I think one of the hardest aspects for a leader to deal with is growth. Growth brings many challenges and begins to stretch a leader in many directions. Structure and procedures become vital not only to continued growth, but to keep from decline. The Bible has some examples of how a leader needed to delegate responsibilities to other people in their ministry in order to keep providing for everyone’s needs. Today’s story reminds me of the importance of good leadership and structure as a ministry is growing. Please look up Acts 6:1-7.
The issue with the Grecian Jews and the Hebraic Jews isn’t what I want to focus on; I want to look at how the apostles responded to the problem. The apostles found themselves in a position that if they didn’t do something to delegate this task to someone to oversee the process, their time and energy was going to be taken away from what they were called to do. They suggested that seven men be chosen that were full of the Spirit and wisdom to oversee this situation. Seven men were chosen, and everyone seemed happy with this solution. The apostles prayed over the men. And while the last verse has been said about the numbers growing in other chapters of Acts, it was interesting that it was said after telling about the addition of structure in the leadership. Verse 7 says, “So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.”
Even the priests were becoming obedient to God’s call! I just think of what this verse might have said if the apostles didn’t have the wisdom to see that they needed more structure and needed to delegate this responsibility to someone else. Every growing ministry faces this; and I’m sure that if you asked leaders of large ministries they will say that at some point they faced the realization that there were some responsibilities they had to learn to let go. That is so much easier said than done; sometimes we have to delegate or let go of something that we enjoy but may be keeping us from doing what we were called to do with excellence. The apostles didn’t hand this responsibility over because they didn’t care about the conflict or unfair treatment; rather, because they cared so deeply they saw the need to give the responsibility to someone who could devote time and energy to the matter.
What is in your life that may be keeping you from doing what God has called you to do? What do you need to do to create more structure and leadership support so you can do your call with excellence?