus 20:8 [Earnestly] remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy (withdrawn from common employment and dedicated to God).
    • Gen 2:2 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.
    • What if you call your family Doctor b/c you’re sick & it’s his day off...you get to see another Doctor...
    • Sr. Pastor strives to take one day out of each seven OFF, usually Saturday.  WHY? It’s one of the 10 Commandments! If I don’t answer my phone, call another of our pastors or a deacon.
    • you have 3 pastors and 24 active deacons (you don’t have that many doctors)
  • v5 & 6 Men were selected and assumed the duty of taking care of the needs of the membership
    • “hands were laid on them” Ordained
      • they have the authority to pray, teach, visit, meet needs with the authority of the Sr. Pastor (who laid hands on them) & the church who authorized their ordination
      • Deacons have been authorized to work in the stead of the Pastor
      • no legitimate complaint if a deacon meets your need instead of the Sr. Pastor
    • NOTE: these guys and their wives cannot read minds either.
    • If you have a need, it is your duty to call one of them
  • v 7 RESULT
    • And the message of God kept on spreading, and the number of disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem;
CONCL/INV:
  • take out your cell phone or a #2 pencil & paper
  • Sr. Pastor’s #240-389-3599, email: pastorperryjohnson@gmail.com
  • when you need me...call or text me
  • simply say: need you @ location (don’t even have to tell me why)
  • after my sermon preparations for the weeks preaching are done, it’s my nature to help people, my biggest problem is I can’t be 2 places at once & 461 were here Christmas, plus the people in our community I minister the Word to. If at all possible I will come when you call me. 
  • 2 exceptions: Sabbath & haven’t finished studying for weeks sermons & lessons
  • Now, by most exit doors there is a list of Pastors & Deacons with email, home & cell phone #’s.  Write them down, take a picture w/ your phone, & call somebody when you have a need! NO EXCUSES!

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