"Growing Pains" (Acts 6:1-7)

Sermon Date: 
Jul 23 2017
Sermon Audio: 

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"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." - Acts 6:1

There is quite an interesting story told of a seminary professor's experience living as a missionary in a foreign country. His wife gave birth to their new born baby in this country and somehow offended this newly founded church. How? She neglected to pass around her new born to each of the tribe members as was custom.

When we bring cultures together we will find areas of misunderstanding, conflict, and even division. And yet, the very growth of Christianity (and thus the church) is for Jesus Christ to be proclaimed and received by all people from diverse backgrounds. This tells us, as in the example from the early church in Acts, growth brings growing pains!

As a result of rapid growth, a complaint (murmuring/grumbling) is now surfacing up in this early church community. One group of believers feel their widows are being neglected over another group. How did the "apostle-leadership" handle this ministry-oversight that is raising up conflict?

1. ADDRESSED THE ISSUE IMMEDIATELY.
Not doing will allow the work of the enemy to stir up conflict, dissension, and division within the body of Christ.

2. PROTECTED THE VISION OF THE CHURCH.
Apostles knew the importance in keeping to the Ministry of God's Word and Prayer. Jesus Christ who is the only means God has now placed upon us for salvation and eternal life. Therefore this must be proclaimed. Prayer is the means for them to draw close to God with the seeking of his will to be done through them.

3. DELIGATED RESPONSIBILITY TO THE CHURCH.
Recognizing spiritual and physical well-being are important areas of well-being, the apostles delegated responsibility upon the congregation to discern the appropriate men suitable to help oversee this ministry project (full of the Holy Spirit, wisdom, faith).

IN CONCLUSION

1. A GROWING MINISTRY WILL EXPERIENCE GROWING PAINS.
Have you ever felt neglected or frustrated because of the growth in the church? How did you handle it? If this something you are currently experiencing will you be willing to advise your church leadership and have it addressed in the immediate?

2. A GROWING MINISTRY MEANS CHANGE IS TO BE EXPECTED.
This early church needed to make adjustments to help meet the areas neglected. In doing so, the body of the church (e.g. disciples to discern & 7 x men to serve) was called to serve. Will you be willing to find an area in serving? This just might meet a spiritual or physical need that is being neglected.

Let us be reminded, God is bigger than our problems and what unites us is deeper than what divides us! Let's have the courage to address issues up front, be willing to see yourself as part of the solution, and, maintain a heart's desire to bring glory and honor to Christ, our Lord!

Be blessed in Christ,
Pastor Trevor