Fading into the Background
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.
I read the familiar story of Stephen in Acts 6, as I have before. This time, however, I noticed some men who caught my attention. Do you remember Prochorus? Have you heard a sermon on Parmenas or Nicanor? Probably not.
We don’t know much about them except they were men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom (Acts 6:3 NASB). Those are pretty good accolades! These men helped take care of the widows in the early church, enabling the apostles to preach the word of God. As a result, more people were reached and the church continued to grow.
Women supported Jesus financially and took care of His needs as he went from town to town proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God (Luke 8:1 NASB). Mary Magdalene, Joanna and Susanna are mentioned in the Bible but the rest are not. We can be sure that Jesus appreciated the help the women gave Him so He could focus on preaching and teaching.
I know of a family that cleaned their church each week as a gift of service. I know a woman who faithfully cleans her pastor’s house so he can concentrate on his pastoral duties rather than cleaning. I know people who provide food to a shelter each week. I know of a group of ladies who pray for their pastor during Sunday services. All of these people have a servant’s heart and don’t expect or want recognition. Because of their help, the gospel continues to be shared to others.
We each have a gift or talent we can use to help build the kingdom. Whether we are well-known or part of the periphery, each act of service we offer to God and to His church is valuable. What will you give?