Acts 6:2 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.”
This is a famous incident, and at first glance it might seem to violate something Jesus said: “But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.” (Luke 22:26-27) The thing is, the apostles weren’t declining to serve, they were simply recognizing priorities and differing ministries. As Moses had to learn, it is very poor practice for leadership to try to do everything. (Exodus 18:13-26) Not only is the leader worn out, others are deprived of the opportunity to grow through service. At least two of the seven chosen at this point went on to stellar service, and not just waiting tables! Stephen was the first martyr, and Philip served mightily as an evangelist. The thing is, the apostles were not demanding that others serve them, they were simply saying that there was more to be done than they alone could do, and others needed to get in on the act.
This is a touchy point for me. I am gifted very broadly, so there are a lot of different things I can do, and in a church this small it is often hard to find anyone else to do them. However, it has been a problem that too often I have felt others couldn’t do things as well as I could, so I never gave them the opportunity to grow into that ministry. The same thing applies to my wife. There are lots of things that if we didn’t do them, they wouldn’t get done. There is always the question of whether they really need to be done, and the jury is still out on a number of things. We’ve recently ordained an assistant pastor, but like me he has to hold down a secular job, and there are a number of things that are relatively simple for me that seem very difficult for him, particularly involving computers. The most attractive answer would be for the church to grow quickly in numbers, with people of all sorts of abilities, and to be able to delegate all sorts of things. However, that’s in God’s hands. The assistant pastor is active in social media, which I’m not, so that is an area I feel we are to pursue. That could well be the key to growth in numbers! In any case, my first priority must be seeking God and listening obediently to Him, and after that, to doing each thing He tells me and letting others do what He has for them.
Father, I feel this has been a weak point of my ministry all along. I ask for Your wisdom and guidance, that I would not let pride get in the way of what You want to do, so that the Body of Christ may be built up as You intend, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!