‘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.” ‘ Acts 6:1-4


The early church was beginning to have some growing pains as it exploded across the known world of its day. As the church began to impact more and more groups, the pre-existing cultural tensions began to creep also into the church. Though the Hellenistic Jews and Hebraic Jews both claimed the same faith, their differences had driven a wedge between them. The twelve disciples showed remarkable wisdom in the way that they handled the situation. They did not ignore it, try to sweep it under the rug, or act as if it was unimportant. Neither did they fan the flames of tension, or allow the drama to continue to build. They recognized that it would take someone that was “full of the Spirit and wisdom” in order to sort it out. It’s not a minor challenge!At the same time though, they were confident enough in their own calling to recognize that this task was not well-suited to their own ministry and skill set. They valued the outcome enough, to put the right people in charge of the task.


When the Body of Christ is operating properly, it will intersect with the real world. When the light of the gospel is presented, it will illuminate the darkness. Ignored issues will be brought to light, and wounds will be revealed. The mission of the church is to be a conduit of God’s healing power to all mankind–not just a specific culture or group of people. It is not realistic or even Christ-like for me to expect people to change their culture to match my own, when they are born again into the Body of Christ. Christ’s heart is that His church would minister to every culture and group of people. It takes people who are “full of the Spirit and wisdom” to do this effectively.In ministry, there are people that I will mesh well with, and those that I will not mesh well with. If I have the heart of Christ, I cannot ignore those that I find ‘different’. Christ loves them with the same love with which He loves me! If I am to minister and lead effectively I need to recognize my own strengths and limitations, and know when to enlist help.

Empowering others to operate in their gifting, releases the love of Christ to reach those that I cannot.


God, thank you for your love! Thank you for not playing favorites. Help me to love others with your love, and love them enough to appreciate the differences between us–even when those differences make it hard for me to interact with them. Help me to look for opportunities to release and encourage others in their calling, so that your church could reach the world that You love.