The Kingdom of Less

1In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. 2So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. 3Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”

5This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. 6They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.

7So the word of God spread. – Acts 6:1-7

“I’m just tired of doing things half-way. People that would not normally irritate me are getting on my nerves. I am saying yes to everything”

I had a conversation last night with a friend. She is a giver. Problem is, she gives so much and can do so much that she is wearing out. I can identify.

The disciples found themselves in the same situation. They were trying to meet the needs of everyone. Instead of doing some things well, they were doing everything half-way, and the kingdom was limping.

I am intrigued by verse 7. “So the word of God spread.” The result of what the disciples did helped the word to spread. I am all about the kingdom growing. What did they do to aid the growth? Less.

They did less.

By doing less they did . . . more.

I see two things happening here:

  1. The disciples were able to focus on their strength.
  2. They were able to bring others on the team

Why do I think that I have to do everything? I enjoy doing many things but like my friend, I try to do so much that most of what I do gets watered down. I find myself getting irritated and strung out, no good to myself, my friends, the kingdom, or God.

Am I hindering others involvement by trying to do everything? Most likely I am. the church is not about one guy doing the stuff, it is about spreading around the work, finding people who are dying to get in the game and make a contribution.

It’s high time to say “no.” It’s time to say, “That is a great idea for ministry, let’s see who can head that up. I would like to, but if I do, I will neglect the things that God is calling me to.” Less is more.

It may be high time to do less and get more done.

God, you know my tendencies. I want to do everything and do it well. It may work in the short run, but I don’t want to build your kingdom in the short run. I want to see it wide and deep. Please help me to focus on my primary task and to bring others along. If it is the way you ran the early church, it must be the thing to do today.

[tags]burnout, devotions, journaling, acts 6, less, more, strength, team[/tags]

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2 thoughts on “The Kingdom of Less

  1. As part of InterVarsity at RHIT, we have a lot of dreams for how God’s Word can spread on campus. We have about 100+ people who come regularly to small groups or large groups. Probalem is, only about 40 of them take leadership roles.

    I don’t know exactly how many people end up in the grand scheme of running things at MCC, but while 40 seems like a lot, it’s still about 5 or so people at least short of being what we think could help make a huge difference.

    Everyone else has jobs to pay off loans, the tons of work Rose gives, and then IV pls any other clubs or sports on top of that. Others just don’t have the time.

    Seems like one big thing in this passage is that they had people who were mobilized and wanted to move, and at IV and MCC to an extent, we don’t (I’m guessing with the whole budget cutbacks and Shawn Wallace doing a lot, and that doesn’t even scratch what you and everyone else has to do).

    So what do we do when it seems no one else can meet the need? Do we just leave it? Just pray? Try to get something done? So many questions arise… Ones I’m not sure have answers — especially not concrete, definite ones. I guess the only concrete thing we can do is pray.

    Heavenly Father, please be with Scot, MCC, and IV at Rose. Lord, we seem to always be lacking just a little bit more than we think we need. Maybe we’re relying on ourselves too much, Lord. I sure don’t know. Help us to take that space and trust You to do something. If there’s a way You know we should take, then please help lead us there, because I’m sure not seeing anything. Please help me and others to see if we’re missing something. Help us learn how to see Your way, instead of our own. Lord, we know only You can meet our needs as it stands right now. Help us to depend upon You, and may that dependance carry on into whenever the need may be met. Help us to know when to say “no more” so we can focus for You. Amen.