And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. Wherefore, brethren look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. KJV
As I see it many ministers (pastors) find themselves in this same predicament, especially when they first become a minister or pastor. What happened was the churches were growing and became so large that one group of widows were being fed and not the other. The pastors found themselves tending more to the daily routines and administrations more than to what they were originally told to accomplish. That was to preach and add to the ministry, disciples and followers. They could not do both and be effective.
Like it is today in many Islamic societies as well as a few other religions, women don’t have any rights nor own anything. So it was then. That meant, when the husband expired the widow was without any means of support. The women then had to beg, among other ways, for their needs, which included food. This is where the church came in and helped the widows and, still in some societies today, it is still being done.
Being wise and having a strong desire to do what they were told to do, they decided to instruct the twelve, which are now known to us as deacons. Now they have a duty to perform so as the disciples could perform their duty and not serve tables (feed the people). As I see it, it could be said that feeding the people was their job because they fed the soul with the Word while the deacons fed the stomach and mind. Both were a form of feeding but it was vastly different and both did the bidding of God.
A lot of pastors, today, dabble in doing all the things the church is involved in. They attempt to be director, overseer, and the person that give the final okay. Then they try to prepare a proper sermon and everything else that the pastor have to do for services. Some forget Acts chapter six and what it say. It holds true today as it has for over two thousand years. When the Bible is not followed, trouble is bound to follow.
This was the first true job the deacons were given and the instructions, over the years, have increased and, in some cases, decreased. It’s like a bouncing ball and varies from one church to another and one denomination to another. Call it interpretation. In some churches deacons are the administrators of the church and some churches it is the trustee’s job. Yet, some churches are so small and lack the man power to accomplish these tasks and do the true deacon job. That job is to administer to the congregation with service and prayer as well as being the right hand of the pastor. A lot of deacons are too busy as church administrators to really be of service to the congregation and pastor.
These small churches need to tend to the people and grow. Minor administration have to be done but the devotion of all of the deacon’s time to this must be avoided at all costs. The pastor must devote the majority of time to prayer and providing the word of God. Some time is left of other duties such as visiting members at the hospital, funerals, weddings, etc. but most other duties is the job of the deacon. Serving the daily bread to all the people.