On Memorial Day I read Acts 2:42-47 for my devotions. The first verse of that Scripture jumps out at me in light of where we’re at as a congregation. Verse 42 says, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” What strikes me is that every member of the early church was a devoted member. The Greek word translated “devoted” here means “to occupy oneself diligently with something”, “to pay persistent attention to”, “to hold fast to something”, or “continually to be in” something. Every member of the early church was diligently involved in, paid persistent attention to, held fast to, was continually in the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, eating together, and prayer. No one was merely an observer. No one was idle. No one was content to let someone else do the work of the church. Everyone had a job to do and they did it.
The early Christian church’s devotion to the fundamental tasks of the church is such a relevant role model for us right now as we begin a new chapter of ministry at 12th Avenue Church. As we install new officebearers this month and work out of a new Council structure, we all have our roles to play as members of this congregation. With the reassignment of ministry tasks, we now have administrative elders devoted to corporate worship, community service, congregational life, and congregational education. We now have pastoral elders devoted to family visiting. We now have administrative deacons who are devoted to mercy and stewardship. But even though we have elders and deacons who are now called to oversee corporate worship, community service, congregational life, congregational education, mercy, and stewardship, they can’t carry out these tasks by themselves. Every member of 12th Avenue Church must be devoted to at least one area of church life. All of us, whatever our age, gender, background, or walk of life are all called to carry out the specific task that the Lord wants us each to do.
I’m excited to see many of us stepping up to do our part. Over 800 cookies were baked and served at Park and Praise on Memorial Day. Several laypeople have volunteered to help collect and count the offering money. People have made themselves available to serve on committees, to teach, or to help with Vacation Bible School. The donations for our refugee family have been generous. Several people have volunteered to assist them in specific ways.
What specific task does God want you to devote yourself to in this coming ministry season? None of us can do everything, but we all have something to contribute. My prayer for our congregation is that we will more fully live out Acts 2:42 as devoted followers of Jesus. “From him, the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work” (Ephesians 4:16).