Acts 6:3-7 (NIVUK)
3 Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.’ 5 This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. 6 They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. 7 So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.
Trouble was brewing as the Church grew. No longer could the disciples manage to keep on top of their prayer and preaching as well as overseeing the practical work of making sure the vulnerable were fed. People were being left out and divisions creeping in. The answer? They picked some more leaders, known for their wisdom and most importantly their openness to the guidance and work of the Spirit. The result? The Church grew. It would seem that both spoken evangelism and practical care are vital in growing God’s Kingdom, and it is important for those leading such work to be sensitive to the Spirit’s prompting and power.
Lord, help me to be open today, so whatever you call me to do in it, that your Kingdom may grow as a result.
Today’s New Testament in a Season readings: Acts 5-7