This morning in Men’s Bible Study we talked about the moment when the first deacons were selected. The church had been growing furiously and the apostles were overwhelmed trying to preach, teach and care for the needs of all the believers. This was compounded by the fact that the early church largely held things in common. People brought large gifts to the apostles and they distributed food and funds so everyone had what they needed, especially the poor, the widow and orphans. So the apostles suggested the believers choose seven trusted people to take care of the administrative tasks so they could “devote themselves to prayer and to serving the word” – that is teaching and preaching.
Some of the men at Bible Study commented that this was the first time the church had divided up responsibilities based on the gifts of the members and indeed, that was correct. The net result was the church grew even more as lots of people began to pitch in and make things happen. Notice, however, the three key things of importance: prayer, teaching/preaching the word, and looking after the physical needs of the believers.
These days a church needs lots of skills and gifts in order to thrive, but prayer, teaching/preaching the word and caring for the needs of believers are surely still in the list. I wonder what your gifts are for Christ’ church. Are you pitching in and doing your part to grow the body of Christ?
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