SDA Sabbath School Lessons
Wednesday November 13, 1996

Church Offices

Act 14:23

If organization is to succeed, some form of administration and oversight is necessary, for no corporate work ever goes forward without direction and leadership (Prov. 8:14-16; Matt. 8:9; Rom. 13:1-3). Consider Israel under the leadership of Moses and Joshua and the later judges. Consider also the early church under the leadership of the apostles and elders (1 Thess. 5:12, 13).

What did the leaders of the early church do to give impetus, consistency, and lasting effect to the spread of the gospel? Acts 14:23; 1 Tim. 3:1-8.

"As an important factor in the spiritual growth of the new converts, the apostles were careful to surround them with the safeguards of gospel order. Churches were duly organized in all places . . . where there were believers. Officers were appointed in each church, and proper order and system was established for the conduct of all the affairs pertaining to the spiritual welfare of the believers.

"This was in harmony with the gospel plan of uniting in one body all believers in Christ, and this plan Paul was careful to follow throughout his ministry. Those who in any place were by his labor led to accept Christ as the Saviour, were, at the proper time, organized into a church. Even when the believers were but few in number, this was done." -- The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 185, 186.

What attitude should people have who are holding office in God's church? Matt. 20:20-28.

How will such an attitude on the part of leaders affect the morale of the people? Prov. 29:2.

Worldly standards assess another person's greatness according to many things: the number of people a person controls; a person's academic standing or intellectual ability; one's yearly income or possessions; the number of committees a person is a member of, etc. But with Christ such things are unimportant. The answer to the question "Are you willing to serve others?" is the true test of the quality of a good leader.

The apostles ultimately caught the vision of the selfless love that Christ perfected. Pray that it will be so with you.