“Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty”. (Acts 6:3)
The early church was initially led by the twelve apostles, but it did not take long before they needed help. The church was growing rapidly, and the apostles could not take care of it alone. Therefore, they appointed seven helpers, whose task it would be to take care for poor church members who needed help. That way, the apostles could focus on preaching the Gospel and on prayer.
The men who were appointed, were selected by certain criteria — not by age, social status or financial wealth, but by their “good repute” and their being “full of the Spirit”. That’s what counts in God’s Kingdom.
Some chapters later, we read how the apostle Paul and Barnabas were sent out as missionaries. The church did not select them for whatever reason, but ‘While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them”’ (Acts 13:4). On their journeys, they listened to the Spirit’s guidance as to where they should travel to preach the Gospel (see Acts 16:6-7).
In all decisions regarding church leadership and mission, we should ask the Spirit to guide us! Is that what you do?