Not Enough Time

October 15th, 2007 • Category: Book of Acts
by Julie Benson

Today’s scripture: Acts 6:1-7 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me in this passage? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Julie Benson):

They couldn’t do it by themselves!

Jesus and His disciples had so many requests to tend to, so many people to reach and to teach, so many lives to transform. There just was not enough time in the day!

In this passage, we learn what it takes to serve as a community of believers.

The people were not afraid to speak up when needs were neglected.

For example, if the ministers are busy talking with other people after worship service, will you be offended that you could not catch their ear? (Or name your particular “offense” — whatever might set you off.)

Are you blowing this out of proportion? Try to spend some reflection time delving into the roots of that attitude. Could you have “me-first syndrome”? On the other hand, there could be a valid concern and you should feel safe to address your thoughts in a gentle, Christ-like spirit.

When the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews, they weren’t just venting. Their critique pointed out a real problem so that a specific plan could be developed. As a result, this area of ministry grew tremendously, allowing the Word to spread across Jerusalem.

The leaders were not afraid to delegate responsibility to others.

If the leader of your ministry team or oasis group has not done well in following up with you “as promised” will you quit the team?

Perhaps the leader of your team is stretched too thin and could use your help in keeping up with the daily grind. Maybe that leader is you. Don’t be afraid to ask others for assistance to keep the group running smoothly.

It was the twelve disciples who called the flock together. The orders did not have to come from Jesus Himself. Once the problem was recognized, the disciples were comfortable delegating authority to others. After all, everyone was playing for the same team with the same goals.

The people “were pleased” and accepted those who were appointed to serve.

If you are sick in the hospital, will a visit from a pastoral care team member be enough?

As we have already examined, it can be dangerous to live with a me-first attitude and to assume that “Jesus Himself” will come to sit beside us every time we face a problem. It was Jesus Himself who delegated disciples to do the work of the Kingdom, giving them power and authority to do great things. And when needs continued to arise, those whom Jesus appointed selected others to continue the great tasks set before them, instructing them and blessing them in their ministry.

This means great things for us! We have been called to serve on Jesus’ behalf! And we have been called to be served by others who are working on Jesus’ behalf! So stop feeling like the low man on the totem pole. You are worthy to serve — and so is your neighbor!

Thought for the day: It takes all the people of the church to do God’s work. What attitudes do I need to change? Where can I step up to serve?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

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