Growing Pains: A Test of Christian Freedom

Our guest proclaimer, Grace Pouch, continued our look at the early church as we considered Acts 6:1-7. Growth, usually seen as something positive, meant that with the new people, there were more diverse backgrounds, more needs, more misunderstandings, and several people began to grumble. 

The church was faced with some real dilemmas. These dilemmas could have caused some real disgruntled infighting, some long-term damage, or even a split, but the apostles reacted with wisdom and the Holy Spirit was allowed to work. In the end, the problems were ironed out and God continued to add to their number. Unity, though fragile and often elusive among people, was maintained by the work of the Spirit.

The apostles realized the church was a body of believers, each uniquely gifted by the Spirit to build up the church in unique ways. As a result of this truth, they let the people choose additional new leaders among them The apostles didn't have to be everything to everybody, they could continue concentrating on teaching and proclaiming the Word and these "new" leaders could exercise their gifts of service in their own ways. 

This agape, this unity, this koinonia set them apart from the world -- "being church" was actually the same as "doing evangelism."