- Parent Category: FAQs
- Category: Bible Questions and answers about the Church
- Published on Friday, 20 November 2009 10:46
The example in Acts 6 is clear, simple, and effective. Applying the principles may not be as easy as it appears. The Lord indicates that leadership is liable to exert control and to somehow obligate others to submit to it (Luke 22:25). His model of leadership is different: "So shall it not be among you" (Mark 10:43). The mind of those whom the Lord has made leaders is a servant mind (vv 43b, 44). Sometimes a sincere desire to "hold the truth" can be expressed in a carnal way by tightly holding the reins of control in the assembly.
The apostles shared their responsibilities where it was possible to do so. They could not share their apostolic responsibility, but they did share deacon service that was not essential to their apostolic responsibilities.
While overseers are responsible to "guide the flock" (Heb 13:7, mg), others can carry out many responsibilities under the elders’ guidance. Matters such as handling money, maintaining, decorating, or constructing a building in which to meet, planning meals, working with children, and preparing for gospel outreach can be entrusted to others. Some who are younger, capable, and willing, whether male or female, could effectively do this work.
The apostles’ example emphasizes that the primary qualifications for handling any responsibilities related to the assembly are spiritual (Acts 6:3). If elders feel that no others are spiritually qualified, they have a shepherd’s responsibility to foster such spiritual growth. And if elders feel that no one is willing to do the work, they would be wise to set a different tone in the assembly, making it clear that others are appreciated, needed, and welcomed in the assembly. Encouragement works wonders (Heb 3:13, JND)!