The response of the apostles in Acts 6 amazes me. When there was criticism because Grecian widows weren’t getting their fair share of food, the apostles replied, “We won’t be going to the grocery store to get food for our Christian sisters.” Can you imagine that attitude from men Jesus taught and trained to be good servants and to follow His example?
When I read that, questions come to my mind. Did the apostles not know how to distribute food? Were they too dumb? Did the apostles think they were too good to do lowly work like delivering groceries?
The answer to all those questions is, “No.” They weren’t too dumb and they weren’t too proud. They had experience in food distribution. They were servers when Jesus fed 5,000 and 4,000 men besides women and children. They gave food to the people. They gathered left-overs after the picnic.
But at this point in their leadership, they said, “It is not reason, it is not desirable, it is not right, it is wrong for us to leave the word of God and serve tables.”[tweetthis]Do we as leaders in the Lord’s church realize it can be wrong to do right?[/tweetthis] [tweetthis]It’s wrong to do right when the right thing isn’t what we need to be doing now.[/tweetthis]
From this account of the apostles’ refusal to take part in this act of service, which they had done in the past, I wonder if I’m doing the same tasks in my leadership as I did ten or more years ago? [tweetthis]Am I doing the wrong right thing?[/tweetthis]
Circumstances that Bring Change in Leadership
- Understanding the responsibility of leaders. It isn’t the duty of leaders to do everything that needs to be done. Paul wrote, “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11, 12, NKJV). According to the Holy Spirit, writing through Paul, leaders are to equip Christians for the work of ministry. Preachers don’t have to visit every sick person. In fact, that work in scripture is assigned to elders (James 5:14). All citizens of the kingdom will be held accountable for this ministry (Matthew 25:34-36). Leaders are to help all saints be better ministers.
- Growth. Have I learned anything in the last twenty years? Have I gained new skills? I can’t do everything I used to do, everything I’ve learned to do, and everything I’ve learned to do better — and do everything the way I’ve always done it.
- Training of others. We have men in the congregation at Northside who fly for UPS. One is a trainer. He flies some. But he can’t put in the hours delivering packages he did years ago and train pilots. He had to quit some things to do other things.
- Possibility of disability and certainty of death. Elders, preachers, deacons, and other Bible teachers are getting older and will die. Some will be unable to continue their leadership duties before they die. We need to be asking and answering the question George Jones sang in the song written by Troy Seals and Max D. Barnes, “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes?”. [tweetthis]He who leads without leading others to lead is no leader.[/tweetthis]
It’s good to take inventory. How am I growing as a leader? What have I quit? What do I refuse to do because I have something to do others can’t do? And if I do what I’ve always done, I can’t do what I need to be doing.