Beyond The Leadership Vacuum
Luke, the author of this passage is obsessed with numbers and growth! He sounds like a lot of successful businessmen and even some church pastors! You can see that, in the book of Acts, Luke has mentioned the rapid multiplication, great increase and unusual favour of the church a number of times before. We see this is Acts 2:41 where 3000 people become Christians. Acts 2:46-47 many people joined the church every day. Acts 4:4 tells us that the church exceeded 5000 people and in Acts 5:14 crowds of both men and women were joining the church.
Luke is doing more than just obsessing over numbers. He is teaching his readers a crucial key to ensuring the health and ongoing growth of the church.
In the middle of rapid multiplication and great increase Luke points us to a potential crisis. There is a disturbance in the church; an argument with the potential to derail the miraculous favour and growth they were experiencing.
Luke goes on in this text to show us that there is one thing that will be absolutely essential for the church of the 1st century AND the church of the 21st century to continue to see rapid multiplication, great increase and favour.
Luke shows us that it doesn’t take long for the needs of a growing community to begin to outstrip the capacity of it’s leadership structure. The disturbance in verse 1, about the distribution of food, is simply a tool used to expose a leadership vacuum. The Apostles begin calling the rest of the community of Jesus followers to RISE to the challenge of sharing the leadership burden. Luke’s one thing that will prove to be essential for the health and ongoing growth of the church is…. LEADERSHIP!
This challenge is still beckoning us today. Will we rise to the responsibility of leading with Jesus in our own community?
So, what does it take to be counted among those who are willing to lead in our communities of faith today. It might surprise you that it is not complicated and it doesn’t require a degree or a bible college qualification.
1. BE PRESENT
Acts 6:2 So the twelve called a meeting of ALL the believers.
Those who were counted among the group to lead this new community of faith were chosen, firstly, because they were AT THE MEETING. These men made sure they were in the right place at the right time. They were already rolling up their sleeves and turning up where the work was. The bible actually encourages us to pursue leadership.
1 Tim 3:1 “those who aspire to be an overseer desire a noble task”
2. BE PREPARED
Acts 6:3 …select seven men who are well respected and are full of The spirit and wisdom.
These new leaders were ready to lead before they were ever invited to the position. They were not jostling for position, they were not assuming the position, they were not politicking for the position, but they were ready to take on the position if they were ever invited to. They had prepared, behind closed doors, what qualified them for leadership.
3. SAY YES
These new leaders are invited to participate. They were called by name, hand picked and appointed for their roles. However, they still had to accept the invitation. Despite their lack of experience, despite this whole church thing being a brand new entity in the world, they all said YES when asked to jump in and help out.