Scripture reading for June 8th: Acts 6:1-15
Every organization rises or falls on leadership. Gifts of leadership are given to individuals by God to help the church function smoothly. No one person is more important or higher than another in Christ’s body, but each person has a different function based on their gifts and talents. Faithfulness and maturity are foundational to strong leadership.
A crisis in the early church was recorded in Acts 6:1-7. There was strife and complaining between Grecian Jews and Hebraic Jews over the treatment of their widows. Some were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food and the apostles gathered together to tackle the problem. “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the Word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the Word.” (Acts 6:2b-4)
The apostles recognized their priorities as prayer and ministry of the Word. They understood that leadership must be expanded. But just warm bodies would not do the proper job. These men must be full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom. Known character and infilling with the Spirit would enable them to have the power necessary to properly function in this important ministry. God cares deeply about widows and orphans! (James 1:27)
“This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judiasm. The presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.” (Acts 6:5-6) The men were selected from a variety of backgrounds and then prayed over by the apostles. They gave the responsibility of caring for the widows away to responsible people who had the Holy Spirit, faith and wisdom!
The recorded result was an increase in the word of God and number of disciples, even priests were coming to Christ! When godly leadership functions in the proper tasks, God’s church expands. Preaching the Word is a priority for those so gifted and called! Pastoral care is also a vital need that those filled with the Holy Spirit can do. Are you willing and ready for service?