In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews[a among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. 2 So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. 3 Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”5 This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. 6 They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.7 So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith. Acts 6:1-6
Pennies seem insignificant until you are one scent short. There are those in the church who are like those pennies. They don't feel significant because they are behind the scenes. They and others don't realize their significance until they are gone. I used to think that preaching and teaching were the only essential functions because the gospel was getting out. However, I realize that everything is required to keep the church functioning and help it achieve its primary mission. Peter also realized this in Acts 6 when he appoints seven people to feed the Greek Jews. These 7 helped keep the apostles focused on their primary mission. When needed, Stephen stood up to the Pharisees and become the first martyr. I am sure that Saul, who would later become Paul, was affected profoundly by that moment. Lest we think that any deed is too small, remember that James 1:27 that pure religion is feeding the widows and orphans, which is not directly related to the ministry, opens many people to receive God. I also like the premise of Cathy's Corle Mrs. Ministry. She says that every aspect of our lives our a ministry. From supporting the church blessing God with our worship as we usually do. When you feel like your behind-the-scenes work makes no difference, remember pennies add up.
Updated June 4, 2021