The apostle’s ministry to people was prayer and the teaching of the word of God. When the
demands of serving the people began to be neglected or began to require more of the apostle’s
time and energy than was available it is important to understand how the apostles resolved this tension. They did not stop teaching the people the word of God in order to meet the people’s
needs, but neither did they neglect the people’s needs. Instead, the apostle’s clearly considered prayer, teaching and taking care of people as important. To resolve the need the apostles did
not take all the responsibility on themselves, but distinguished between what they were going
to do and what other people in the church could do.
The apostles where not willing to take time away from prayer and teaching just so that they
could serve meals to people who were in need of food. Yet, the serving of the food was very
important and the issue of negligence was addressed. The correction the apostles made was
the addition of more people being involved in the ministry of the church instead of themselves
investing more time, which of course, was not available.
“It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait
on tables.” – Acts 2:2
Just because people have physical needs, does not mean the ministers of the Word of God
need to stop teaching. The Word of God is the transforming, renewing power in the soul of the
church. Obviously the physical needs of people can also be met by the church without having to neglect Bible teaching. The apostles figured out a way of doing both by having more and more
people serve. These additional servants were also empowered by the Spirit of God. What was
the result of this balanced approach?
“So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly.”
– Acts 6:7