Lesson 10: August 6, 2017
Called to Witness: Acts 6:1-8
Teaching Strategy: Ask participants to brainstorm a list of crises and necessities of our society. Discuss how these issues can be opportunities for the church to evangelize and to serve those in need.
In this story of discord in the early church, we are told that there were complaints because some widows were left out of the food distribution. The disciples responded by dividing responsibilities: some (“the seven”) were chosen to serve those in need (similar to deacons in many traditions today) and others were appointed to serve the Word of God as witnesses. This “allocation of resources” was based upon the tasks that needed to be done, individuals’ spiritual gifts for such tasks, and the ongoing prayers of the community.
Invite participants to prayerfully consider: What are the most urgent tasks that the church needs to be doing today? Who are the people who are “left out” – whose needs the church is called to meet? What is the Word of God that needs to be spoken today? To whom? What are the spiritual gifts available within the church community to serve those in need and to bear witness to the Word of God? How can the community use its gifts to fulfill both of these roles most effectively?
- Service to people who are homeless? Why a Christian Approach to Fighting Homelessness Pays Off
- Service to people who are hungry? How a St. Charles Church’s Free Dinner Inspired Others
- Service to undocumented immigrant youth? Church World Service Applauds Introduction of the Dream Act
- Witness to people who are “unchurched” or “dechurched”? Church Attendance Trends Around The Country
- Witness for justice for people who are imprisoned? Commentary: Our State of Mass Incarceration
- Witness for racial equality? Significant Racial and Ethnic Disparities Still Exist, According to Stanford Report; White Economic Privilege is Alive and Well