Summary: I would like to thank Pastor Jerry Shirley for sharing this series on Acts. It has been a blessing as well as a great help. I have used these for our church, as I spend my days caring for my dying father.
A Church Full of Deacons Acts 6:1-6
If I were to ask what are the two offices in the church, what would you say?
The real answer is Pastor and Deacon. So many people in churches all over, including here at EBC don’t know who their deacons are.
Very few doctrines are as misunderstood in Baptist churches as the doctrine of the deacon.
If I were to ask you, what is a deacon and what are they supposed to do? I would probably get a multitude of answers.
There are some churches, however, where they fit the Biblical model.
Sadly in some churches Deacons are money and power hungry.
In some churches they are the bully crew. In some churches they are ladies, and in Wake Forest they are “Demons”!
Some would say that deacons form the ruling body of the church. My friend became the chairman of deacons and informed the pastor that from now on, all he needs to do is preach on Sundays. He said told the pastor; “the deacons will run the church” and in many churches that is very true!
There are a few churches where the deacons are the ‘pastor police’ and he answers to them or dances to their tune. The deacon board keep their thumb on him in all areas of ministry and in his personal life.
I know of churches where the deacons represent authority and discipline and if you get out of line you better watch out!
All of these scenarios are true but what does the Bible say about the role of deacons?
The term deacon, in general, it means servants. Now you might ask; “aren’t we all called to be servants?”
The answer is yes and this message is for the whole church.
Today I want to show you 3 levels of servants in the church.
The Greek word for servant comes from the root word; diakonos (—where we get the word deacon. The word did not originally signify an office, it was simply a word for servant.
And the 1st servant in the Bible we’ll
1. General Servants
The truth is that we’re all called to this.
Hundreds of Bible verses use the word diakonos, and translate it as servant, or in the context of a servant, not as we use the word deacon. Acts 6 uses the word more as a waiter.
The following verses all contain the word diakonos:
[John 2:5 NKJV] “His mother said to the servants, "Whatever He says to you, do [it].’”
[John 12:2 NKJV] “There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him.”
[Luke 4:39 NKJV] “So He stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. And immediately she arose and served them.”
You can see, these verses are about general servants, in the sense of cooks, butlers, and waiters.
But then, the word was broadened to include all kinds of service…for example:
[Rom 13:4 NKJV] “For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to [execute] wrath on him who practices evil.”
This is about law enforcement officers, and others in authority serving the public.
Let me show you what Jesus then did with the word diakonos:
[John 12:26 NKJV] “If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him [My] Father will honor.”
He’s talking about general servants…and we all are deacons in that sense of the word, if we’ve been saved.
We at EBC are all deacons with a small “d”. We’re a church full of deacons!
Each and every believer in this room are deacons, not in the official sense, but in a general sense.
None of us have been saved to sit and I wouldn’t want you to get the idea that the deacons serve while everyone else watches because serving the Lord is not a spectator sport!
We’re all to be “general servants”!
Then there’s another category:
2. Gifted Servants:
[Rom 12:5-8 NKJV] “5 so we, [being] many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, [let us use them]: if prophecy, [let us prophesy] in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, [let us use it] in [our] ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.”
It’s their spiritual gift.
They don’t have to be the leader, they love to serve, behind the scenes, no recognition required.