In Acts 6 the Apostles had to make a huge decision in prioritizing the Word and Prayer over ministry in the church.
Through the first five chapters in the book of Acts we witness the church exploding with power and the Presence of the Lord. The needs in the church were increasing. Problems surfaced. Needs had to be met. The pressure was on.
The Apostles made an all-important decision that we can all learn from. The problem they faced was never ignored but rightfully administrated without loosing their focus on keeping the First Commandment (Mark 12:30) in first place.
Acts 6:2-4 “So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers, 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 and we will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”
This was a crucial move. By prioritizing the First Commandment over the Second, it paved the way to great multiplication. Even the priests were giving their hearts to the Lord. This one decision was the catalyst that both increased and sustained revival!
Acts 6:7 “Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.”
Though taking care of ministry needs are important, it should never move us away from continual encounter with the Lord through Prayer and the Word.
But throughout church history we have seen how ministry demands gobble-up time away from the Lord. Many Pastors and leaders are suffering from burnout which leads to huge problems.
I love this example we find here. Keep the focus strong and the priority solid. First commandment, first!
Later we see the Apostle Paul pen these words to the church at Ephesus:
Ephesians 4:11-13 11 “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
The Ephesian 4 mandate will not soar unless the Acts 6 priority is made.
We are all leaders and have influence to one degree or another. It is important to be examples of a First Commandment reality much like the Apostles were.
So be intentional and prioritize quality time in Prayer and in the Word to grow and sustain revival from your own history in God!
Your Turn: Do you struggle with putting ministry to others in front of ministry to the Lord? How do we get better at continually making the First Commandment first place in our lives?