Summary: RIGHT NOW, THIS SECTION OF ACTS WE ARE IN IS FOCUSED ON CHURCH PROBLEMS AND DIFFICULTIES. IN CHAPTER 5 WE SAW TWO PROBLEMS BESET THE CHURCH, ONE INTERNAL, AND THE OTHER EXTERNAL. NOW, IN CHAPTER 6, WE HAVE A NEW DIFFICULTY. A DIFFICULTY THAT WILL RESUL
POSITIVE LEADERSHIP CIRCUMVENTS CHURCH PROBLEMS
Acts 6:1-7 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.
INTRODUCTIO0N: RIGHT NOW, THIS SECTION OF ACTS WE ARE IN IS FOCUSED ON CHURCH PROBLEMS AND DIFFICULTIES. IN CHAPTER 5 WE SAW TWO PROBLEMS BESET THE CHURCH, ONE INTERNAL, AND THE OTHER EXTERNAL. NOW, IN CHAPTER 6, WE HAVE A NEW DIFFICULTY. A DIFFICULTY THAT WILL RESULT IN THE CHURCH ORDAINING LEADERS AND ALLOCATING RESOURCES AND TALENTS IN A WAY THEY HAVE NOT DONE BEFORE. THE ISSUE IS SIGNIFICANT, BUT AS WE WILL SEE, THE OUTCOME IS POSITIVE.
I. THE PROBLEM WITH GROWTH
a. NOTICE THE ENVIRONMENT – THE DISCIPLES ARE INCREASING
b. TODAY WE WOULD CALL THIS CHURCH GROWTH
c. THE AREA OF GROWTH WAS IN THE AREA OF “INTERRACIAL” GROWTH
i. WORLD TENSIONS CAN ALSO AND DO ALSO INFILTRATE INTO THE CHURCH.
ii. THERE WAS A SIGNIFICANT TENSION BETWEEN JEWS WHO SPOKE ARAMAIC AND THOSE WHO DID NOT.
d. NOW AT THE SAME TIME THERE IS ALSO SOME GRUMBLING GOING ON THAT IS WORTHY OF OUR NOTICING, EVEN THOUGH IT WAS NOT DEALT WITH IN THIS PASSAGE. OFTEN THESE ARE THE SEEDS OF CHURCH PROBLEMS
i. THERE WAS A LACK OF CHARITY
ii. THERE WAS A LACK OF SPIRITUALITY
iii. THERE WAS A LACK OF GRATITUDE
e. THE ISSUE OF GROWTH IS AN ISSUE OF ADMINISTRATION
f. ONCE AGAIN WE SEE THAT THE CHURCH IS NOT PERFECT. PERFECT IS OT WHAT NEEDS TO BE STRIVED FOR.
g. THE CHURCH DOES NOT NEED TO BE PERFECT TO BE AN EFFECTIVE WITNESS FOR CHRIST!
h. THE CHURCH NEEDS TO HAVE WILLING SERVANT. AND WILLING SERVANTS PRODUCE EFFECTIVE CHURCHES AND EFFECTIVE CHURCHES WITNESS FOR CHRIST!
A THOUGHT TO PONDER: IF GROWTH PRODUCES ISSUES OF SERVICE THEN LACK OF SERVICE PROHIBITS GROWTH.
II. THE PRIORITY OF LEADERSHIP
a. WITH THE VISIBILITY OF DIVISION, LEADERSHIP COMES FORWARD
b. KIND OF INTERESTING TO NOTICE WHAT THEY DID NOT DO WITH THE ISSUE OF DIVISION
i. THEY DID NOT THROW THEM OUT
ii. THEY DID NOT SHUN THEM
iii. THEY DID NOT OUT VOTE THEM IN A MEETING
iv. THEY DID NOT SEPARATE FROM THEM
v. THEY DID NOT FORM A COMMITTEE
c. WHAT THEY DID DO
i. THE APOSTLES MATCHED GIFTS TO SERVICE
ii. UNDERSTAND THAT NO ONE IS ABOVE ANY LEVEL OF SERVICE – EVERY TASK FOR GOD IS IMPORTANT.