Acts 6 starts off with letting us know that the multiplication of the church brought division. They church grew so fast that people felt they were being neglected. The disciples assessed the situation and saw that those of greek decent were being looked over. We see racial inequality happening in the early church but the leadership acted quickly to rectify it. The twelve apostles appointed deacons (helpers) to make sure that the details of physically feeding people didn’t cause them to stop spiritually feeding people. Any time a church grows and multiplies there will be division arising. It comes from the holes that are exposed to to gaps in care.
They chose 7 men to fulfill this role. They had these requirements.
- Well respected
- Spiritually mature and spirit led
- Responsible enough to do the job
The apostles prayed and laid hands on them and set them to their task. It appears all the names on the list were Greek. The people chose these men and the apostles confirmed. That seems backwards from today. Seems like leadership chooses and then people confirm. Because of this leadership restructuring, the church had more added to it. Multiplication caused division which when addressed caused further addition.
One of the men chosen was Stephen. God used him to perform miracles and signs. He got into an argument with some jewish nonbelievers. No one could stand against his wisdom. They lied about him and they brought him before the council. Sometimes you do the right thing and people just still lie about you. Stephen’s face then shined like a reflection of heaven as he began to address them. We will pick up there in our next post.