My question Pete is are the 7 who were chosen are they I guess what we call elders,deacons who serve? As these guys not only served but taught the people the gospel message. For me this fits the way elders/deacons are to live in 1 Timothy 3:8-13
From this we as followers follow their(as well as those who teach) example serve and share the gospel message.
A lot of people have used this passage to propose a shape for church leadership structures and yes, as you mention, the 7 are usually identified as something like “deacons” (derived from a Greek words which means “to serve”) whose primary responsibility is to serve the church by taking care of material and physical needs.
But as you seem to be hinting at in your comment, we’ve gotta be careful that we don’t draw too sharp a distinction between those who serve by meeting spiritual needs through “prayer & the ministry of the word” and these other ways of serving. My understanding of what it means to faithfully follow Jesus is that we are ALL called to use BOTH our words AND our actions to express the love of Jesus that we know in the gospel. It’s just that some have been given primary responsibility in the church in one area and some in the other area.
The bottom line: the distinction we find described in Acts 6 is helpful for ensuring that we keep the main thing the main thing, while also meeting lesser but still important needs.
And YES, leaders, whatever the nature of their ministry, should ALWAYS be setting an example for the church to follow as they follow the example of Christ.
Thanks Pete. The bottom line says it all.
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