Day 12: Empowerment: A New Idea? (Acts 6:1-15)
Today’s Passage: Acts 6:1-15
Empowerment—it seems as if this idea burst onto the corporate scene back in the 1980’s.
The challenge was to move from dictatorial management, where employees did what they were told—even when they knew there was a better way, to a leadership style that equipped the team, pointed them in the right direction, and turned them loose to excel.
Like many novel and new ideas in the business world, a new cottage industry emerged to help and even chide managers to embrace this new method.
Or was it new?
Consider the scene today from Acts. The Apostles are overwhelmed with the workload of caring for their burgeoning flock.
Their solution-delegate! These guys did not need an MBA from Harvard. They had the Holy Spirit.
What is interesting is how the new waiters embraced their task.
Consider the specific issue. The Apostles needed people to help with the distribution of food. The select 7 men.
We then read of the men waiting tables? No. We will read in this chapter how one of them, Stephen, was doing powerful works in the Name of Jesus. We will read more in the coming chapters of others sharing the Good News boldly.
These fellas have not drawn a tight circle around their job description. Even though their specific duties include caring for the needs of the flock, they do so by embracing the overarching vision and mission of the church. They are empowered!
To move my conversation from management-speak to church-speak, you might say, they have not left the work of the church to the paid professionals.
We will find the episodes we are about to engage thrilling. True examples of people who love Jesus and are full of his Spirit.
One reflection earlier, I noted that we don’t need to quit our jobs and become itinerant preachers, we simply need to speak with boldness for Jesus. And defining boldness needs to be done given the situation you find yourself in, andhow God is leading you. Let me just unpack that a little bit.
You may be in a situation where discussion of religious beliefs is frowned upon. That does not immediately mean you need to be quiet. You need to pray. You need to pray to God for wisdom and boldness and courage. You need wisdom to know how best to be bold, and the courage to then do it. It may be a quiet approach, or it may be more head-on. The key is that we offer ourselves to God for this work, and seek his direction.
Let’s ask the Lord for his leading and his Spirit, and let’s do that right now.
Join me in praying: Heavenly Father, you know better than I the exact situation of my life. Father send your Spirit to lead me in knowing how to speak the Name of Jesus. Father, remove from me any fear, and grant courage and excitement to show people how much I love Jesus, and how much Jesus loves them. I pray this in His Name. Amen.