Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Acts 6:1-15

In today's reading, Luke once again gives us some very practical advice on the working of a church via an example that happened in the very early church. Today's example hits home with me and I think it is relevant to all of us.

The example I alluded to in the paragraph above is told in the first 7 verses of today's reading. This story is about delegation and volunteers. It would be impossible for a pastor or rector to do everything in the running of a church. I feel that one of a pastor's main priorities is the ministry of the Word, thus due to human limitations regarding time and space others must take on other duties within a church. In todays reading the "Twelve" represent a pastor of a church that must solve the problem of distributing food to certain widows without sacrificing their own calling.

Some people tend to look at a passage like this and make distinctions of importance between taking care of widows and teaching God's Word. However, I submit that Luke does not make this distinction. In fact, he tells us that all tasks within a church are so important that each must have a leader that has the ability and time to be successful.

As churches grow so do their needs. I am a witness to this fact as the church I belong to has grown quite a bit in the last few years (praise God). As a church's needs increase, so does its needs for volunteers to handle those additional items. As mentioned above, the pastor cannot do it alone. Luke tells us that an essential qualification for a volunteer put in charge of a need is "known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom." Some churches have such needs that sometimes the reverse happens - managers, teachers, or leaders for various aspects of church ministry are chosen and it is hoped that they grow into the job. Luke tells us that the success of the church is so important (i.e., bringing soles into a relationship with Jesus Christ) that the people we select for these positions must have the qualities needed to be successful and these qualities should be obvious.

All of us have God given gifts that can be used to advance the Kingdom. I urge all of us to understand our gifts and to offer them in service to God.

Wishing you the best in your walk with Christ,
Richard Leach

1 comment:

St. Matthew's Episcopal Church said...

Well said, Richard! I also liked how they prayed with the volunteers before they were even selected and again before they started their work. VAN