In Acts 6, a unique problem arose within the early church. Due to the rapid growth in the number of disciples, some of the women were being neglected in the daily ministering of food and other relief. The twelve apostles called a special meeting and told the multitude of disciples that it was not the proper thing for them to neglect their spiritual responsibilities of preaching the Word of God to "serve tables" according to verse 2.
They then told the people to select 7 men of honest report, full of the Holy Spirit and full of wisdom who could be appointed supervisors of the daily relief ministry. Part of the daily responsibility of the church has always involved taking care of those who could not take care of themselves. The church would collect food and other necessities which were then distributed to the widows and orphans daily. Some honest leaders who walked by the Spirit and manifested great wisdom were needed to oversee this.
Have you ever stopped to consider how significant it is that the criteria for overseeing the daily distribution of food, clothing and other necessities of life are pretty much the same as those for teaching and pastoring? In 1 Timothy, there are very few differences between the qualifications of a bishop and a deacon. So it is here in Acts 6 when it comes to the qualifications of those whose job it was to make sure the physical needs of especially the widows and orphans were met.
They did indeed find 7 men who met the criteria and in Acts 6:6 it says that the apostles prayed and laid their hands on them. This means that they were "ordained". Very few Christians understand how important those who oversee the physical work of the ministry are to the ministry. Most believers look at the men and women who stand up before the crowds and teach and preach and think they are most important people in the Body of Christ. They could not be more wrong.
Those charged with teaching, preaching, shepherding and guiding the flock are simply called to fulfill their particular aspect of the ministry. They are no more important than those called to build the church building, oversee the maintenance of the building, those who print and distribute books and Bibles, those who collect and distribute resources to the needy and those who spend hours per day in prayer. We are ONE BODY and each member has a function they are called to perform. If each member does what they are supposed to do to the best of their ability-the body works together and God gets the glory.
Unfortunately, in most assemblies those whose position demands being in front of the people are deemed to be more important than those who labor behind the scenes. The inevitable result is that those whose function is public are assumed to be worthy of more praise, honor and salary than those who are rarely seen but whose function is every bit as vital as the one everyone sees.
A true leader must first learn to be a servant or their position will "get to their head" and they will get puffed up with pride and start thinking they are more important than anyone else. This trick has brought down countless great preachers, teachers and performers over the years. This is what Jesus Christ was endeavoring to communicate to His disciples the last night of his ministry when he washed their feet and spoke to them about humility.
It is extremely important that believers overcome the "rock star" mentality when it comes to their attitude toward those who present God's Word via preaching, teaching, acting and singing. The true "Star of the Show" is our Lord Jesus Christ and not the particular man or woman who is standing in front of the people at any given time. Yet, in most cases people fawn over those who appear to be the "stars" and ignore those who labor behind the scenes to make the "star" look good.
In any production it takes a crew of dedicated people working behind the scenes to make for a professional production. Everyone from the person working the sound and lights to the people who clean the facility are equally important as far as God is concerned. It is only man who thinks the one with the spotlight upon him is the "star of the show".
The mark of a true leader who has a public ministry is found in their ability to manifest the humility needed so that everyone understands that he/she is NOT the "star of the show". Any so called leader who basks in the glory of being the leader is a fraud. Any so called leader who funnels resources to make him/herself look good at the expense of those who do all the work is a fraud. Any so called leader who draws attention to him/herself instead of the Lord is a fraud.
Outside of Jesus Christ, the most "famous" men in the New Testament were Peter and Paul. In both cases, these men spent huge amounts of their time trudging down dusty paths going from one little fellowship or town to the next. They had no fancy motor coaches to travel in nor did they have any fancy four star hotels to be pampered by. They got dirty just like their traveling companions. They got blisters just like everyone else. Their clothes stunk just like all the rest.
This notion that those who who have the privilege of teaching, preaching and performing God's Word are worthy of adoration, praise and lavish gifts is wrong. These people are no different than the rest of us and if they don't believe it, they need to step down and go spend a few months in the wilderness. One's position in the Body does not justify an arrogant and "holier than thou" attitude manifesting itself in a "what can you do for me" lifestyle.
I have spent plenty of time on both sides of the fence so I know of what I speak. I can absolutely guarantee you that the person who sets up the coffee and lays out the snacks is equally important as the one singing the solo during the service. I can assure you that the person who runs the sound or lights during a play is equally important as the actors on the stage. We are supposed to be a team, and as such, we need to work together as fellow laborers instead of in some kind of caste system. Thank You.
When my son (who's a theatre major actually) was a teenager, he performed with a Christian theatre company and traveled extensively primarily throughout the upper midwest. During that time my husband and I were parent volunteers and my husband would also provide technical support as that is his area of expertise. The teens would perform before audiences which numbered 30 to thousands of teenagers. It was easy for them to get a "rock star" mentality if they weren't careful. Servanthood was a topic we kept before them at all times. We constantly reminded them that in the Kingdom of God, things work differently than in the world. In the world, everyone caters to those "on stage". In the Kingdom of God, the opposite is true. We are called to serve!
As God's princes and princesses, it is easy to get swelled heads and forget that while we are "royalty" we are also servants. Christ set the example for us. Now we need to follow it.
I loved the analogy of the stage/production crew and the actors. As someone who has spent a lot of time in blacks, wearing a headset and wandering around in the dark, I've used the same one myself.