Summary: This sermon was preached before church decided deacons.
This morning, at the close of our service, our ushers will pass out to you the members of Sandridge Baptist a sheet of names. These names are of the men of this church eligible to serve as deacons. You will be given the opportunity to nominate two men from this list to serve as deacon. But before you do this, I want to share with you the Biblical qualifications of a deacon.
Last year at this time I preached a sermon entitled Why? Deacons? In this sermon a clear picture was presented and for the purpose of education, I am choosing to repeat this message.
But before you say well I am not a deacon so I guess this message is not for me wait a minute before you tune me out. First, it is my hope that this message will help you select or nominate our future deacons. But second, The principles that we will look at as we examine this question Why deacons?. Can apply to anyone sitting it this room.
There are two leadership positions specifically mentioned in the Bible commanded to serve His Church. The first is the overseer, the shepherd, or as we call it The pastor. The second is the deacon. So if God took the time to spell out the office and purpose of a deacon, then shouldn’t we take it more seriously or even more passionately.
I believe much of our difficulty with the concept of deacon or the ho hum attitude about the election of deacons is that we don’t understand who and what a deacon is?
This morning I want you to keep your bibles open throughout the sermon. We will be looking closely at three passages that answer some of our questions. Our first passage is found in Exodus Chapter 18 Beginning with verse 13
We see in this passage an older man’s advice to a younger man… Pace yourself… He watched as Moses tirelessly served the people morning noon and night… 24/7... Jethro in his wisdom knew that no man could withstand that constant pressure so he counseled Moses to share the load, to set up underneath his authority a leadership team of called and skilled men to assist in the work. Moses obeyed and his ministry was extended and his peace was restored.
We are wired to believe that we need no one that to ask for help is a sign of weakness, but rather in God’s eye to not ask for help is a sign of pride, foolishness, and selfishness.
Fast forward a few thousand years to life shortly after the death of Christ. Turn with me to Acts chapter 6 beginning with verse 1
The disciples were faced with the same situation as Moses. They couldn’t keep pace with the need. The physical, emotional, and mental needs were needing to be met as well as their spiritual ones. The disciples were spending so much time waiting tables as they called it physically feeding caring for needs that they had no time to meet the spiritual needs. A decision had to be made, and since God had only called 12 to be the spiritual leaders ie the disciples then others would need to be found to help meet the other needs. So in Acts 6 the first group of servants, table waiters, and yes as call them deacons were formed.
The clear purpose and reason for the existence of the deacon or the servant as the Greek would translate it is to serve. To work under the authority of the overseer or pastor forming a ministry team to completely meet the needs of the church, the congregation, the people of God. No where in scripture is deacon ever given any role but as servant- help meet for their pastor.
Today as we elect two men to serve a three year period as servants as deacons of Sandridge Baptist Church led us today choose to be a church that follows God’s divine way and order.
Why deacons? Because God said so… Because God knew a pastor could not do it all alone… God knew that a pastor needed help meeting the varying needs of his congregation. The pastor as coach needed a first string of players to lead and to lead well.
A second important question after Why is who? Who should be a deacon? Who should be on this servant team?
With some of the answers to that question turn with me to 1 Timothy chapter 3 beginning in verse 8
Verse 8- spells out that a deacon needs to be real. The NIV uses the word worthy of respect, and sincere. The man who will or would be deacon has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. In a day like ours we can not overemphasis this or just assume. Many leaders are emerging in our churches all across our country and world who I wonder by their actions if they are saved if they have a personal relationship with Jesus.