Thursday, December 20, 2012

Apostle's Wisdom For Handling Murmuring And Marginalization In Church

Church Growth Comes With Murmuring. If Not Well Handled, It May Destroy A Promising Church.
ACTS 6:1 - And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.

Who Are The Hebrews And The Grecians?
As referred to in this verse, "the Hebrews" are the Christian converts among the Jews born and raised in Israel, while "the Grecians" are the converts among the Jews who had returned to Judea after having lived abroad in the Greek world, and still spoke Greek and had adopted Greek cultural elements.

What Action Did The Apostles Take?
The Apostles "summoned the multitude", meaning the church, and told them to "seek out from among you", so the choice was made by the congregation.
The apostle designed the criteria to be used to pick up able managers but they delegated the actual picking of the managers to the people.

Acts 6:2 – 3
2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.
3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

They explained clearly why they themselves don’t need to be involved in church management and in the selection of the managers.

Acts 6:4 - But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

The Congregation Was Happy With This Decision And The People Acted Swiftly
Acts 6:5 - And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:

What Is Peculiar About These Seven Names?
"Stephen... Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas" are all Grecians names. The Grecians widows had been neglected during the rapid growth of the church, so the church, which was predominantly Hebrews during this early growth phase, chose seven Grecians to manage the church. No doubt the Grecians appreciated this trust, and tended to both Hebrew and Grecian widows with equal care.

What Is The Result Brought By The Wisdom The Apostles Applied?
Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem.

Acts 6:7 - And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.