YOUR CHURCH NEEDS YOU
Father God, my mind is full of so many things. Help me be still before You now.
Read Acts 6:1–7
The Choosing of the Seven
6 In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews[a] among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. 2 So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. 3 Brothers and sisters, 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 4 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”
5 This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. 6 They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.
7 So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.
- Acts 6:1 That is, Jews who had adopted the Greek language and culture
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow do you serve the Lord?
By Acts chapter 6, there were enough followers of Jesus that logistics had become complex. For many, becoming a Christian meant losing family support systems that, in the absence of state provision, kept the vulnerable from destitution. The widows were now the responsibility of the church. Suddenly there were new roles in addition to those of leaders, teachers, and preachers: organizers and people to wait on tables. These roles enabled further growth (7).
Church life remains complex today and there is a huge array of jobs to be done, from preaching, pastoral care, and worship leading, to hospitality, children’s work, and finances. Reading the story of the distribution of food to widows, we need to hear both of the following lessons. First, we need to hear that it is right to prioritize what God has called us to do. We may have to lay down some of the responsibilities we’ve gathered along the way. But we also need to hear that our contribution is vital to the health and growth of the church, and we should get involved.
Do you need to pull out of some church commitments in order to focus on those that better utilize your talents? Or is God calling you to serve the church, even though you may not feel you have much to offer?
Father, I need clarity to know how You would have me move forward. Give me a willing heart to follow Your voice.