Now about this time, when the number of disciples was increasing, a complaint was made by the [a]Hellenists (Greek-speaking Jews) against the [[b]native] Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food. So the [c]Twelve called the disciples together and said, “It is not appropriate for us to neglect [teaching] the word of God in order to serve tables and manage the distribution of food. Therefore, brothers, choose from among you seven men with good reputations [men of godly character and moral integrity], full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task. But we will [continue to] devote ourselves [steadfastly] to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” The suggestion pleased the whole congregation; and they selected [d]Stephen, a man full of faith [in Christ Jesus], and [filled with and led by] the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas (Nikolaos), a proselyte (Gentile convert) from Antioch. They brought these men before the apostles; and after praying, they laid their hands on them [to dedicate and commission them for this service]. – Acts 6:1-6
I have just heard a sermon on this at Peoples Church in Toronto. As part of their post-missions conference, to which Partners International were invited to take part, Pastor Brett McBride did an amazing job in moving the ‘Church’ from the thought of ‘organization’ to ‘living organism with organization’ and the Holy Spirit being the instigator of the entire process. I will refrain from the message to share some other insights.
The Apostles, it is clear, did not limit their thoughts of the Spirit’s working to prophecy and the gift of tongues. Wherever wisdom, and charity, and kindness were requisite, there was need of a supernatural grace, raising men above prejudice and passion. Of these qualities, no less than of the good report, the whole body of believers were to be, in the first instance, the judges, the Apostles reserving to themselves the right of final appointment, and therefore, if necessary, of a veto. – Ellicott
Vital to everything else as roots are to the fruit of a tree, the spiritual maturity needed in a Christian leader can be manifested only by Spirit-filled and Word-filled believers. To be filled with the Spirit and the Word (full of biblical wisdom and understanding) is absolutely indispensable for it is the ultimate source of spiritual maturity and godly leadership. In God’s plan for the Christian, all the qualities that will be discussed are to find their source in the power of the Spirit and the teaching of the Word—the tap root of spiritual growth, maturity, and leadership. – J. Hampton Keathley, III
Two times in this passage the Holy Spirit is named. The early church was very much led and empowered by the Spirit in all its life and activity. The Holy Spirit is connected with various fruit or manifestations of the Spirit such as wisdom and faith.