Written by Ken Braddy – Manager of Adult Ongoing Bible Studies at Lifeway
“Then the Twelve summoned the whole company of disciples and said, ‘It would not be right for us to give up preaching about God to handle financial matters. Therefore, brothers, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and wisdom, whom we can appoint to this duty.” – Acts 6:2-3.
Believers honor God and further His kingdom through selfless service. This was the case during a time of rapid growth of the early church, and it is the case today in your church. The apostles became aware that widows were accidentally being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. Even well-intentioned, hard-working believers can miss opportunities to meet people’s needs – sometimes there just isn’t enough time, energy, or resources to go around. In the story here in Acts 6, the missing element wasn’t food, but manpower. The apostles needed help so they could focus on preaching and teaching the Word of God. Helping the poor was important, and not meeting needs wasn’t an option. The solution? More workers were needed!
It is tempting to say “We just don’t have enough volunteers” when there are needs in the church that go unmet. However, it doesn’t have to be so. God has given each church the people it needs to accomplish the tasks He has given it. As one author has stated, “To deny this is to call God impotent. Remember, God used even a donkey to teach Balaam, so who is to say you don’t have those who are qualified to serve?” (The Teaching Ministry of the Church, p.408).
As you teach this session from Acts 6, challenge your group members to consider serving others by being selfless. Some may need to leave your group to do so. Remember, Sunday school is a clearing house, not a storehouse! The goal is to teach and disciple people, and encourage them to use their God-given gifts to serve others. For some group members, it is time for them to step up and serve within the context of your group. An apprentice teacher, and outreach leader, care group leaders, and other key positions, if filled, can make all the difference in whether or not the group carries out The Great Commission.