Summary: Sunday morning intro on deacons and deacon selection.
Deacons Selection Introduction
Sermon 1 in the series “Church Matters
June 30, 2013
Acts 6:1-7 – “And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. 2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. 3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. 4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. 5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: 6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. 7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.”
1 Timothy 3:8-13 – “Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; 9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. 10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. 11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. 12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
Today we’re going to begin the process of selecting deacons—or a deacon, as the case may be.
Deacons have an important place in the church when they follow the Bible role down for them.
Illus. – The story’s told of a long-winded preacher who had a member who fell asleep during every sermon. So the pastor said to his deacon, “Bob, I want you to take this long stick and use it to tap Brother John on the head every time he goes to sleep.”
Deacon Bob was a very conscientious deacon and if the pastor entrusted him with a job, why, doggone it, he was going to make sure he got the job done right!
The very next service, sure enough, John fell asleep again.
Bob grabbed his stick and reached across the aisle and woke him up with a gentle tap on the head.
John aroused for awhile, but within minutes, he was sound asleep again.
This time, Bob tapped him a little harder, hoping to make a deeper impression.
But again, within minutes Brother John was cutting z’s.
So this time, Bob reared back and knocked John so hard, he fell to his knees.
Dazed, John said, “Deacon, hit me again. I can STILL HEAR HIM PREACHING!”
The main butt of that joke is really long-winded pastors, but really, it beautifully captures the essence of the different roles of the preacher and the deacon. The pastor’s main role is to serve the church through the spiritual ministry of the Word and prayer, and the overall oversight of the administration of the church, while the role of the deacon is to take care of the physical responsibilities of the church to function in support of and under the oversight of the pastors.
The Acts 6 passage makes this distinction is very clear. The apostles, who functioned as the pastoral staff of the church in Jerusalem, found themselves being distracted by serving the tables of the widows. So they could devote their full attention to SPIRITUAL ministry, seven deacons were appointed for the PHYSICAL ministry of serving the tables of the widows.
We elected four deacons a few years ago, one of which was Don, who has had to rotate off the deacon board according to the church constitution, which mandates a three-year term, after which a deacon must rotate off for at least one year. For a variety of reasons there have been no qualified men willing to serve since then.
I believe the time has look out into our congregation for men who will serve in this position. For the remainder of our message today, I will go through the Deacon Information Sheet with you, which has been handed out to you…
Deacon Selection Information