Training Category: Body Life
Today we so often find local churches isolated from one another. The Early Church, however, selflessly supported the work God was doing beyond their local bodies of believers. We can learn from the Early Church’s example of breadth of focus, looking beyond ourselves, having a big picture outlook.
During this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.) The disciples, each according to his ability, decided to provide help for the brothers living in Judea. This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul. (Acts 11:27-30)
Lessons to Learn from the Early Church Example of Breadth of Focus
There’s usually someone that has a greater need than you.
This group of believers looked beyond themselves. They were better off materially than the church in Jerusalem and so, despite impending famine, they shared of their resources.
There’s usually something you can do to help.
Notice that the above passage says, “the disciples, each according to his ability, decided to provide help” (Acts 11:29). The amount wasn’t the issue but rather the giving … stepping outside of oneself to help others beyond one’s own little circle.
It’s so easy for us to become inwardly focused in our churches that we forget about the universal, global Church. Let’s ask God to expand our breadth of focus. Each local body is just part of a whole.
The Body Life Ministry Manual helps us reflect on this quality in the Early Church along with three other examples for us to follow.