Summary: How to handle the challenges of growth
Handle Growing Concerns with Discernment (Acts 6:1-2)
Don’t Ignore the Problem
Don’t Resent the People
Don’t Over-react to the Problem
Do Realistically Assess the Problem
Handle Growing Concerns by Delegating (Acts 6:3-6)
Delegate to those who are of good reputation (known well of)
Delegate to those who are full of the Spirit
Delegate to those who are wise.
Handling Growing Concerns Produces Dividends (Acts 6:7)
If you have been here for the past 6 months or so, you have been privileged to see God doing an incredible work at Hickory Creek. We have experienced incredible growth in these past 6 months.
But while that growth is exciting, that kind of growth also brings about challenges.
We face challenges in space that we are dealing with.
We are working at dealing with that but it is quite a challenge in the meantime.
But even as we face and deal with space problems, this kind of growth is also going to bring about issues in our interpersonal relationships.
Our relationships will be challenged as we fall short in communication.
Our relationships will be challenged as actions get misinterpreted.
Our relationships will be challenged as we miss opportunities
to care for someone, or
to love someone, or
to show concern for someone.
The kind of growth we have been experiencing will bring about some of these challenges.
The question is
How do we deal with those things as a church?
And how can we close those gaps when
they do occur and
even before they occur?
Well, thankfully, the early church faced some of these same issues.
We are going to look at Acts 6:1-7 (P. 774)
We will seek to learn how we might deal with these situations in a manner that would honor the Lord.
We have just talked these last 2 weeks about being a church that Honors God.
Now as we face challenges that will come from within the church,
how can we be a church that honors God?
Let’s see what we can learn from God’s word.
1 In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. 2 So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, "It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. 3 Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word."
5 This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. 6 They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.
7 So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.
(from New International Version)
Ok, we have seen since we have been going through the book of Acts that Satan has tried to thwart the work of the church through attacks from outside the church.
Church leaders and members have been getting flogged and threatened and thrown into prison, but so far it has not stopped the church from growing and the message of the gospel from getting out.
When one type of attack doesn’t seem to be working, Satan will often try a new type while he continues the former type as well. We will see that attacks from outside the church will continue, but now we are seeing that he is trying to cause dissension in the church
While the problem of some widows being overlooked is not the attack, but stirring up of hard feelings is.
It says the Grecian Jews Complained against the Hebraic Jews.
How is this problem going to be handled by the Apostles?
How are they going to face the concerns among the people caused by their growing, or as I call it
How will they face these Growing Concerns?
The first thing we need to learn is to
Handle Growing Concerns with Discernment
1 In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. 2 So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, "It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables.