In a lot of ways leading a multi-ethnic transition may be unlike anything you have attempted to lead before. The leadership required is highly situational and contingent. I think Acts 6:1-7 is a model we can learn a lot from.
In this text Grecian Jewish converts were not native to Palestine. They had relocated to Jerusalem because it was considered to be honorable to spend your last days in Jerusalem and to be buried there upon death.
Because of this belief, Jews of many different ethnicities from all over the Roman Empire moved there toward the end of their lives. This created a large population of widows. The Jewish faith took the responsibility of caring for widows as a serious task. Because of the significant amount of nonnative widows located in Jerusalem, it created a social problem. There were not enough foreign Jewish synagogues to keep up with the demands of care.
Caring for them was not a value among pagan, nonnatives. With no relatives around, the widows were in dire straits. If we take the high road, we can assume the Grecian widows were not intentionally discriminated against. There is a high probability the Grecian church widows were not being adequately served simply because of the sheer number of them.
But we can’t lose sight of human nature. Many scholars think that Hebraic Jews, because of ethnic bias, looked down on Grecian Jews, and so there is a strong probability that Grecian widows were intentionally overlooked. The results are the same regardless of motive. A biblical mandate to care for widows was being violated. How did the leadership respond? They did 4 things:
1) Embraced ethnic diversity as an organizational DNA adventure (vv.1-2). When the slight was brought to their attention, they took it seriously and did not become defensive.
2) Leveraged ethnic difference (vv. 3-4). They intentionally expanded the leadership structure to accommodate the needs of the Grecians among them.
3) Mobilized money and personnel towards solutions (vv.5-6). The expanded structure was not just lip service. They put feet on the new vision.
4) Provided Clarity (v.1-7). Taken as a whole, all the steps provided clarity towards the real goal – spreading the gospel.