Monday, February 21, 2011

Beyond Control Acts 6:1-10

Beyond Control
Acts 6:1-7

Organic and structure are two words that might seem to be diametrically opposed to one another. The reason some are totally uncomfortable with the word organic is the implication that it is too fluid or disorganized for us to control. On the other hand, structure can be so overly rigid and organized that it stifles and kills whatever it seeks to control. God is both organic and structured. The creative order demonstrates this pretty well.

When it comes to organizations, the church included, we organize and structure for growth. We attempt to understand all the variables, determine the risk factor, package it in a strategic plan, and then communicate it for the purpose of mobilization. I totally get that and am all for it to a point.

In this passage we can see that organization and structure came as a result of what God was doing. It was necessary because thousands were coming to faith in Christ. In addition the widows and the poor were being lost in the shuffle. When the Apostles learned of the need they responded and adjusted immediately. They didn't seek control. They empowered and released it.

Be honest, if we were planting a church we would do our homework, get our strategy together, create the systems, recruit and train volunteers which is all good. Rational thinking, operating in our understanding, organizing according to our plan can produce extraordinary growth but it really doesn't require God's involvement. This is why I think we should create, organize, and structure in ways that allow for rapid response to an ever-changing world and our God that is all about expanding His Kingdom.

What if 3000 came to faith in a day and then another 5000 or so would your organization be able to expand and adjust to accommodate that kind of growth? It can happen and it did in the chapters before this one. The problem is we limit God with our need for control and living in the realm of our own ability. We need to let God breathe His life into our small dreams and visions and allow Him to stretch us in ways that requires His involvement, power, and provision to accomplish what He inspired.

When I think about it, why would we ever want to try to create a system, structure, organization that we could control, manage, or even contain? As if we could ever really do that. Thankfully, God is beyond our control and He will never be contained in our structures. Plan yes, prepare yes, expect yes, but let's not try to reduce God to our size. Adjust and flex in the rhythm of what God is doing and Where He is going. After all, it is His church and He allows us to play a small role in His story. Enjoy the ride because He is beyond control!