Nov. 20, 2020
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. - Acts 6:1-7
Sometimes persons in ministry forget that they are human and human beings have limitations even when it comes to doing good work. Moses had to learn that lesson from his father in law, Jethro. The apostles now had to take a page from Moses’ book. So the apostles called the church together and told them that God would not be pleased if they stopped preaching and teaching in order to work in the church’s soup kitchen. But that the needs of the widows must be met. So they appointed 7 Greek speaking men full of the Holy Spirit and assigned them the task of distributing food and needed finance to the Greek speaking widows of the church while the apostles pursued preaching and teaching the word of God.
The apostles were wise because they selected Greek men who spoke the language of the complaining members. They selected men who had settled in Jerusalem after the dispersion of Jews throughout the known world. They selected men whose predominant language was Greek. They selected men who had been a part of the Greek synagogue and who read the Greek Bible. They selected men whose cultural orientation was more Greek than the apostles. Many times, complaints can be quelled through conversation. Many times, all the well-meaning members need is someone to listen and understand. The apostles were wise to group the people according to language.
Many times, in the modern church confusion arises because people don’t speak the same language even if in each case their primary language is English. Differences in education levels; geographic origins or ethnicity can cause miscommunication. Differences in life status can cause miscommunications. The concerns of single people might be different from the concerns of married people. You may be interested in finding a mate and I am interested in making it work with my mate. If we are to grow the church we must group people so they can communicate one with another and feel that their needs are being heard.
Yours In Community Transformation.
Rev. Gillard S. Glover
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