In this bible study, we discuss the end and rebirth of the early church following the martyrdom of Stephen and persecution of the first Jerusalem church (Fellowship of Believers), based on Acts 6–9 and 11. We draw a lesson from the study about management of non-mission activities of an organization to support but not hinder performance of the core mission. An organization typically exists for its core mission but has to manage interactions among employees or members, between them and the organization, and between the organization and external entities such as government or other organizations. The interactions typically center on socio-economic issues relevant to the organization’s existence and, therefore, performance of its core mission.
Therefore, managing the internal and external socio-economic interactions is important to the organization but could impose excessive burden and divert focus from the core mission. This bible study provides an example of an organization (the first Jerusalem church) that confronted excessive burden from management of non-mission socio-economic affairs. The church ended suddenly because of the burden. Although the sudden end resulted in a positive outcome, having triggered a rapid and more widespread growth of Christianity, we emphasize factors that contributed to the end in order to learn lessons important to management of present-day entities.
This bible study illustrates three principles applicable to present-day human interactions and relationships.
God will grant your prayer if your prayer purpose is consistent with his mission.
Understand and accept the core values and membership responsibilities of an organization you intend to join. Do not rely on finding a way around the values that you don’t accept.
People may oppose even your good work because they either don’t like it or wish the credit was theirs.
The study focuses on the organization and activities of the Fellowship of Believers, the early church that formed around the apostles to bear witness to the life and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. They performed the spiritual mission through prayer, teaching, healing, and miracles and sustained themselves through communal living, whereby the organization assumed ownership of member’s assets and needs.
We begin a bible study series on The Apostles, focused on searching the activities of the apostles for principles and clues to enrich our understanding of the Christian basis for human interactions and relationships. Our study will be based on Acts but will call on any part of the bible that helps explain the apostles’ activities.
Fellowship of Believers
This bible study examines the beginnings of the early church, based in Jerusalem and referred to as Fellowship of the Believers. After the eleven apostles saw Christ ascend to heaven, they returned to Jerusalem and were joined by several others, bringing their total number to 120. They met daily at the temple courts, where the apostles taught the word of God and performed miracles and the people prayed and shared food and fellowship. We learn two principles based on their experience.