READ : Acts 6:1-7
The apostles were so busy preaching the word of God that they overlooked the needs of some Christian widows with a Hellenistic (Greek) background. The widows with a Hebrew background were receiving better treatment. Complaints were made, with ethnic overtones.
The apostles’ response is instructive. They saw to it that the widows’ needs were met by appointing deacons to assist them. However, they reaffirmed that the church’s spiritual ministry centers primarily on prayer and the proclamation of the gospel.
The church exists to be a witness to Christ and his love. This includes practical concern for others but not at the expense of preaching, evangelism, and prayer. Our first priority is to tell all about God’s saving love. The deacon martyr, Stephen, illustrates this principle. His outreach ministry is emphasized. I am constantly challenged as a pastor to keep my priorities and that of my church in line with the apostles. The pressure of congregational needs must not weaken our primary mission to fulfill the Great Commission.
Lord, help my church and me to care for one another without losing our focus on those who don’t know you.