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Summary: As the church grows, there will inevitably be problems among people. How does the early church deal with these issues as they arise and what can today’s church learn in how to deal with these “growing concerns” in a way that will glorify God?

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Growing Concerns

Handle Growing Concerns with Discernment (Acts 6:1-2)

Handle Growing Concerns by Delegating (Acts 6:3-6)

Delegate to those who are of good reputation

Delegate to those who are full of the Spirit

Delegate to those who are wise

Handling Growing Concerns in a godly way Produces Disciples (Acts 6:7)

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If you have been at Hickory Creek over this past year or longer, you have been able to see the work that God is doing in reaching more people and expanding His Kingdom through this ministry.

Every ministry we have has been growing incredibly

While our weekend services have grown quite a bit - we are averaging over 600 people each weekend - our mid-week ministries are growing even more rapidly.

Our Tuesday night AWANA ministry

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is having a record year with nearly 130 to 150 kids coming on Tuesday evenings to memorize God’s word, learn the story of the Bible and enjoy some games with other kids.

Our Wednesday evening Reach Student Ministries

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is hitting records as well with about 80 Students here on Wednesday evening to connect with other kids and grow in their knowledge of and relationship with the Lord.

Our Powerzone Kids ministry is continuing to grow as more people come. We have just recently added a new 3 -4 yr old class to manage our class size a little better.

We praise God for what He is doing through this ministry, but this growth has brought with it some challenges.

We are challenged with our space, especially for our ministries.

Update on plans

To deal with those space challenges we began a campaign last fall to raise the resources necessary to expand and to continue to be used to Advance the Kingdom.

We were able to raise $1Million dollars in commitments over the next 2 years and in fact we are averaging so far this year total giving that will equal more than $1million this year, praise the Lord!

So we have developed some plans to expand our facility and add parking that will cost us about $2.3 million in this first phase which will expand our ministry space by more than 70% from what we currently have.

The Sanctuary expansion will be in a second phase at some point in the future.

Here are the plans for the sanctuary and you have an insert in your bulletin with some of the details as well so you can check those out.

Slide

Transition

Facility expansion is one of the ways we are dealing with our growth.

But accommodating growth requires more than just having a facility to accommodate people. As we grow we have to be able to minister to more people.

If we don’t make preparations for that, we will

Fall short in our communication

Miss opportunities

to minister to people,

to care for them,

to love them.

The kind of growth we have been experiencing will bring about some of these challenges.

The question becomes how will we deal with these issues because they will require more than just having space.

Thankfully, the early church faced some of these growth challenges as well so we can learn from them.

They had to deal with similar “Growing Concerns” just like we will deal with.

Turn with me to Acts 6

Slide

and let’s see what we can learn from the early church so we can meet these growing concerns head on.

Acts 6:1-7

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.

Pray

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.

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