Day 15 Acts 6:1-7

Leaders need to know their specific calling, and stay true to it: “”It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to serve at tables.” Some might hear this as arrogance. Leaders see it as focus. And even more, they do not try to own or manage the process that follows, but delegate even the selection of the [Deacons] over to the people. The Elders did formulate the general plan, but left the details to the people, and then said, “We will turn this responsibility over to them…” and they emphasized what they understood their own purpose as Elders to be: “…and we will give our attention to prayer and the service of the word.” It is all service (the Greek word diakonia, from which we derive the word Deacon, or servant. The word for slave is doulos, which Paul uses at least 28 times.) So, in a simplification, the Deacons serve the physical and social needs of the community, and the Elders serve primarily the spiritual and theological needs of the community. Both ministries are in service to the Gospel. The Elders’ point is that they have been called by Christ to a particular ministry, and it would be unfaithfulness to turn away from that to some other ministry. Added to that, when serving in an area where we are not called, we occupy a place of ministry to which someone else probably is called, thus hindering them from fulfilling their calling. So, in sum, as a leadership prinnciple: 1. Honor the felt and expressed needs of the community. 2. Be clear about one’s own gifts and callings. 3. Make broad process suggestions when appropriate, but delegate the process and the outcomes to others. 4. Require that others in leadership be people of Spirit and Wisdom. 5. Focus and highlight your own calling, thus enlisting others in helping you stay true to it, and also encouraging them to follow the same pattern regarding their own calling. 6. Pray for and lay hands on all those called into leadership positions.
THE OUTCOME of all of this was the spreading of the Gospel and the great increase of the number of disciples, and even the conversion of Old Covenant Jewish leaders among the priests.

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