Future generations testify regarding the success of previous efforts. Whenever those efforts generate lasting results, the principles underlying those accomplishments should be studied and replicated. Did Christ’s disciple-making methodology produce significant outcomes?
Of course it did. It changed the world. None of us, in fact, would be reading this Bible study guide more than 2000 years later, were it not for Christ’s success in His training of the early church leaders.
Read Acts 1. What does this first chapter in the formation of the early church show us about the need for God-ordained leaders? What were they looking for in a leader? (See vs. 22.) What can we take away from this need for ourselves as we seek the right leaders?
Jesus established His kingdom and exemplified the principles that would perpetuate its growth. Pioneering the pathway through darkness to sunrise, Christ selected leaders whose weaknesses were overshadowed by His strength because they completely depended upon Him. Although lightly esteemed by the religious leaders and academically deficient, they outshined the Pharisees where it counted: transparency, humility, dependence, and authenticity. How crucial that all of us, whatever our position in the church, display such characteristics. Over time, those who possessed substantial formal education and elevated social standing became part of the church.
As Christ’s representatives the apostles were to make a decided impression on the world. The fact that they were humble men would not diminish their influence, but increase it; for the minds of their hearers would be carried from them to the Saviour, who, though unseen, was still working with them. The wonderful teaching of the apostles, their words of courage and trust, would assure all that it was not in their own power that they worked, but in the power of Christ.-Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 22, 23.
What do you look for in church leaders? Why? What are the top three things that you want to see in them? Bring your answer to class on Sabbath and compare answers.