Superstars vs Table Waiters

Act 6:3-8 - "'Brothers, 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 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.' 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. They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. So the word of God spread…Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people.” (NIV)

It’s an erroneous belief in the modern church. The Roman Catholics perpetrated it and the Reformation never overcame it, in spite of Martin Luther’s teaching that every New Testament believer in Jesus is a priest. It’s the belief that the greater power and honor belongs to the evangelist, the pastor, the TV super-preacher. This, my friend, is just not so.

This belief, like the gash in the side of the Titanic, has done more to maim the church’s influence than many realize. Because we believe the “real power” belongs to the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers (what’s referred to as the 5-fold ministry), we’ve given up on God using all of us to do miracles. The old ship of Zion is taking on water, and it’s not because we don’t have great leaders. It’s because leaders have not released the followers.

The first Christian leaders didn’t acquire this paradigm. When the twelve apostles were overcome with menial tasks, they assigned “deacons” to the day to day distribution of food to widows. This would be equivalent to any ministry in the modern church where people serve. Greeting, ushering, hospitality, and meals to the bereaved are a few that would fall in a similar category.

Only thing, in the early church no one assumed that these tasks were an end in themselves. Stephen, for one, waited tables and worked miracles. For him, it was a package deal. The early church didn’t wait on Peter, James or John for their miracle when they could more easily call on a parking usher. Usually, parking lot ushers are much more accessible than the church star (pastor) anyway. So, after you park your car, it’s easier to limp on over to Fred and have him lay his hands on you and pray to receive your miracle. It also costs less than a $50 prayer cloth. (Sorry. I just had to say that.)

I need to apologize to all the servants in the church who have been pushed aside and made to feel that what you do is second to what I do. You are more than a support to the real ministry like the pastor does. YOU ARE THE REAL MINISTRY.

Stephen had the same Holy Spirit that the other twelve apostles possessed. And you have the same Holy Spirit that I enjoy. Who you are and what you do IS NOT secondary to me or any other leader in the Body of Christ. You are not the “warm up act”—you ARE the act. When you go to work today, you’re the main event. You carry God inside you…SO LET HIM OUT!

I know. Talk like this scares the liver out of a lot of pastors and leaders. But not me. With the authority of the Word of God, I say, “Be free to be who you are in God. Heal the sick, cast out demons, cleanse lepers, raise the dead! Freely you have received, freely give.”

When we (people like me) get out of the way, look out! Revival is going to come through Stephen, Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas in the church.

By the way, who in the world was Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, and Parmenas?

See. That’s my point. Unknown, but powerful!

And so are you.

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