Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Expansion

Whenever anything is made larger - the size increased - the volume enlarged - it grows in size and is expanded - thus experiencing expansion. We love to see things grow bigger - our children - our families - our bank accounts - our stock portfolios - our teams - our membership. Not all expansion is good - headaches - stress - waistlines - troubles - turmoil. When coping with expansion we need a plan - a method of controlling - both the good and bad kinds. Left uncontrolled - expansion will lead to all kinds of issues. Rapid expansion without control means that it is not being managed properly. Larger families run out of room - not enough beds for everyone - teams that grow too large may mean that some members never get to play - membership that grows too rapidly means some end up being left behind and feel like second class members. Waistlines that expand rapidly - out of control -means medical issues down the road. The secret to managing expansion is organization - laying out plans - in advance - before the expansion happens - to avoid pitfalls.
When Jesus started His public ministry - He had a plan - He started with twelve men and grew from there. In Matthew 14:13-21 we read of the people following Him - He led them to the open fields where there was enough room for the five thousand of them to sit and eat as He performed the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fish. As the number of His followers increased - so did those who ministered to them. As the early Church was forming the Apostles recognized the need for more helpers and so the diaconate was formed. Saint Stephen was one of the first deacons and an early martyr for the Church. Continued growth led to the need for presbyters. The apostles were the first bishops of the Church - with the deacons and presbyters - the organization of the Church was set for even greater expansion. As we expand our personal relationship with Jesus - we follow with baby steps - growing bit by bit - learning and understanding our place - our part - in the scheme of things. We may be just one small part in the larger vision - but we are a part and if we do our part correctly - each of us will play an important roles in the expansion of God's world.

Deacon Dale 

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