Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables." — Acts 6:1-2
I think this is a great moment in the life of the growing church. Now to some, it might feel like a testy moment. But I don't think this is meant to be a testy moment. It's just the result of a growing ministry with growing needs. And it forced the church and its leadership to respond to the tension between two equally important activities — the need for serving and the need for the teaching. And we learn from them that one should not be done to the exclusion of the other. Both are essential in the life of the church. And together, the leadership team finds a way to address the growing challenges. The decision is to divide the workload and hand out leadership roles that focus people on using their time and talents in the community.
There have been many times in my own life where my busyness has determined my direction. I become consumed with everything that needs to get done, so much so that these things take control of my life and its direction. But I have found that every once in a while, I need time to evaluate my life. And in evaluation, I must address the investment of two things: my time and my talent. This is exactly what these leaders are assessing and addressing in this text.
So in the times I have paused long enough to evaluate my time and talents, I have always come to make adjustments to two things: first, how I have been making commitments, and second, the commitment I have already made. And while this is never easy, it does result in a more effective and efficient use of my direction. I have also found that by spending more time doing what I am supposed to do, others can step in and fulfill other corresponding roles. And then what happens is more people live on mission.
I would encourage you to take a few minutes today, considering your time and talents. And then evaluate how you are using this time and talent with three questions:
- What do you need to continue doing?
- What do you need to start doing?
- What do you need to stop doing?
But I think it's that last question that is always the hardest. What do you need to stop doing? And as you consider what this might be for you, remember that the teachers had to stop serving to get get back to doing what Christ called them to do — teaching and preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
ASK THIS: What do you need to stop doing?
DO THIS: Share in the comments below one thing you need to stop doing.
PRAY THIS: God, help me to be more fully used for your purpose. My time and talents belong to you. Use me.
PLAY THIS: Use Me — Ron Kenoly.
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