6 In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews 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.
Some pretty basic points here from this section: Everyone saw the necessity to make someone responsible for taking care of widows in need. It’s important for us to not overlook caring for those in need, or looking for anyone who is struggling with life and needs assistance. Unfortunately we can get caught up in our “dreams” or plans which distorts our ability to see those around us who need help. We need to remind ourselves frequently that we need to be intentional about seeing those around us.
Additionally, note that they felt it important enough to be devoted to prayer and ministry of the word that someone was chosen to do this. Now, how many churches anticipate their pastor to do ALL the pieces of ministry. Perhaps we are overlooking the necessity to be FULLY committed to aspects of ministry. Instead we almost expect our pastors to be doing other things. In fact, we almost look down on someone who hasn’t been doing things outside of church related ministry. In some cases leadership may even point to taking a break throughout the week for their pastor. Where did the days go when we allowed God to consume our lives? People like Andrew, Matthew, James, John, all of the disciples have left everything in their lives to follow Christ daily… Aren’t our pastors simply modern disciples called to lay down their ENTIRE life for ministry? Is that what we “expect”?
Oh Lord, I often overlook those around me because I am overly focused on myself. I will fail to notice those in need if I am not reminded to be paying attention. Help me Lord to hear the Spirit’s nudge to help those around me. Help me to see the despair and anguish hidden in the faces of those too proud to admit needing help. Amen.
Helping others is a keystone to Scripture. When priority is determined assure you are ranking helping those in need above MOST things. 🙂