Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Devotion 4.15.15

In the world of strategic planning, one component of the strategic plan that we work to develop is known as "Parameters."  Parameters are an agreement for the organization in terms of how it agrees to operate with all the stakeholders.  Examples of "parameters" that have been developed are as follows:  "We will promote a culture of accountability and respect;" "We will practice open and honest communication while respecting the privacy of individuals;" or, "The needs of the students are the first consideration when making decisions."

These provide guidelines for operations that cannot be violated.  When the organization reaches agreement with regard to the final plan, these principles become parameters that will be honored in each and every endeavor.

The apostles provide such for us as they handle early conflict in the church in Acts 6. "Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution.  And the twelve summoned the full number of disciples and said, 'It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables.  Therefore pick from you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty.  But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.' And what they said pleased the whole gathering and they chose.... (seven men including Stephen)." (6:1-5)

The apostles created priorities of sorts.  This is instructive for us.  First, the most important thing we do is the mission - spreading the word.  That is our calling.  Secondly, your concern is important, but it isn't teaching and preaching the Word.  Here is a solution:  Find some people who can accommodate your concern, but (and here is the key), they need to follow these parameters - good repute, full of the Spirit, and wisdom.  So, the mission is integral to a decision followed by parameters.

When we engage in conflict, stemming from building a better mousetrap to settling a dispute, what are our priorities?  Have we articulated those?  Do we have parameters for how we engage each other and the issues?  Families, groups, teams, organizations, corporations, and church bodies can all benefit by adapting this model.

Pray we place our main focus on the mission of the church.  Pray we also articulate how we want to address the issue, each other, and potential solutions.  Conflict can sharpen us if we handle it correctly.

Hope Men's Ministry

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