How amazed and grateful I am, O Lord, for Your promise to always be with me and never leave me.
Read Acts 6:1-7
 In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.  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.  Brothers and sisters, 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  and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”  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.  They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.  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. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat was the problem here and how was it resolved?
The church had barely begun and already there were factions and accusations of favoritism. Of course, we don’t know whether there was intentional discrimination or whether these widows were accidentally overlooked. Clearly, though, they were very unhappy and voiced their dissatisfaction. The unity of the fledgling church was under threat. The apostles responded with wisdom. They didn’t ignore the situation hoping it would go away; neither did they wade right in and start trying to find out the details in order to sort it all out themselves. Instead, they put in place structures to stop the grumbling and to prevent the issue arising again in the future. The apostles’ statement that they should not neglect the ministry in order to serve at tables (2) sounds almost prideful: “we are too important for menial tasks.” In reality, however, it was a refusal to become distracted from the work of spreading the Gospel by internal squabbles. Arguments are divisive: it’s easier to take sides and throw yourself into the fight than to refuse to get involved. It’s even harder to bring about peace between the two sides and draw their focus back to the task at hand.
Pray for the leaders of your church today. Pray that God would enable them to lead with wisdom and discernment.
Lord, may all those who lead Your people have wisdom, so as not to be distracted from their rightful ministry.
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