…the number of disciples was increasing… (Acts 6:1).
In this instance, the early Christian church was growing rapidly and attempting to address the need for getting food to widows. Apparently, some of the widows were being overlooked in that food distribution.
To start the ball rolling on solving this growth problem, the apostles gave some simple parameters: We will focus on preaching, the rest of you should select administrators to oversee the food ministry (vv. 2-4). The job description was pretty simple too—they must have a good reputation, be full of the Holy Spirit, be wise, and (this is implied) be willing to serve.
Notice the trust the church leaders placed in that congregation:
- seek out from among you
- they chose
- they set them [the candidates] before the apostles
The congregation was pleased by both the apostles’ plan and the level of trust that was conferred on them. It appears that seven men were the unanimous selection of both the congregation and the church leaders.
After these men were installed in their new administrative roles, look at the results:
- more preaching
- more salvations
- more inroads into the Jewish religious leadership sect
- more people fed
- more miracles performed
- and more persecution from those threatened by the church’s rapid growth
It’s interesting to note that Luke uses the word added to talk about the church’s growth in chapters 1-5, but after this growth problem is successfully resolved, Luke stops using added and only uses multiplication terminology.
When handled the right way, growth problems—or any problems, for that matter—lead to more growth.
A mark of a godly leader is one who handles growth problems correctly.
This is part 36 in my series on godly leadership. You can check out all of my posts in this series by clicking here.