About this time, when the number of disciples was continually increasing, the Greeks complained that in the daily distribution of food the Hebrew widows were being given preferential treatment. The twelve summoned the whole body of the disciples together and said, “It is not right that we should have to neglect preaching the Word of God in order to look after the accounts. You, our brothers, must look round and pick out from your number seven men of good reputation who are both practical and spiritually-minded and we will put them in charge of this matter. Then we shall devote ourselves whole-heartedly to prayer and the ministry of the Word.” (JBP)
Complaints about churches are commonplace. Sometimes they are trivial, sometimes they say more about the person making the complaint than about the churches. At other times, the complaints are valid, meaning some are discouraged and burdened by being part of that church. Not much point in those cases of glibly replying there are no perfect churches. Of course there are not, but that is no excuse for complacency.
We must not romanticise the early church as if it was an exception. In our text today we read of a problem even among those who were filled with the Spirit and on fire for God. Even in that sort of church, details can be overlooked. Seemingly small things like administering welfare could become major issues if they were not done rightly. Churches need to get the minor things right lest they start impacting on the major things.
In this case, the imperfect early church which had slipped up in such matters took action. They did a bit of delegating and prayerful administration and things were sorted out. Most of us can put up with imperfect churches: we have no choice. But we ought to expect such churches to address their imperfections and not just dismiss them with clichés.
Being imperfect is one thing, being complacent is another thing altogether.
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