Families just fight sometimes, don’t they? I have yet to meet a family of humans who didn’t have a few tensions somewhere along the way. When a family finds itself at odds with each other, it doesn’t always mean something is drastically wrong, the issue is, how to handle the dispute. The family of God is really no different, and we are bound to disagree with each other along the way – but how do we go about handling those differences?
We’re coming back to our study in Acts this Sunday, and we’ll be looking at Acts 6:1-7.
As the church has gotten bigger it’s started to experience growing pains. A dispute arises that ran across cultural boundaries: the Hellenistic Jewish people were feeling mistreated by the Hebraic Jewish people, a subject you can get a little more insight about at this LINK.
As you read this section consider how you would feel if it seemed like you were being unfairly ignored by the church. What would you do to address it?
Often times, when there are differences of opinion or a divergence in cultural tastes, the church has historically divided up. Does that seem to be an option for the church in Jerusalem? What can we learn about the basis for our unity from this passage?
What solution did the apostles arrive at? How important do you think the teaching of the Word and prayer are for the life of the church? In what ways can we all begin to see ourselves as minsters that promote the well-being of the church? How can we create a culture that facilitates and encourages an expansion of ministry in our church?
The apostles didn’t get angry because people complained. They didn’t get defensive or demand unquestioning loyalty. Instead, they chose people from the very demographic who felt marginalized to represent the ministerial response. What can we learn from their attitude and action?
Let’s get inspired by our older Brothers and Sisters and see how we can follow the path that they blazed!
2 thoughts on “Growing Pains”
A church split doesn’t even seem to come up. It’s funny, in a sad way, that seems to be our default setting these days. Don’t like the music, start another fellowship. Don’t like the carpet, start another fellowship. Don’t like the glazed donuts they have before service (you’re more of a Danish person)….., start another fellowship. They seemed to grasp that something big was happening here and they needed to work together to keep the momentum from being slowed. While the present day church spends (wastes) time fighting over carpet or music or should she or shouldn’t she preach — our first century brothers seem focused like a laser on one point — preaching Jesus. And we read the result of their approach, “and their numbers continued to grow….”
Just like a healthy family, the Hellenists felt safe enough to speak up about the problem of prejudice and trusted the apostles to help solve it. The apostles were wise & knew that being angry would not help solve the problem. It seems they were so focused on their tasks of prayer and preaching that they didn’t want a dispute to keep them from fulfilling the Great Commission. The fact that the congregation agreed with the apostles’ idea kept the unity going and I think the Holy Spirit answered their prayers by increasing their numbers! We can learn so much from this passage… Stay humble and keep focused together so others can be be believers.