In Acts 6 a problem surfaced in the church in Jerusalem. The church had grown incredibly large very quickly and some things were slipping through the cracks. The Greek widows in the church were being overlooked in the serving of meals. The complaint was brought to the apostles (the church leadership at that point), and after looking into the matter, they summoned the congregation to give their solution to the problem. They asked the church to select seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit, and of wisdom that they could put in charge of the task. Then, in Acts 6:4, they explained why they were not going to take on that responsibility themselves. They said, “But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” The priority in their lives was prayer and the ministry of the word.
A leader’s personal priority is no different than anyone else’s priority. We are all called to love God with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength. Our relationship with Christ is our highest priority. We must spend time in prayer and in God’s word. But, as leaders, the first priority in our ministry is to spend time in prayer and in God’s word. It is important for leaders to pray and watch over God’s flock. It is important for shepherds to feed their flocks, and it takes a lot of time to study and properly prepare messages from God’s word. A leader’s priorities must be to spend time in prayer and in God’s word. The apostles in Jerusalem made the right call.