In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. 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. 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 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. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith. Acts 6:1-7 NIV
Herein we have our introduction to Stephen. As the number of disciples grew the administrative work load increased. Some widows were not receiving during the daily distribution of food. The apostles knew this was an important matter, yet, with the church in its infantile stage, they knew that their attention was required in being devoted to prayer, and the ministry of the word of God. The apostles decided they needed to delegate many of the administrative duties to others. They therefore asked the people to select seven men who were filled with the Spirit of God and to bring them to the apostles. Stephen was one of the seven who were taken to the apostles, who prayed over these men and assigned them their new responsibilities.
Much work is required in carrying out the will of Jesus Christ. No one can do everything. We are all given gifts by the Lord, through the Holy Spirit, to be used in ministering and sharing the Good News. We each need to let the Holy Spirit direct us to tasks which we should be accomplishing to do the Lord’s work. If you are uncertain as to what you can do to help, you may wish to speak to a minister within the local church. Also, seek the Lord in prayer. Don’t be afraid to step out and do something. The Lord knows the heart of the one who belongs to Him. He will guide you in carrying out His work.