“And they chose Stephen.” Ac 6:5 NKJV
The New Testament church grew so fast that the administrative aspect of it became overwhelming. The apostles weren’t getting enough time to pray and study the Scriptures, so they picked seven men to handle the business side of things. Stephen was one of them. For the next few days let’s examine his qualifications: Financial integrity. “Seek out from among you seven men of good reputation…whom we may appoint over this business” (v. 3 NKJV). Now, it goes without saying that if you’re going to handle the church’s finances, you must first have a proven track record in handling your own. That calls for saving, sowing, and spending wisely. It also means putting God first in your finances. Here’s a biblical question you need to think about: “Will a man rob God?” Apparently, yes. God said, “You have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings” (Mal 3:8 NKJV). Maybe you’re thinking, “Uh-oh, here comes the commercial!” No, tithing isn’t a matter of money, but of priorities. God doesn’t want your leftovers, He wants your “firstfruits” (Pr 3:9). Tithing is also a matter of obedience. “If they obey and serve Him, they shall spend their days in prosperity” (Job 36:11 NKJV). When it comes to leadership in God’s work, if you’re not 10 percent behind it, how can you be 100 percent behind it? If you’re not already doing it, try tithing your income for one year. It’s like going into partnership with God. He promises to “pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it” (Mal 3:10 NKJV).