We hate to think of our churches neglecting people, but it happens, it has always happened. Look at Acts 6:1-7 and you will see that even in the early church when Jesus’ 12 Disciples were still the leadership of the church, neglect happened. One of the biggest problems with growing content in our local church is the problem of neglect.
Our communities all have a lot of diversity. Diversity can be generational, social, economic, racial… There are a lot of people in our communities, even in the smaller communities. We need to take concerted effort to study our community and to do so on a regular basis, because communities shift and they shift faster now than ever before.
We need to study the generations of our community, we need to study the races of our community, we need to understand the economic needs of our community and as the church we need to creatively find ways to reach these groups or we will soon be guilty of neglect. I am not suggesting that your church, that my church needs to have a plan to engage every single different tiny social group in its community, but we do need to consider our ministry carefully.
The 12 found a solution to their problem by having 7 men appointed to distribute food. All 7 of the men chosen came out of the group that was being neglected. The disciples recognized the growing need for leadership from the “Hellenists.” They understood that the church was growing and that to continue to grow the church would need leaders who could help them continue to reach this group.
We need challenge ourselves to find ways of reaching those we’re neglecting. We need to find groups we’re neglecting and make sure that we’re taking steps to begin reaching those groups.
Our questions then are this: (1) Who is in your community? (2) What do you need to do to reach them? (3) Is it time for some control to be given up so that the group you are looking at can be reached?