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Acts 6:1-7

  • What experiences have you had in working in a team to serve others? (Maybe you've volunteered for a charity, been on a short term mission team, or similar)

    • Did you learn or grow through that experience? If so, in what ways?

Read Acts 6:1-7

  • What made the 'Hellenists' complain against the 'Hebrews'? [1]

  • The Greek word for 'complaint' here is gongusmos, meaning grumbling or murmuring. It also appears in Philippians 2:14 and 1 Peter 4:9, where grumbling is considered negative behaviour. Do you think it was appropriate for the Hellenists to complain in this situation? Why/why not?

  • How did the Church (here called "all the disciples") deal with the complaint?

  • In this passage, we see two types of ministry: 'the ministry of the word' and 'the ministry of caring for widows' [2]. What expressions of these two ministries do we have at NVBC? What other ministries can you think of?

  • What do you notice is required for the ministry of caring for widows? (see vv3, 5 and 6)

  • The outworking of this ministry beyond the existing church is seen in verse 7. How do you imagine this worked out in practice? How did the church looking after all of their widows (regardless of their culture or ethnicity) help the Gospel to spread rapidly?

  • Brainstorm: what ministry opportunities are there for your group to participate in together? (Think especially of ministries that go beyond serving the people of NVBC)

  • Make a plan do serve together in some way in the coming month.

Spend some time praying for one another in the ministries you already serve in. Pray that God would give you what you need to serve Him in these things. And pray that God would show us new ways to minister for Him.

[1] According to John Stott:

The complaint concerned the welfare of the widows, whose cause God had promised in the Old Testament to defend (e.g. Exodus 22:22ff; Deuteronomy 10:18). Assuming that they were unable to earn their own living and had no relatives to support them, the church had accepted the responsibility, and a daily distribution of food was made to them. But there were two groups in the Jerusalem church, one called Hellēnistai and the other Hebraioi, and the former complained against the latter because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. It is not suggested that the oversight was deliberate; more probably the cause was poor administration or supervision.

Bible Speaks Today, p.120.

[2] The Greek word for ministry, 'diakonos', appears many times in this passage. Yet in the NIV translation, it is translated as 'distribution' in verse 1, 'ministry' in verse 2a, 'wait on' in verse 2b, and 'ministry' in verse 4. And most other translations are similar, obscuring the repetition of this concept in verses 1-4.


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