Choosing God’s workers in his church
(Installation of Elders and Deacons)
Scripture reference: Acts 4:13
In this hand I have some bean seeds. And here is a bean plant. Between the seeds and this plant quite a few things had to happen. The seeds were ready, waiting for sun and rain and good warm earth. But, first, they needed a gardener, someone to plant the seed in the warm earth, someone to see that the seed had enough of everything it needed to grow and become a healthy plant—and produce good food.
When Jesus lived on earth, he chose disciples to help him look after the beginning church—small and new, like these bean seeds. These disciples became gardeners in God’s garden of new Christians. Jesus chose them from the everyday people in the neighbourhood: ordinary fishermen like Peter and Andrew, James and John; Matthew the tax collector, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, James, Thaddeus, Simon and Judas. These ordinary men followed Jesus, and he taught them how to take care of the church and help it grow. They went with him everywhere, learning from Him and loving Him.
And those ordinary men who loved Jesus went from village to village, telling the people about Jesus. And with Jesus’ power, they made many sick people well again. And so God’s garden grew.
After Jesus went to heaven, the disciples, God’s gardeners, went on with the wonderful work. The Holy Spirit made them brave and helped them, even when the Roman high priest put Peter and John in jail for talking about Jesus’ resurrection and for making a crippled man walk again in Jesus’ name.
More and more people heard about Jesus and joined God’s garden of believers. After a while there were so many new Christians that seven more men were chosen to help look after the church—men who loved Jesus and were filled with His Spirit.
Our church still does that. We have God’s gardeners in our church, who look after it and work to keep our church healthy and growing. We call them elders and deacons. And today the elders and deacons we chose last week were added to God’s other gardeners who are already busy at work in our church.