• Although Stephen was only distributing food, he was a man full of the Holy Spirit
• Do not let your talent lie fallow in the perception that it doesn't matter to God
I must confess, in the modern church setting, there is a lot of classism. This is often seen in the way certain roles in the church are esteemed compared to others.
Just like in a government setting, there are those ministries in church considered prestigious by virtue of the platform or publicity it offers. Singing in the praise and worship team, for instance, opens one to the possibility of a blissful music career as many top artistes today would attest.
However, this is not to mean that pursuing your potential as a singer by joining this ministry is selfish. It is just that as human beings, we have viewed the body of Christ from a different perspective than God's.
In 1 Corinthians 12:12-31, the apostle Paul uses an analogy of the human anatomy system to describe how each and everyone of us is important in the body of Christ regardless of how minute we may seem from a human perspective.
In verses 17-20, he says: "If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body."
In a nutshell, everyone has an integral role to play in the edification of the body of Christ — whether in the back or front office. My late brother used to cook tea for people in church and back then, I used to wonder why he would be lumped with lighter (or heavier) duties.
Then I came to learn that whether a praise and worship leader, a cook, cleaner of the church or the archbishop, it is the same Spirit of God who reigns in all of us.
A prime example of the equitability of the Holy Spirit is seen in the story of Stephen in Acts 6 and 7. Although he had been appointed as one of the seven men to undertake food distribution among the poor widows, it is recorded in Acts 6:5 that he was a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit.
While in the course of his work, Stephen performs many miracles and wonders courtesy of the Holy Spirit. Members of the synagogue tried to discredit him through their alleged "intellectual knowledge" but were unable to match up to Stephen's wisdom.
For all his faithfulness and love for the things of God, Stephen paid with his life, although he remained unbowed to the end. His is testament that the Great Commission given to us by Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20 was not for a select few but for all of us who confess of Him as our Lord and have accepted the gift of salvation.
Indeed, when we become born again, we receive His Spirit to guide us into all truth and to perform miracles and wonders.
Thus the talent you have, do not let it lie fallow in the perception that it doesn't matter to God. He created you for a purpose and go forth and pursue it in the power of the Holy Spirit.