a note from acts 6

Our pastor’s preaching through Acts, and yesterday’s message centered on the front of Acts 6, when the Hellenistic widows complain about the distribution of the foodstuffs.

That issue, the decision by the apostles, and how they carried out that decision are all useful ministry notes. But it’s also important to note the complaint: “a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution” (Acts 6:1 ESV). Even in the earliest versions of the Church, somebody felt short-changed, underserved, discriminated against.

I appreciate that the apostles didn’t take it lightly, shrug it off, or cry, “Negative interpretation!” In fact, they called a big ol’ meeting and did something about it (even though we never find out whether the perceived affront was, in fact, grounded in fact).

Leading to this question, for college ministers: Who in your ministry might be feeling underserved?

This isn’t as easy to answer as we’d like for it to be. Not only are those we’re discriminating against – or who feel discriminated against – very often unknown, some of those who do publicize this concern are clearly off-base via oversensitivity or, yes, negative interpretation.

But Christian leaders of all stripes often move too quickly to dismissal of such concerns. We should be willing at least to hear – and often to act – even in those cases where the affront is only “felt.” Let alone cases where someone really is overlooked!

In a college ministry of any size, it’s likely someone is feeling left-out, let-down, or belittled. Maybe it’s the introverts, those new to campus, those new to the ministry, the transfer students, those of a unique ethnicity, seniors who aren’t “fresh blood” or are soon to graduate, and on and on. Only you can know your ministry… but do you know your ministry in this way? Do you know who feels like those widows did? And what could/should/will you do about it?

Leave a Reply