Great input from Chris Willard @Chris_willard at Leadership Network @leadnet Retreat.
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.”
This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.
So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.
Growing, thriving church – but they have a problem.
Do you have any problems in your church? Surely not.
Some people are being overlooked, it’s a systems problem, but could also be an element of racism or sexism?
How to solve the problem?
Get the right people assigned to it.
And look how many Greek names there are on the team.
Notice who isn’t going to solve it. It’s not the apostle’s job to do it, but to get it done, and done right.
People of character, capacity and capability. Full of the Holy Spirit.
Verse 7 should say, ‘So, they fed the Greek widows..’ It doesn’t say that.
It says, ‘So the Word of God spread.’
The number of disciples increased.
A systems issue resolved through people, with the presence of God in the middle of it will bring supernatural results.
The gospel went out, the church grew – and ‘a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.’
This day, some priests saw what was going on, and effectively switched sides!
So strategise, and look for the right people, but always leave room for God to do what only He can do.