“Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, ‘It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.’” (Acts 6:2-4)
“Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress…” (James 1:27)
When Jesus’ Apostles could no longer handle all of the functions of the swelling ministry of His new church, they chose men of very special quality to do what? Wait tables. Does this story of one such man in Acts go on for the next two chapters to talk about the wisdom and Christ-like example set by those who were going to dedicate themselves to preaching and prayer, as vital as that is? No, they focus on one of the “waiters” named Stephen. James tells us pure and undefiled religion is to do the same thing Stephen was doing: waiting tables for widows and orphans. The Greek word for “religion” here means to demonstrate worship. Romans 12 instructs us to present our bodies [wait tables] to the Lord as our “spiritual service of worship.”
In all of these instances simple service is a most honorable pursuit, to be carried out by men of great faith, dedication, and wisdom. “For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve.” Did Jesus have wisdom and a good reputation? Was Jesus full of the Holy Spirit? Did Paul not serve? Did Peter only preach and pray? When I see those who are quick to point out they teach and pray, yet who refuse to wait tables as a part of their “spiritual service of worship,” I turn a deaf ear to their teaching. Let me hang out with the table-waiters, where I’ll not only hear a good message but see one as well.