Service (July 15)

Acts 6:1-7a; 9:36-42

Comment


An excellent biblical example of the incarnational style is Dorcas in Acts 9. The story of Dorcas emphasizes the action-to-address-need aspect of this style. In this passage, we are hard-pressed to find anywhere that Dorcas verbally says anything to share the Good News. Undoubtedly she did, but Dorcas’s primary witness is what she has in her hand, not in her mouth. God affirmed such. So great was her witness that when she died, God sent two of the highest-ranking church officials from her town to get Peter, who raised her back to life. That tells us one of two things, perhaps both. Dorcas’s testimony was so great that God said in effect, “The world cannot do without this sister’s labor for me. Let’s bring her back to life, put her up on her feet again, and get her going for my mission.” It may also tell us that the Lord said, “You know what? It is easier to raise Dorcas back to life than to get ten other church members to do her job!” Either way, it appears that God highly values those who put their witnesses into tangible, concrete action.

(Jeffrey A. Johnson, Got Style? Personality-Based Evangelism, Judson Press, 2009)

Reading the Scripture


Here are some ways you might read the scripture or tell the story:

•    Audio:
o    The Bible Experience: The Complete Bible (“presented by a stellar ensemble of today’s top-name actors, musicians, clergy, directors, and award-winning producers.” Available from Keith).
o    Faith Comes by Hearing: You’ve Got the Time (Dramatized New Testament we used a few years ago during Lent. Available in the church office.)

•    Video:
o    The Book of Acts: The Visual Bible (Dramatized video movie, word for word from the NIV text. Available from Keith or this web page).
o    WatchWord Bible, New Testament on DVD is available in the library. (These videos display and read the text in Contemporary English Version with background pictures, video and sound. Not exactly dramatized or all that exciting, but could be another way to read the text.)

Teaching Suggestions

•    Invite a deacon to speak to your class about the servant role of the deacon and specifically what they do at LABC. Our deacons are doing some great things with hospital and bereavement follow-up and with care for homebound/nursing home members that would be good for your class members to hear about.

•    Reflect on how we ordain deacons and our process of laying on of hands. What does it mean to you? Invite someone who has been ordained to talk about what the process meant to them.

•    What can our Nominating Committee learn from the selection of the seven servants in Acts 6:1-7?

•    An activity in the teaching guide (p. 57), “Mission Priorities,” suggests looking at the missions budget. For the June 10 session, you were provided copies of the Annual Budget for 2012 and our Glocal Missions budget with descriptions of each of the ministry groups we support. If you do not still have these we could make more copies for you or you can find the Glocal Missions Budget on our webpage: /labc-glocal-ministries/.

•    Evangelism Styles: “Suggestions for Using and Developing this Style” (from Becoming a Contagious Christian: Participant’s Guide, p. 34) - Serving
o    Find creative, non-imposing ways to communicate the spiritual motivation behind the physical acts of service you offer others. It could be through a word, a card, an invitation in response to thanks for your service. (“Well, one thing you could do for me sometime would be to come to one of our services at church.”)
o    Seek God daily for opportunities to serve others for eternal purposes. He will open your eyes to areas you would have missed. Be ready to follow His leadings, even if they seem a bit out of the ordinary.
o    Be careful not to impose your service on others. Pray for wisdom so you will know where to invest your efforts in ways that will be strategic for the Kingdom of God.

•    Plan a service project with your class:
o    Volunteer in one of our LABC service ministries such as Hope Clinic, Soup’s On Us, Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, etc.
o    Next week is Kay Floyd Memorial Project collection Sunday. The church will receive school supplies and donations for local schools and our own Weekday Preschool.
o    Choose a Random Act of Kindness service project from the book, 101 Ways to Reach Your Community, by Steve Sjogren (Tommy’s office).
o    Visit one of our homebound or nursing home members (Tommy can make a suggestion) or ask at the nurses’ station of a nursing home for the name of someone who needs a visit.

Resources

I have set aside a shelf in the library with resources for Sunday School teachers. I will place there resources of general interest and some specifically applicable to current lessons.

•    For additional commentary on the text see these commentaries in our library:
o    Mercer Commentary on the Bible (Mercer University Press, 1995)
o    Harper’s Bible Commentary (Harper & Row, 1988)

•    Evangelism Resources:
o    Becoming a Contagious Christian, Bill Hybels & Mark Mittleberg (Zondervan, 1994)
o    Becoming a Contagious Christian: Participant’s Guide, Mark Mittleberg, Lee Stobel & Bill Hybels (Zondervan, 1995)
o    Got Style? Personality-Based Evangelism, Jeffrey A. Johnson (Judson Press, 2009)
o    101 Ways to Reach Your Community, Steve Sjogren (NavPress, 2001)
o    Anytime, Anywhere: Sharing Faith Jesus Style, William L. Turner (Judson Press, 1997).