Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them.
And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.
And Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people.
by: Dorothy Noel.
It is exciting to see increases in the church! But when this happens there are often growing pains. In the early church, neglecting some widows was this pain. The Twelve knew this duty was important, but also knew their priorities were elsewhere. Instead of trying to take on extra work, or leaving the dissension in the church to fester, they appointed seven men. Through prayer the seven were called to fulfill this important task. As our church ministries grow, let us recognize where we need help and be willing to give tasks to others that we may focus on the specific work Christ has set before each one of us.