Skip to main content

Seven points of organization: Acts 6

I thought I would share a few thoughts that I had to turn in for class. We were looking at Acts 6 and considering what ideas we could draw about church organization from that chapter. You’ll need to look up Acts 6:1-7 to get the full context. Here’s what I came up with:

First, the church leadership was listening to the feedback from the organization as a whole. While there is no textual evidence of a formal feedback structure, it is evident that the Apostles were aware of the complaint. This is a positive organizational practice: communication between all parts of the organization.

 

Second, even as the disciples were increasing (v. 1), the organization of the church still broke down tasks that needed done. This is seen by the statement that there was a daily distribution to widows, but the Apostles are not involved personally at the outset. It is a task being handled by others, even though it is not being handled perfectly.

 

Third, facing the problem, church leadership still presented the problem to the body as a whole. They did not, however, farm the idea out for someone else to solve. Instead, the Apostles had gathered, one can assumed had prayed, and then presented their recommended solution to the body. The body then assented and participated in selecting the individuals to correct the problem.

 

This process of leadership deserves extra consideration. A small organization, one made up of eleven to twelve members like the Apostles, can consider nearly all issues together. While the process at this stage is a little cumbersome, like jury duty, it is still feasible. However, as the body grows, this process becomes impossible. The 120 believers of Acts 2 become the 5000+ of Acts 2, and the body continues to grow.

 

Therefore, leadership must adjust the methods of problem-solving. The Apostles take on themselves the responsibility of problem-solving, though they do not impose the solution on the church. The church is presented with the solution and agrees to the idea.

 

This carries into the practice of an organization with leaders. While the ideas can come from anywhere in the organization, the leadership has the purpose of considering all possible ideas and presenting the best one to the group for consideration. This allows a responsive organization that does not spend excessive time in deliberation.

 

Fourth, the Apostles present the solution to the organization, but then crowdsource the details. Rather than assuming that the leadership, twelve, knows the best choices out of over 5000, the Apostles allow the crowd to choose from those who meet specific guidelines.

 

Fifth, the organizational guidelines for service are based in character more than competence. The distribution of food to widows was not a highly technical skill like metalworking or scribal work would have been. There was no need to specify the food weighing skills for these seven men, only to specify their character.

 

Sixth, the seven appointees are not the only ones with a hand in the work appointed. Note verse 3 states that they are “in charge” of the task, but this does not exclude the recruitment of others to aid in serving. In all likelihood, if the task is this large, the seven will have many in assistance. Their role is to ensure proper balance and distribution.

 

Seventh, this method allowed individuals to continue in their best fit responsibilities. The Apostles, eyewitnesses of Christ, were freed from responsibilities that others could fulfill. This allowed them to focus on doing what they were the only ones capable of doing: testifying to the entire life and ministry of Jesus.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Curiosity and the Faithlife Study Bible

Good morning! Today I want to take a look at the NIV Faithlife Study Bible. Rather than spend the whole post on this particular Study Bible, I’m going to hit a couple of highlights and then draw you through a few questions that I think this format helps with.



First, the basics of the NIV Faithlife Study Bible (NIVFSB, please): the translation is the 2011 New International Version from Biblica. I’m not the biggest fan of that translation, but that’s for another day. It is a translation rather than a paraphrase, which is important for studying the Bible. Next, the NIVFSB is printed in color. Why does that matter? This version developed with Logos Bible Software’s technology and much of the “study” matter is transitioning from screen to typeface. The graphics, maps, timelines, and more work best with color. Finally, you’ve got the typical “below-the-line” running notes on the text. Most of these are explanations of context or highlights of parallels, drawing out the facts that we miss by …

Foolishness: 1 Corinthians 1

In Summary: 1 Corinthians opens with the standard greeting of a letter from the Apostle Paul. He tells who he is with (Sosthenes) and who he is writing to. In this case, that is the “church of God that is in Corinth.” He further specifies that this church is made up of those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be saints. 
He then expresses the blessing/greeting of “grace and peace” from God. From there, Paul reflects on his initial involvement with the Corinthian people and the beginning of the church. After that, though, there are problems to deal with and Paul is not hesitant to address them. He begins by addressing the division within the church. Apparently, the church had split into factions, some of which were drawn to various personalities who had led the church in times past. There is no firm evidence, or even a suggestion, that Paul, Cephas, Apollos, or anyone else had asked for a faction in their name. Further, the “I follow Christ” faction may not have been any le…