One of the results of church growth is problems.

I don’t mean that negatively, just factually.

Think of the first-century church in Jerusalem. In a time of great growth and great grace, they encountered a significant problem (Acts 6). In fact, their problem was significant enough that it could have brought the growth to a halt if it had not been handled with God’s grace.

The truth is that every growing church will experience problems.

If a church is growing by God’s grace, it will also need to make adjustments by God’s grace along the way.

In one of the sessions of Spiritual Leadership Conference last month, we walked through Acts 6:1–7 and learned four steps for dealing with problems by grace.

(If you cannot see this video in your RSS reader or email, you can watch it here.)
download audio | download outline

Each of the points we looked at had several sub points. (In fact, each point could have been its own lesson if we had time, which is one reason I’ve provided the outline to go with the lesson.) But here is an overview of the four main points we looked at:

  1. Perception of the Needs—The apostles were attentive to the needs in the church. We discussed what this kind of perception looks like in relation to the seasons of ministry as well as specific needs in ministry.
  2. Admission to the Problem—It’s one thing to discern a need and another to admit that something is wrong and should be changed. We looked at common problems of neglect, problems that arise in our spirits, and problems of organization.
  3. Adjustment of the Process—So when we perceive and own a problem, how do we respond? What principles do we learn from Acts 6 that relate to resolving issues in the church in a gracious way? This point covered everything from connecting our purpose with our process to training others to developing a strategy moving forward.
  4. Guidance of the Rhythm—The Word of God should always set the agenda for a New Testament church, but the pastor is responsible to set the pace. In this section, we looked at guiding the rhythm of the church through teaching and preaching as well as through planning and administration.

Grace-filled churches build and guard a culture that is spiritually growing. They guard and execute their God-given purpose for God’s glory. I hope this session is a help to you and to your church family.

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