Series: The Mvmnt
Message: Infighting and Growth
Preacher: Monica Wernick
Reflection: Japhet De Oliveira
Live Wonder: Zan Long
Live Adventure: Zan Long
Live Purpose: Jessyka Albert
Editor: Becky De Oliveira
Refresh: Begin today in prayer. Ask God for understanding through the Holy Spirit and for God’s character to be revealed.
Read: Acts 6:1-7 in the English Standard Version (ESV). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: Does your local church budget reflect your values and mission priorities? When the apostles found out that the Hellenists’ widows were not being taken care of, did that reflect a deep-seated racism? Was there some secret agenda going on? Are we ever allowed to make an innocent mistake? Or must there always be some huge secret conspiracy driving every decision? Could it be a case of simply, “Oops, I totally forgot?” The text does not give us any indication that the apostles tried to deny responsibility. Rather, they called a meeting of all the key leaders as soon as they heard and agreed that this was not good enough. Both care and preaching need to take place.
The seven men they chose would prove to be more than capable of preaching the Word as we will discover over the next few weeks, as we learn more about the story. This, however, was not their primary function. They solved problems and organized systems that made sure everyone was cared for.
Whenever there is internal conflict, there are those around you who will escalate it and those around you who will resolve it. The Bible is full of stories of advisors and friends who either brought strength to a situation or created more trouble. I am without a doubt much more interested in being in leadership circles that find solutions than in leadership circles that wallow in pain and anger. I admit that is one of my personality traits; I like to solve problems. I also claim God called me to find a way forward for the mission. For that reason, I think that internal conflict can be a good thing. Differences of opinions, even strongly articulated ones, are welcome and help us grow.
When our tribe, the Seventh-day Adventists, started out in the 1800s, its leaders had no plan to become an organization. They had no name they wanted to lift up other than that of Jesus, who they believed would return soon. They had no doctrinal statements other than the Bible. How far we have travelled since the 1800s! Through a lot of internal conflict we have grown. At times we have also wallowed. At other times we have moved forward with bursts of energy. We have gone sideways and backwards before returning to the same place we started. Movement is not easy when you have so many conflicting ideas as to what should be done. That is why when we select leaders, perhaps we would be wise to make sure that they have a good reputation in the community, that they are filled with the Spirit, and that they are wise.
Recalibrate: What kind of leader are you? What kind of leader has Jesus called you to be?
Respond: Pray for a heart responsive to Jesus’ call.
Research: Read Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson & Kenneth Blanchard.
Choose your child’s favorite fruit and make fruit salad together. Talk about how each fruit is different and has its own special taste. Talk about how when God puts us together He always makes something good.
When was the last time you didn’t agree with someone? Do you remember what it was? When you talked about it, did you listen to them and what they though? Sometimes we can learn a lot from listening to others. Pray that Jesus helps you hear with your ears and gives wisdom to hear with your heart.
The older you get, the more responsibility you get! Make a list of your responsibilities. How can you go above and beyond what you are called to do for each of those? Maybe when babysitting a younger sibling, you could plan a fun craft to do with them or play an exciting game.