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The Role of Deacons

based on 97 ratings
Jul 29, 2005

Summary: A look at the biblical role of deacons in the churh

The First Deacons

July 13, 1997 Coy Wylie

The Role of Deacons

The First Deacons

Acts 6:1-7.

1. In a few weeks our church will select, ordain and install some men in our deacon body.

As we shall learn from this passage, deacons are a vital asset to any church. As your pastor,

I don’t want you to take this process lightly. We need to carefully and prayerfully consider

who should take this important office. Therefore, we need some teaching from Scripture

about the role of deacons in the local church.

2. Church tradition, especially Baptist church tradition gives much authority to the office of

deacon that is not found anywhere in the pages of Scripture. Therefore, as we begin this

introductory message on the role of deacons, we need to begin by learning what deacons are

not:

A. Deacons do not have the responsibility of policing the pastors. No where

in the Bible are they to oversee the overseer and undershepherd of the church.

Unfortunately, many deacons have seen themselves in this role. The pastor

answers to Christ and to the congregation.

B. Deacons are not the ruling body of the church. In the N.T. the churches

usually had a plurality of elders, God-called pastors who gave spiritual

leadership to the church. The deacons served and ministered to the physical

needs.

C. Deacons are not the defenders of church tradition. In many churches, the

deacons are the guardians of the past. They become "turf shepherds" and their

most common expression is "We’ve never done it that way before."

D. Deacons are not the old men of the church. Over the years many churches

have decided that only older men could attain the office of deacon. The Bible

places no specific age requirement.

E. Deacons are the controllers of the church’s finances. There is no mention

in the N.T. of deacons controlling money. The only possible reference is that

they may have controlled benevolence funds to help widows.

F. Deacons do not have the final say-so on church decisions. Every N.T.

church is autonomous under Christ. Though deacons have a special role, they

have no more power or authority in the decision-making process than any

other member.

3. Since we have discussed what deacons are not, it is important that we also consider what

deacons are or at least what they should be. Let’s examine four roles of deacons in the

church.

G. Deacons are SERVANTS. The word "deacon" comes from the Greek term

diakonos, which originally referred to a waiter, an attendant, one who ran

errands or other menial duties. The early church used this work to describe a

special servant commissioned by God to serve the church. The English word

"deacon" only appears 5 time in the NKJV. It does not appear in our text.

However, diakoneo the verb form is found in the phrase "serve tables" in v.6.

H. Deacons are ADVISORS. Because of the strict qualifications for deacons,

both here and especially in 1 Tim.3, deacons must be godly, spirit-filled men.

Therefore, they are often important advisors to pastors and congregations.

I. Deacons are EXAMPLES. According to 1 Tim.3:10, deacons are to be

Talk about it...

David Jankowski avatar
David Jankowski
0 days ago
Right on! The idea of deacons or lay elders "supervising" pastors is not in the Bible I read. Advisors, valued advisors, is the role of deacons (or lay elders). However, I believe the relatively recent jump into the terminology of a plurality of elders comes from a misreading of the greetings of Paul to the various churches he addressed. Anyway, more churches are held back by "policy-making" lay leaders than any other single factor I know. But don''t misunderstand:lay leaders can and should be great counsellors to pastors. Mine certainly are.

So, what did you think?


Thank you.