Day 33: Division of Labor

Acts 6:1-4 :

Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, a complaint arose from the Hellenists against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily service. The twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, “It is not appropriate for us to forsake the word of God and serve tables. Therefore select from among you, brothers, seven men of good report, full of the Holy Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will continue steadfastly in prayer and in the ministry of the word.”

There are some very interesting things for us to consider about this short passage. First of all, we have our first church fight. In this case the Greek speaking Jews felt like they were not getting equal treatment with the Hebrew speaking ones in how the free food was getting distributed. I am guessing that this was coming from years of previous distrust over the collaboration that these Jews had with non-Jews. Really, this kind of thing doesn’t make any sense in the Church since there is no such separation anymore, but they were thinking in a sinful way and this needed to be dealt with.

Now, the apostles had a great responsibility to distribute the words of God and in some cases write them down too. They realized that if they spent time dealing with the people on daily matters regarding food and relationships, it would take them away from what God wanted them to be doing. This was not wrong for them to say “no” to the other kind of ministry.

Notice, also that it is not wrong for some to have a different kind of ministry than others. Not all of them were sent by God to be dedicated to the word of God like preachers are. These other men were to take care of daily physical matters. Notice, however, that these other men were still to have high spiritual qualifications. They had to have a good reputation, be full of the Holy Spirit and have wisdom. Wisdom is having a good understanding of how to apply truth and being full of the Holy Spirit meant that these men were to have power from God like the apostles.

So, not everyone needs to be a preacher, although, as we will find out, even these men could speak out by the Holy Spirit when the need arose.