Give Them This Responsibility

But as the believers rapidly multiplied, there were rumblings of discontent. The Greek-speaking believers complained about the Hebrew-speaking believers, saying that their widows were being discriminated against in the daily distribution of food. So the Twelve called a meeting of all the believers. They said, “We apostles should spend our time teaching the word of God, not running a food program. And so, brothers, select seven men who are well respected and are full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will give them this responsibility.”

These seven were presented to the apostles, who prayed for them as they laid their hands on them. So God’s message continued to spread. The number of believers greatly increased in Jerusalem, and many of the Jewish priests were converted, too. (Acts 6:1-3, 6-7 NLT)

In every work or ministry setting there are plenty of tasks to go around, and more roles that need to be filled than the boss and/or senior leadership team can fill alone. Don’t try to do it all yourself – delegate tasks out to people gifted in those areas. When people are engaged in work they enjoy, everyone benefits…people are growing in their roles, work is of a higher quality and the beneficiaries of the work notice and appreciate it. In this example it was far superior to have some new & gifted leaders doing work with excellence than to have the senior team doing it just so the work would get done.

This may be one of the earliest historical examples of the cross-functional team. It’s likely the 7 men chosen had complimentary skills that allowed them to work effectively together, as opposed to each one carrying the same basic skill set. You’ve got to know the strengths & passions of your team members in order to maximize their potential, allowing them to be put in positions to be stretched in their career paths and successful in their work.

And so what we see is that the early Church grew because:

1) The apostles’ finite time could be spent on what they were commissioned to do – preaching the good news about Jesus
2) The local community was attracted to the Church because people’s needs were being met (without having to rely on their Roman oppressors)
3) Individual people could flourish according to their gifts, as opposed to cultural or societal expectations

That sounds like a pretty solid organization.


One thought on “Give Them This Responsibility

  1. Could agree more. I go to a small jail where we have chapel on Sunday. Guys show interest and start walking we get them praying for each other and helping with communion, helping other inmates and leading the praise and worship. Those who take on responsibility almost always grow quickly. Funny it always seem to be the men who have never had anything to do with traditional church who take this on. Those who have had some church backgroung hold back

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