SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- The number of believers was increasing at such an alarming rate that the 12 disciples couldn't keep up. Ministering to people's needs was becoming complicated and time consuming. So the 12 disciples, not wanting to neglect preaching, appointed 7 men to take on the first recorded social ministry in the New Testament. Verse 3 says the seven leaders were chosen because of their godly wisdom and Holy Spirit filled life.
- One of the seven leaders selected was Stephen. He was a man filled with God's great power and he was performing miracles and wonders just like the disciples. This angered the Sanhedrin. So, just like the apostles, he was brought into court and questioned about Christianity.
- The ministry of the church is not to be done by the pastors. As we see in this chapter, God calls some leaders to preach, but, he calls others, like the seven, to social ministry- to take care of the poor, the widowed, and the orphan. Both are valid ways of ministering, and the church must do both.
- Stephen, filled with God's love, was chosen to care for these widows and to deal with the cultural tension that existed between the Greeks and the Hebrews. He was willing to serve, even if it wasn't glorious work.
- God has called you to minister! Perhaps your destiny isn't to preach in front of thousands, but God still has an important ministry for you to do in his church. Maybe you are to help feed the homeless in town or tutor a struggling child. Maybe you could lead a Verve Group and help people grow closer to God. God wants us to use our gifts and talents to serve others. So ... where is God calling you to serve? And what is keeping you from saying yes?