“‘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’” (Acts 6:3-4).
In the days after Jesus returned to Heaven and sent the Holy Spirit upon His followers, the church exploded. Thousands of people were flocking to Jesus and joining the ranks of His followers, recognizing that He was indeed the Messiah they’d been waiting for.
But while this multiplication was exactly what the believers had been praying for, it did come with its own set of problems. The more people there were, the more needs there were to address, and it wasn’t long before the leaders were overwhelmed.
To solve this issue, the apostles (the new name for the original twelve followers of Jesus) decided to appoint seven men whose specific job was to care for the needy. They knew it was important to take care of their own, but they also couldn’t stop telling other people about the good news of Jesus. The people were pleased with this idea, and they chose seven outstanding men who were characterized by being full of the Holy Spirit.
These servants of the church were not any less important than the twelve apostles. Teaching was not their main ministry, but they had the privilege of caring for their fellow believers in a personal way. Their work was more behind the scenes, but they were just as committed to God and filled with the Spirit as those who spent their days proclaiming Jesus to those who had not yet heard of Him.
Nothing that is done for God is a lesser service. The second greatest commandment is to love our neighbors as ourselves, and that’s exactly what these seven men were chosen to do. We each have our role in God’s family, and He delights in us using our gifts to serve Him and serve others.