Brian Brenberg, a teacher of business and economics at The King’s College, explains why the work of “table servers” has eternal significance:
Who is the “public” for your work—who is it for, and how does it affect the lives of those who engage with it?
In Acts 6:2, the Apostles realize they are missing opportunities to preach the Gospel because they are spending too much time serving tables. They should be focused on “full-time ministry,” as we commonly use that phrase, because that’s what Apostles are good at.
When I speak to an audience, usually students, I assume most won’t be called to “full-time ministry.” Most will be “table servers”—designers, builders, financers, and deliverers of everyday stuff. And most won’t recognize their work as a calling, because few of us behind the lectern or in the pulpit ever talk about this way. In Acts 6, verse two gets all of the attention.
I encourage my audience to read verse three. What kind of man is fit for the work of serving tables? A man who can’t hack it when it comes to “real” ministry? A man of low calling? Here’s what the Apostles say: “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.” Men like Stephen, “full of grace and power.” In fact, the rest of chapter 6 and all of chapter 7 are devoted to recounting the work of this incredible verse-three man.
Table servers advance God’s Kingdom from nine to five. If they don’t know this, they won’t be very good at it. They’re my audience, and my work is to show them that their work has eternal significance.