Churches today are often split in many ways, not only in theology but in politics, culture, ethnicity, education, and economics. In the early church, the apostles knew conflict could divide the church and hinder the spread of the Gospel, so they quickly dealt with it. We read in Acts Chapter 6 that a split was brewing. Widows of the Greek-speaking group (the liberal wing) were being treated differently from widows of the Hebrew-speaking group (the more conservative wing). The conflict revolved around the way food was distributed. The apostles saw the injustice and decided they had to take action. They asked the congregation to select seven well-respected, wise, and Spirit-filled men. The congregation chose seven men, primarily from the complaining Greek-speaking segment. The apostles approved them, set them apart to serve, and this united the church. The apostles limited their own duties to praying and teaching. By letting gifted people assist in the work, and letting the congregation have a voice in solving their problem, they united rather than divided the church. We can still use these principles today to limit conflict.

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