Summary: how did the church manage conflict
No plans for Valentine’s Day? No problem! Stay home and watch television. Besides, you can learn a lot about love from the shows you watch. Here are some of top TV love quotes:
Law & Order’s Detective Lennie Briscoe "Love -- a dangerous disease instantly cured by marriage."
"All human beings connect sex and love ... except for men." -- Roseanne
George Costanza on Seinfeld - "A beautiful, successful, intelligent woman is in love with me and I throw it all away. Now I will spend the rest of my life living alone. I’ll sit in my disgusting little apartment, watching basketball games, eating Chinese takeout, walking around with no underwear because I’m too lazy to do the laundry."
Do not watch TV to learn more about love!
Good chance for you men to Bless people
Do Churches ever have problems?
Problems that need to be fixed once - done right - don’t have to mess with over and over - Car - Replacing Engine - transmission - Repair Collision - Church - policy - constitution
Problems that need to be addressed regularly - maintained to keep things running smooth - Car - Gas, Oil, fluids, brakes and tires - Church - One another’s
Let’s look at how the church dealt with both of these types of problems and see how we can learn to use these principles in everyday life Video Clip
AC 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.
Perhaps different food requirements - preferences
Deal with a recurring need - problem - gotta eatChurch growth brings with it rumblings and complaints - always has
Always will - what we can decide is how we will respond
Not because new wine is better - it Isn’t
New wine needs to age and mature - or it will never taste great
When the conflict is coming from the outside - persecution - church bands together and grows. When conflict comes from inside - dissension and contamination can threaten growth
Background - Traveling to Jerusalem took enough cash for a pilgrimage, not prolonged stay. No ATM - only Hospitality (sidebar on Hospitality from a Mid Eastern mindset)
JJ said it was a missed opportunity for a church split
It had all the ingredients - POV, $, Race, Pettiness
Greek and Jewish widows cared for by their church network - if they had no family
Problems may seem petty - but its important for leaders to get inside the mind of those with the problems
Pebbles in your shoe can ruin a journey
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."The apostles assessed the situation, TRIAGE - prioritized
Gather disciples to troubleshoot - don’t want this to split the church
Core - not the crowd comes up with solution - YOU PICK
There is a danger in using purely human logic to solve problems, even seemingly secular problems
Tables = Trapeza - table where financial transactions took place -
Pick your top 7 men - no chump change being handled here - no unimportant service.
No artificial division between sacred and secular
Let the church leaders hunt out a solution - set them apart, define their task
Not the only problem, need to know our priorities - our calling
We need to be clear on what our leaders must do as well as what they must not do
We have come to a crucial point at POP
Can we afford to have our executive pastor doing secretarial work, mundane tasks - God has called and equipped him to plant churches
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.
. Can we continue to have the lead pastor spend the best 40 hours of his week teaching math
Fix this problems and we never hear of it again.
AC 6:7 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.
A report card for the church - So the word of God spread The result was that the church continued to grow. That’s the result of following God’s leading.