No-one likes receiving a complaint, and the disciples were no exception. In the early days of the Church there came a point where people were upset that certain admin tasks weren’t getting done properly (Acts 6:1). So, the twelve disciples called a meeting. They announced to a wider group that they couldn’t neglect preaching the Word because they were spending all their time serving at tables, and so proposed that seven men be chosen to take on the admin roles so the twelve could be released.
I wonder what your reaction is when you think about this story. I wonder if there’s a niggle inside you about the ‘important and spiritual people’ downgrading the ‘ordinary admin people’. The reason we might feel like that is because we’ve not really understood God’s view of His Body. We can tend to see the up-front teachers, preachers, prophets etc. as more significant than those called to the ministry of helps. But this isn’t true at all, and is certainly not how God sees us.
Just think for a minute about one of the guys who was picked out – Stephen. He was picked (according to Acts 6:3) on the basis of being ‘a man of good repute and full of the Spirit and of wisdom’. That was the main qualification – not how many degrees he had, how many food-banks he’d successfully set up in the past, how many Twitter followers he had that could spread the word about the needs of God’s people. Just someone who walked with God and was full of the Holy Spirit. He was called to serve but he was also used by God to do ‘great wonders and signs’ among the people. He was the guy serving tables but he saw his place in the Body the right way. He knew that whatever role he had in the Body was a privilege and, having given arguably one of the best sermons in history (Acts 7), he gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of the Father.
If you struggle with your position (or lack of position), ask God to show you His view of you as part of His Body. Don’t judge importance in the Body by the roles you have or don’t have, but begin to thank God for the amazing privilege you have to serve Him at all. He’s still looking for a people of good repute and full of the Holy Spirit and of wisdom, and He’s looking at you and asking you to be a part of what He’s doing.
Prayer: Thank You, Father, that we’re part of Your amazingly diverse Body. Thank You for the role You gave each one of us, What a privilege it is to serve You! Please help us to keep our eyes fixed on You, not to judge ourselves or others by what we do, but rather celebrate the part that each of us plays in the Body of Christ. Amen.
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