Summary: I wrote this sermon for the ordination of a deacon at my church.
INTRODUCTION: (Ordination of Glen Colby)
This evening is a special night for me, not just for the Colby family. First of all, it is my first opportunity to be involved in an ordination ceremony. Next, when I was growing up the deacons at my church were some of my heroes. These men were such examples of servanthood to me. They were also great examples of love when I think of the ways these men watched over me every time I was at the church. Considering the character required of a deacon, I can’t think of a better man in this church for young boys and girls to look up to, nonetheless the young men and women. I feel privileged to be allowed to take part in the acknowledgement by the church of the servant nature of Glen Colby.
Reaching the end of a job interview, the human resources person asked a young engineer fresh out of MIT what kind of a salary he was looking for. "In the neighborhood of $240,000 a year, depending on the benefits package." "Well, what would you say to a package of 5-weeks vacation, 14 paid holidays, full medical & dental, company matching retirement fund to 50% of salary, & a company car leased every 2 years...say, a red Corvette?" "Wow! Are you kidding?" "Yeah, but you started it." A servant’s heart is sorely lacking in our society today. God’s people should have a servant’s heart.
I. Deacons are to be men who are willing and able “to wait on tables”, not be or desire to be managers.
[Illustration] A woman was interviewing a prospective servant and asked, “Can you serve company?” The applicant replied “Yes, mum, both ways.” The woman looked puzzled and asked, “What do you mean, both ways?” “So they’ll come again, or stay away.”
A. The term deacon goes back to a Greek word which means servant or slave.
“’Servant’ in our English New Testament usually represents the Greek doulos (bondslave). Sometimes it means diakonos (deacon or minister); this is strictly accurate, for doulos and diakonos are synonyms. Both words denote a man who is not at his own disposal, but is his master’s purchased property. Bought to serve his master’s needs, to be at his beck and call every moment, the slave’s sole business is to do as he is told. Christian service therefore means, first and foremost, living out a slave relationship to one’s Savior (1 Corinthians 6: 19-20). James Packer, Your Father Loves You, Harold Shaw Publishers, 1986.
B. The apostles were the “managers” of the early church. They needed MEN who were willing and able to serve as laborers so the apostles could focus on preparing God’s messages for the church.
“From the analogy of the synagogue, and from the scanty notices in the New Testament, we may think of the deacons or "young men" at Jerusalem as preparing the rooms for meetings, distributing alms, maintaining order at the meetings, baptizing new converts, distributing the elements at the Lord's Supper.”—Smith's Bible Dictionary