And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. (Acts 6:1-6)
Churches today use many titles for those who serve. The most familiar is pastor. Others are minister, elder, evangelist, and deacon. Some church governments assign every business decision to the deacons, but that was not the intent of the apostles. If you read Acts 6:1-6 carefully, you will see that seven men were chosen to tend to this business – not all of the business of the church. The business to which the first deacons were assigned was the administration of the widows’ feeding program. They didn’t act as overseers to the apostles; they didn’t decide how their services would run. They simply did what needed to be done. They were the first helps ministers in the church.
Ushers, hostesses, greeters, parking lot attendants, children’s church teachers, nursery workers, choir, band, praise team members, cleaning and building upkeep volunteers, ride provider van drivers, and many others make up today’s ministry of helps in most churches. I also have several ordained ministers on staff at my church. They serve as pastoral care ministers, counselors, and class instructors. Although they go by the title of Minister, they too are serving in the ministry of helps. They do what I cannot do myself, in much the same way the deacons in Acts 6:1-6 assisted the apostles.
Practical Application – Every pastor needs help. What can you do to serve your local church?
1 Timothy 3:8; 1 Timothy 3:10