Everybody liked them – Key Person
Readings: Acts 2: 42 – 47
Preacher: Rev Kevin Kim
The community life and reputation of the first Christian community created after Pentecost is well described in Acts 2:42-27. The translation of Contemporary English Version for verse 47 is that “while praising God. Everyone liked them”. Some other translations for v. 47 say that “praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people”. Well known American psychiatrist, William Glasser suggested that we humans could have a meaningful life when we have Key Person whom we can share love with and who accepts and respects us as who we are. In order to build a healthy psychosocial network, we are required to have at least 15 Key Persons in our lives. When we become key person to many around us, everyone in our community would like us as in verse 47. The first Christian community enjoyed the favour of all the people. I would reflect on how we could have more key persons in our lives and how we could become key person to others around us.
Questions for reflection or small groups
After Pentecost event, the first church was created. The earliest Christian community was formed. The characteristic of the early church was well described in our reading of Acts 2 this morning.
They were devoted to the apostles’ teaching. / There were devoted to prayer.
They had everything in common. / Every day they continued to meet together. /
They praised God. / The Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
I would like to focus on the last part of this characteristic – The Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
From contemporary English version, verses 46 & 47 were translated “… shared their food happily and freely, 47 while praising God. Everyone liked them.” Some other translations for v. 47 say that “praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people”.
Well known American psychiatrist, William Glasser suggested that we humans could have a meaningful life when we have Key Person whom we can share love with and who accepts and respects us as who we are.
According to Glasser (1998)’s Choice theory, we humans have five basic needs: survival, love and belonging, power, freedom and fun. In practice, the most important need is love and belonging, as it is a requisite for satisfying all of the needs.
Love and belonging are one of the basic and the most important human needs which can be fulfilled by having a strong interpersonal relationship.
In order to have a strong interpersonal relationship, we need ‘Key Person’.
If you want to build a healthy psychosocial network and satisfy your needs of love and belonging, do you know how many key persons we need? It is a question that I give you now. It is more than what you might think.
You need to have at least 15-20 key persons in your life. But if you think of your different relationships, it is not too difficult to have 15 key persons. From our family relationship, we could come up with 5 or 6 people – our parents, brother, sister, cousin, uncle.
And in our social relationship – people from our neighbour, co-workers, church members. We could think of 5, 6 people from this relationship.
From our friends, those who grew up together, school friends. Today with Facebook and Instagram, even if they are in different countries, we could feel connected and provide a support for each other. So from that friends relationship we could also get 5, 6 people.
Then it could make up 15 key persons in your relationship who could satisfy your needs of love and belonging, one of the basic and the most important human need.
If we understand that we need to have key persons to have a strong interpersonal relationship, then how can we have more key persons? Having 40, 50 key persons and even more means we become fragrance and letter of Christ in the world.
2 Corinthians 2:15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 3.35 You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
I have one solution to have more key persons. ‘Golden rule’ could help us to have more key persons. “Treat others as you would like to be treated”, “do unto others as you would have them do to you”, “love thy neighbour as thyself”. Almost all of us recognize these sayings. I’m sure most of us remember being taught the Golden Rule from early childhood, and still try to follow it as adults. Though the concept is thousands of years old, it is still very relevant today. In fact, it could be argued that it is the most important rule anyone can live by.
Back in 1936, Dale Carnegie put together a small booklet called “The Golden Book.” In that book, he effectively applied the golden rule of the Bible in this little book.
For example, he says that if you want to become a friendlier person, you should follow some of the nine principles such as:
1.Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.
2.Give honest, sincere appreciation.
What rule do you live according to? What choices do you make when interacting with friends, family, strangers? How would I treat God if he were the one in need?
We have choices to make every day regarding our schedules, our resources, our attitudes, and our actions. Let’s pray that we will decide to let The Golden Rule guide us daily, so we can live in a way that is pleasing to God.
“Each day the Lord added to their group others who were being saved.” It is marvellous that the Lord added new people every day. This is what we want to see in our ministry. The early church community enjoyed the favour of all people. Everyone liked early church. Why? Why do you think? I think they knew how to related to the people around them. They knew how they could help new people find ‘love & belonging’ when God brings them into their community. They knew how to build key person relationship with those who search for the meaning and truth of life.
Early January when all the new covid cases numbers were going up and singing and dancing were not allowed, one megachurch held ‘concert like youth camp’ in Newcastle. While all the music bands cancelled their concerts and gigs, church brought lots of threat to the town and the residents were frustrated by what was happening nearby their home.
We don’t believe this is a kind of things are not what your key person would do to you. If we church continue to do such things, we never be able to enjoy the favour of the all people like the earliest Christian community enjoyed. Yesterday’s Vision Planning day, we learned again that we have a desire and hope to build better relationship with a community and become better neighbour. When we become key person to many others in our community, they will come to us. When the Lord added the number to us, we are ready to welcome them and build a new relationship with them as new key persons to them.
As I was writing this message, I thought about who might be my new key persons now. Since we moved up here in the North, we tried hard to make some new friends. Not only the kids starting new schools, but making new friends are not easy at WPS. There were a few families who transfer their kids from January like Ethan. As we moved to the North, we also needed some new friends and new key persons. As we have a great kids program, it was somewhat easy to invite them. Since then they have participated many different church event and kids program.
When Ethan started this basketball game, PE teacher was not able to train and run practice session. There were only mothers came with their kids and they were all looking at me as we talked about finding a parent basketball coach. I had to put my hand up and do a coach. So every Monday night, I am a basketball coach for WPS slam dunk. You may wondered how there were many new kids at Turrazone and Palm Sunday worship. Many of them came from my basketball team. I remember when they were at Palm Sunday service, kids look up to me confused, as that was Ethan’s dad who usually shout a lot during Monday night game. What is he doing here? He is slightly well dressed and ??
We want to keep the characteristics of the earliest Christian community. We want to enjoy the favour of all people. We hope everyone around us would like us to grow and serve. We need to become key persons to many around us.