by Mark Edlund
In those days Peter stood up among the brothers … And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias … Acts 1: 15, 26
It’s fun to work through Acts chapter one and watch the apostles organize the first church in Jerusalem. We see them return from getting the “Cosmic Commander’s” (Jesus’) final marching orders in Acts 1:8 (be my witnesses) and begin to organize to respond to that directive. Peter stood up and led the process of replacing Judas with a new 12th apostle, Matthias. If we read on we see them handle other business such as finances – “And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the process to all, as any had need.” (Acts 2: 45) And then we see them taking on the challenge of church leadership by dealing with the election of deacons (Acts 6: 1 – 6). And, next, of all things, they are responding to church conflict at the end of Acts 6 and on into Acts 7. Through it all we see the young church coming together for worship, fellowship and the handling of business.
Some say that dealing with Church business is a distraction from the “main thing.” That anything that doesn’t directly address evangelism or discipleship is low priority. These passages in Acts however show just the opposite. Churches must do business well and efficiently so that the “main thing” can move forward unhindered. In fact as we look at the list of spiritual gifts that God has placed in the church we see administration (or management) among them. Churches, of course, handle business in different ways. Some handle the business through elected committees and perhaps monthly business meetings. Others use a team of elders. Still others charge the elected deacons to handle the business of the church. Whatever method is used, business must be taken care of.
This need for taking care of business is seen at all levels of church life in our Southern Baptist “tribe.” At the national level we see business taken care of at an annual meeting called the Southern Baptist Convention. Here thousands of Southern Baptists come together for worship, fellowship and the handling of business. Each year at this meeting I smile to myself as I observe perhaps the only organization in the United States that can hold meetings with thousands of messengers and have an “open mic.” Between annual meetings of the Southern Baptist Convention we have elected representatives that make up the SBC Executive Committee. They meet quarterly to handle the business of the national SBC.
And at the state level we too have to take care of business to make sure we continue to support and resource our 350+ Southern Baptist churches. Like the national level SBC, we have an annual meeting where we come together for worship, fellowship and business. This very important meeting occurs soon on Monday and Tuesday, October 10th and 11th. We will be meeting in the mountains at beautiful Vail. For me personally this brings back very good memories. Fifteen years ago I attended my first CBGC annual meeting at Vail. I would like to encourage everyone who is able to attend this important meeting. Come and join in wonderful worship. Hear excellent speaking by nationally recognized preachers. And help simply to take care of our business.