Summary: The role of deacon is a ministry of service.

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Acts 6.1-7; I Timothy 3.8-13

S: Church Structure

C: Deacons

Th: A People with Purpose


?: How? How do we come to that conclusion?

KW: Issues

TS: We will find in our study of Scripture four issues that will guide us in our understanding of the role of deacon.

Type: Propositional

The ____ issue is…





PA: How is the change to be observed?

• We all fulfill the ministry of “deaconing” when we serve.

• Meeting the practical needs of the church family is vital ministry.

• Deacons are the support network that brings peace (help pastors/elders fulfill their calling).

• Our deacons are a hybrid – a cross between the function of deacon and elder.

• Our deaconesses keep closer to the care model.

Version: ESV

RMBC 19 February 06 AM


ILL Problem: car excuse

As you know, we have moved into the stage of our lives when our kids are driving.

So we are sympathetic to the parent who had a teenage son, Marc, who never missed an opportunity to remind his parents that he needed his own car.

One morning, as his mom drove him to school, it was apparent that they would be late. So mom asked him to write a note, which she would sign when they arrived.

At school, Marc handed his mom a pen and the note, which read: "Marc is late this morning due to car trouble. The trou¬ble is, Marc doesn’t have his own car, and his mom drives too slowly."

Laura Z. Sowers

Oh, the problems we endure…

And if you think that is bad…

How about this?

ILL Service: hot coffee

A diner was agitated that the waiter had brought him no spoon with his coffee. "This coffee," he said loud enough for most of the other patrons to hear, "is going to be pretty hot to stir with my fingers."

The waiter embarrassed, made a hasty retreat to the kitchen and returned shortly with another cup of coffee.

Beaming, he said, "This one isn’t so hot, sir."

Well, that may not have been what the diner was looking for, but I think the following statement is true…

Thoughtful service will get our attention.

When someone really does show us care and attention, we really appreciate it, don’t we?

We enjoy being served well.


You may remember that last week, I shared with you one of my favorite sayings…

“There are good problems and there are bad problems. Always take the good problems.”


1. Take the good problems when they come.

When we studied Acts 6, last week, we noted that the church was growing.

And with that growth came some growing pains.

In particular, there was a tension between the Hebrew-speaking widows and the Greek-speaking widows.

Help, in the form of food and supplies, was being given to both groups of widows.

Apparently, though, the latter was being slighted in what was being received.

Now, whether this was on purpose or not, the great thing about this situation is that…

2. The conflict was solved.

When the apostles became aware of the conflict, they understood immediately that this was beyond them.

They already had “more on their plate” than was possible.

They also knew that they had a responsibility to keep to their God-given priorities – the ministry of the Word and to prayer.

But they certainly did not wash their hands of the situation.

After, what I am sure was careful consideration, they offered a solution.

3. The solution centered on people that would serve.

Through the coordination of both the apostles and the church body in general, seven men were chosen that were given the responsibility to solve the issue.

Problems abounded with this tension among the widows.

There would be financial problems.

There would be problems about the distribution of goods.

There would be administrative problems.

Nevertheless, it was their task to serve the church in this way.

This situation in chapter 6 of Acts is the beginning of a new thing, that is, the role of deacon.

Simply defined…


Today, we are giving consideration to the larger role of deacon and deaconess in the church.

It must be understood that those that serve in the church setting with these roles are helpers for the church.

They are not servants for individuals in the church body to boss around.

No, they are the Lord’s servants.

As we see the early church develop and progress, the role that is introduced in Acts 6 becomes an office.

It is an office of leadership, but it is leadership that is modeled and demonstrated.

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