11/17/23 Inward Work and Outward Focus

READING: Acts 6-8

It’s easy for a church to turn inward. Even the strongest, most evangelistic churches today can move toward an inward focus tomorrow as the work of ministry draws their pastors toward ministering to believers more than evangelizing non-believers. That work of ministry is necessary, of course, but it does risk re-focusing a church in a less than healthy direction. 

It appears in today’s reading that the apostles recognized that possibility in the early church. Some widows felt neglected, and the apostle leaders knew they had to respond in some way—but rather than get distracted from preaching and praying, they instead challenged the church to select some faithful men to minister to the people. They did not neglect the widows, but nor did they lose their outward focus marked by praying and preaching the Word. This is the balance we must seek to achieve in our churches: taking care of God’s people while prioritizing proclaiming the good news to people who need Jesus. 

Most churches don’t do a great job at the latter. Nor, by the way, do most individual believers like you and me. 

PERSONAL REFLECTION: How are you best carrying out both emphases in your life?  

PRAYER: “Father, show us how to keep our focus outward while ministering to Your people.” 


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