I hope you are enjoying our series on Acts. It has been fascinating to see how right from the very start of the Church in Jerusalem they were facing many of the very same things as we are today. They were deciding who the leaders should be, what roles people should do. They were working out their theology and what it meant to live as a Christian in a society that was hostile to them.
On Sunday Julie spoke about how the Jerusalem church had to decide how to work with the Hellenistic (Greek) Jews who had a different way of thinking and were often looked down on by the Jerusalem church. Their way of working through the issues was for the ones with the power (the Jerusalem church) to give up a lot of their decision-making powers to the ones who they saw as outsiders (the Hellenistic Jews). Not only that, they did it with a glad heart, they then let them have even greater authority in their leadership as we saw with Stephen a Hellenistic Jew who was eventually stoned for his boldness of faith.
One question for us is; how do we recognize the ‘outsiders’ in our midst? Those who are followers of Jesus but without the skills, social status, style or perhaps even approval from the majority. How do we make sure that we not only hear their voice but also make room for them in our decision-making?
At CBBC we value being a church of allsorts, we appreciate listening to perspectives different from our own and making room for people but we need to make sure that those who are different, who feel on the outside are given room to be all that God wants them to be. This means giving room in our finances and decision-making processes to people who we may currently see as the ‘other’. But may be in the process we will be enriched, reaching people in our community who otherwise we may not reach and may be we will discover Jesus is far bigger than own current narrow understanding of Him.
Seems a risk worth taking to me!!