5/23/2021 - Resolving Conflict In The Church - Acts 6
Would it surprise you to know that one of the top three reasons people leave their church is because of interpersonal conflict? (Number 1 answer - not being fed spiritually.) Acts chapter 6 describes these growing pains and the leadership’s response. You see, the early church had two different groups under one roof. Although both groups were Jewish, one spoke Greek and the other Aramaic. Funny how the smallest things can divide people. Greek speakers were feeling neglected by Aramaic speakers. Their basic food needs were not being met. When the apostles learn this they appoint seven men to take charge of dispersing the food to meet everyone’s need. In other words, it’s important that we bear one another’s burdens. I believe this environment made the church irresistible then and perhaps even more so in our world today - a world that is eating its own. One of the seven men chosen to help was Stephen. He will be the first martyr. Listen to this description of him… "And Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people." Acts 6:8. He was full of grace and power. That’s an interesting combination. As it turns out, these are essential characteristics for furthering the Gospel. Power by itself can overwhelm and intimidate. Grace will soften even the hardest heart. I get the feeling that Stephen understood the power was not in himself, but rather it was God’s power through him. Therefore he could not take credit because it was all by God’s grace. That same power and grace enables us to build the Christian community in love!
Duration: 35 min