Leaders often have the task of resolving complaints from those they serve. It isn’t always easy, but resolving conflict typically includes principles like these: Listen—Hear out those who complain. Investigate–get the facts. Decide what is just for all concerned. Communicate to all parties that need to know. Follow up–check the outcome later. These principles were at work when a serious complaint arose within the early church. We find in Acts Ch. 6 Greek-speaking believers complained that their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution of food. The apostles did not ignore the complaint but realized helping those needy widows was vital—for the widows’ wellbeing as well as that of the church. So they listened carefully to the complaints. They investigated the basis for it, requested people on both sides of the issue to select well-respected, honest, wise, and Spirit-filled persons to take charge of the project. The apostles publicly approved and delegated these chosen ones, which were selected mostly from the complaining group. By following these principles, they resolved the conflict, preserved the unity, and paved the way for continued growth of the church.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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