You don’t have to do everything you know! In fact if you try to do everything you are more likely to do everything mediocre and nothing well. I mean, how many balls can you juggle in the air before you start dropping them?
Well, the rapid expansion and growth in the early church as the Apostles preached the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ brought them to the place where they realised they could not do everything too. We see this in the first of these verses as it says in verse 1,
Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists murmured against the Hebrews because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution.
The Apostles clearly started to drop the ball. There were grumblings occurring because they could not serve tables, do admin work, chase after people as well as preaching, teaching, evangelism, healing and so on. They couldn’t do it all and they knew it. So what to do?
Appointing the Seven
The Apostles were smart. They realised they couldn’t do it all and they also realised that doing the work of serving at tables and so on was not their first priority. They had been called by the Lord to teach and preach the gospel and to go out spread God’s word to the world. And the growth they were experiencing is a testimony to how well they did that work and how the Lord worked with them, remembering that at Pentecost alone there were three thousand converts in a single day.
So they brought all of the people together and spoke to them saying,
2 And the twelve summoned the body of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables.
3 Therefore, brethren, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this duty.
4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
They took a leaf out of any good management book and they delegated by dividing the workload and sharing the work with others. They appointed seven men to take care of the administrative and serving tasks so that the Apostles could focus on the ministry.
Was this the right thing to do or were they shirking their responsibilities in some way by doing this? No. This was the best course of action they could and should have taken because their priority needed to be to teach and preach.
Besides, we saw a similar situation occur with Moses for he was being sought out to make judgements on many. many minor matters and it was wearing him out. When his father-in-law Jethro came and saw what was happening, he counseled Moses to get some help. He said for Moses to appoint leaders over groups of the people, essentially a tiered structure of government so that Moses could focus on the hard cases and to stand as representative for the Lord. If you want to check this out, have a read of Exodus 18 for it is a great message.
This is the way it should be. This is also the way it should be in the church today. Many churches place great burdens on the pastors and ministers to do it all, and this is wrong. Consider that even Jesus did not do it all Himself but appointed the twelve whom He sent out to scout out towns ahead as well as to preach the word prior to Jesus coming.
It is also the reason why God gives ministry gifts to the church and not everyone has or receives all of the ministry gifts. He appoints different people to have different gifts in the church through the Holy Spirit partly for the reason of sharing the load.
But there is also other reasons why we should share the load.
One of the big reasons why we should share the load is to give others the opportunity to serve the Lord. It is a great blessing to be of service to the Lord and we do this when we serve His people. So when we share the load we are giving others the opportunity to be blessed through giving what they can offer.
We must remember the words of the Lord when He said, “‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” (Acts 20:35) When someone is given the opportunity to give what they can, whether it be time, money, talent, skills or whatever, they are giving to the Lord and thus receiving the blessing of their giving.
And it is even better when they are vastly more qualified to do the task at hand than we are. Look at the Apostles who gave the serving tasks to the chosen seven. They were certainly more able and the blessing for all is that it freed the Apostles up to continue their teaching and preaching ministry. Thus, everyone is blessed through sharing the load and spreading the work.
The key to all of this is the same as in many other aspects of God’s Kingdom. Balance. No-one should be overworked and no one under employed. We are all equal and have our roles to play to which each is suited and gifts given according to the Holy Spirit. So be prepared to share the work and also be a sharer in the work.
(Image sourced from stock.xchng taken by Julia Freeman-Woolpert)
You might also like:
Call Of The Twelve
Jesus Sends Out The Twelve
Jesus Calls The First Disciples
The Other Disciples
Anointing Of Jesus
The Christian Value Proposition
The Measure You Give Will Be The Measure You Get Back
Ask And It Will Be Given You
Do You Give Expecting To Get
Giving For Jesus
God Gives Good Gifts
The Holy Spirit
Speaking In Tongues
Promise Of Salvation
Taught By Jesus
Christian Giving Vs Tithing
Receiving The Holy Spirit