So the Twelve called a meeting of all the believers. They said, “We apostles should spend our time teaching the word of God, not running a food program. And so, brothers, select seven men who are well respected and are full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will give them this responsibility. Then we apostles can spend our time in prayer and teaching the word.”
Relate: I am not an administrator. I am not a process person. There are people who I know and admire who are and to watch them work just amazes me. I’ve tried using day planners. I’ve tried sticking to a calendar or a “to-do” list. It works great for a day… maybe two, before it is sitting on the shelf completely forgotten until I try again a month or two from now. No, I’m not bragging about this. It is a fault and I need to have a better grasp on it and manage my time better. To a degree. I will never be a true administrator and have learned to find and bring people around me who are to make up for my lack.
On the other hand, I do have other areas where I am very gifted. Rather than spend inordinate amounts of time trying to shore up those things I am weak in, I have learned instead to try and sharpen my gifts. You won’t find me very often reading a book on time management. Something on prayer or writing, however… I devour it. I know who I am and can sum it up in four words. My goal is to focus all of my energy and time into them and if something is a major part of my life that doesn’t line up with them… cut it out.
React: As the church grew in the book of Acts, so did the needs of its members. More and more over time the Twelve found themselves being pulled in too many directions. This is natural. This is expected. Any time a church, or company grows, it will happen. If that growth is to continue, certain things needed to be delegated off to others. The Apostles knew that their primary mission was to teach the Word of God. Serving others, the distribution of meals to the needy, was a very important and necessary task, but it was not a part of their primary skill set. So they appointed others to fill this need. In this way, that serving could be done more efficiently and the Apostles could in turn spend their time focusing on their primary purpose.
One reason so many churches and ministries do not grow is because there is no focus. One man, or a small cadre of leaders are trying to do everything themselves. Their hearts mean well, but their time is stretched in too many directions. There are far too many things on their calendar and so nothing is getting done with excellence. It is far better, and more effective for the kingdom, to do one or two things with excellence than to bounce between a dozen ministries or events with mediocrity. What is it you do well? How much of your time and energy are you spending doing it? How much time is being wasted doing other things you think are necessary? Who around you is far more gifted in those areas that can step in and work beside you?
God, I have a personality and live in a culture that makes it very hard to say no. It is so easy to fill up my days with busyness. It is so easy to just try and do everything myself. Help me to realize that in doing so I am hurting myself, hurting others, and damaging my relationship with You. Help me to stay focused. Help me to be humble enough to hand off those things I should not be doing. Help me to have the courage to say no when others try to add another thing to my schedule. Help me to only say yes to that which You have called me to and gifted me for.