Together (Week 3)
But as the believers rapidly multiplied, there were rumblings of discontent. The Greek-speaking believers complained about the Hebrew-speaking believers, saying that their widows were being discriminated against in the daily distribution of food.
So the Twelve called a meeting of all the believers. They said, “We apostles should spend our time teaching the word of God, not running a food program. And so, brothers, select seven men who are well respected and are full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will give them this responsibility. Then we apostles can spend our time in prayer and teaching the word.”
Everyone liked this idea, and they chose the following: Stephen (a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit), Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas of Antioch (an earlier convert to the Jewish faith). These seven were presented to the apostles, who prayed for them as they laid their hands on them.
So God’s message continued to spread. The number of believers greatly increased in Jerusalem, and many of the Jewish priests were converted, too (Acts 6:1-7 NLT).
Not finding them there, they dragged out Jason and some of the other believers instead and took them before the city council. “Paul and Silas have caused trouble all over the world,” they shouted, “and now they are here disturbing our city, too” (Acts 17:6 NLT).
Let me start with a very important question: Who loves to pull off a great prank?
The more people you have, the more likely you are to make a bigger impact! There’s another idea that I want us to focus on: Together, we have a bigger impact.
Impact is what happens when two forces collide. We want to impact your high school, the people you care about, your community, and your world.
When we show up at church or student ministry, we show up to be impacted ourselves, not to impact others. We start seeing church as a place where we get, not a place where we give.
The problem is, when you think of church that way, you’ll almost always be disappointed. Maybe you think, “We’re just a tiny tribe of people who show up to youth group. How in the world could we be something that impacts the world around us?”
I want you to know that that’s how the entire Christian movement started.
For the past few weeks, we’ve been talking about howthat group of people in a small room actually started the movement we’re a part of today.
The book of Acts begins after Jesus has been executed and put in a tomb. His disciples and followers were hiding out, afraid for their lives. It felt like game-over. And then they encountered a resurrected, not-dead-anymore Jesus. He left behind a bunch of ordinary people who had the Spirit of God working through them.
When you go through the book of Acts, you don’t just see famous people like Peter and Paul. You see a bunch of non-famous, regular people who came together to have a bigger impact.
It was a whole group of non-famous, not heroic, normal Jesus-followers working together. And it was also some women.
The group of Jesus-followers began to work together to send out missionaries who told people about Jesus in cities further away. If you decided to show up at student ministry to make animpact (not just be impacted), what would you do?
I want you to decide one thing you can do together as a small group that could make an impact. God has called us to work together in His name to share His message of hope and help with the people around us who need Him.