The police found a thief’s wallet. Inside was his code of conduct: Never kill anybody unless you have to. Never take checks — only cash or food stamps. Rob only at night. Never ware a mask. Rob only seven months of the year. Rob the rich and give to the poor. This thief had a value system. When the early apostles were selecting people to help them in their ministry, they used a different set of values. Their purpose was to solve a critical social problem. Greek-speaking widows were not getting their fair share of food. The apostles called a meeting and told the people, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables.” Then they encouraged the believers to select seven men to oversee the program of caring for the widows. The apostles spelled out the criteria for selecting them. They should have a reputation for fairness. They should be people who revered God and relied on the Holy Spirit to guide them. Once the church had selected them, the apostles confirmed their selection by laying their hands on them. The results were phenomenal. Complaints stopped and the church grew. Selecting leaders is a critical task–in the church, business, or government. When leaders have strong ethical values coupled with job skills, the results can be outstanding.
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