Today I will review Acts 6 and point out a few things we can learn from this chapter. 

Square Pegs in Round Holes?

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.

Acts 6:2 (NIV)

There’s a principle you may have yet to hear of. The 80/20 rule stipulates that 80% of the consequences come from 20% of causes for any specific event. When we apply the 80/20 rule to church, it means that, for the most part, 80% of the same people volunteer, and the same people do not. I’ve seen this rule in the church where 20% of the people do 80% of the work. 

As we consider Acts 6:2, we might ask why the Twelve chose to not wait on tables. While the verse tells us why, it wouldn’t be right to neglect their ministry to wait on tables, there’s something more we can glean from this verse. Although Jesus told his disciples that the greatest of them must be a servant, he didn’t tell them to not exercise discernment or neglect the word of God. Yet, sometimes, if we’re not careful, we can neglect God’s word and the ministry he’s given us when other people aren’t pulling their weight. This is why we need to pay attention to the first part of Acts 6:2; “So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together.” Hence, my introduction to the 80/20 rule. 

The Twelve got all the disciples together and told them, “You have to wait on these tables. The ministry of the word of God is more important than waiting on tables.” Again, this might seem odd but think about it this way. God gave us each gifts to serve others. Is it better for the person with gifts of ministry and teaching to use those gifts to reach people for the Kingdom, or is it better for those who have gifts of helps and service to use them to help people within the Kingdom? I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have a doctor overseeing my medical needs than an electrician. 

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.

Acts 6:7 (NIV)

Consider everyone doing the job they’re supposed to do and how it impacts the Kingdom of God. Acts 6:7 reveals that “the word of God spread,” and more people came to know the Lord. When we do what we’re supposed to do with discernment, it makes a more significant difference than if we try and spread ourselves thin to make up for those who aren’t doing the work. 

Another point of note from Acts 6:7 is that “a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.” These priests were Jewish, and their obedience to the faith reveals that they turned away from the ritualistic nature they had previously followed. Because of the priest’s obedience, more people would also have come to believe in Jesus. 

Secrets and Lies

One of the men chosen to wait on tables was Stephen. However, because Stephen preached the Gospel message, he acquired enemies who “could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke” (Acts 6:10 NIV). Therefore, they hatched a scheme. 

Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, “We have heard Stephen speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God.”

Acts 6:11 (NIV)

When I read Acts 6:11, a question popped into my mind. How did Luke know that Stephen’s enemies met secretly if it was confidential?

If we consider that Saul (Paul) was one of those enemies, since Saul watched over their clothes while they stoned Stephen, we can deduce that Saul must have told Luke. Hence, Luke’s knowledge about the matter. While the text is the inspired word of God, the fact that Paul probably told Luke about the secret meeting and that we noticed it reveals that careful reading is rewarding. 

Those are my thoughts today. Thanks for stopping by.