Summary: A call to deaconship is a call to serve. Deacons are called to minister to the body of Christ and not act as a ruling body.
DEACONS: SERVANT LEADERS
ACTS 6:1-7, 1 TIM 3:8-12
When Jesus came to earth He turned conventional theological understanding and religious hierarchy upside down. Before Jesus came places of position, power, and influence were sought after in the religious. As a matter of fact, those in places of power and influence were considered blessed by God. To be in a place of servitude was considered a curse from God. But when Jesus left His throne in glory to become a man, He did not come as a man of power and influence although He could. He did not come as an earthly king although He was the King of Kings. No, instead, He came as a lowly servant. Jesus Himself said....
(Matt 20:28) "Even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and to give His life a ransom for many."
Jesus later told his disciples after washing their feet, a sign of servanthood,
(John 13:15 16) I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. (NIV)
Jesus not only told his disciples they should follow Him in servanthood, but that the level of their service would deem their greatness in the eyes of God
(Matt 20:26 28) But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister (diakonos); 27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant(doulos): 28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister (diakono), and to give his life a ransom for many.
Today I would like to speak to you about a specific group within the church that God has called to be leaders of this beautiful concept of servanthood. I am speaking of the Adeacons@ of the local church. As a matter of fact the Greek word which we translate as Adeacon@ (diakonos) simply means servant. To prove this, in the scripture which I just read you (Matthew 23:11) the word translated as servant is Adiakonos@.
The first time we actually find these servant leaders pointed out specifically in the church as a distinct group is in Acts 6:1-7) The church was having tremendous growing pains. Because of the growth, peoples needs were not being met and just like Baptists they began to grumble. The apostles who were acting as the pastors of the church were not able to study and pray as they were called and they became frustrated. To solve this problem, they sought out men who would accept the responsibility of ministering to the needs of the people.
THE NEED OF SERVANT LEADERS (6:1-3)
Need of Ministers
as long as churches are made up of people there will always be a need of ministers. People have many spiritual, personal and physical needs
Need of Team Players
-people who understand the church is a body with many members who have a job to do
Need of Role Models
model the Spirit-filled life
model the love of Jesus
model the servant life
THE QUALIFICATIONS OF SERVANT LEADERS (6:3; 1 Tim 3:8-12)
A. Personal Life
1. Honest Report (6:3)
2. Grave (1 Tim 3:8ff)
Reverent, sincere, honorable among other believers
3. Not doubletongued
4. Not given to much wine
5. Not greedy of filthy lucre (gain)
B. Spiritual Life
1. Full of the Holy Spirit (6:3)
Fruit (Gal 5:22-23):
Love, Joy, Peace, Long-suffering, gentleness, goodness,
faith, meekness, temperance (self-control)
3. Holding the mystery of the faith (1T 3:9)
C. Church Life (1T 3:10)
2. Blameless in service
3. Team Players
D. Family Life (1T 3:11-12)
1. Wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful
2. Husband of one wife
3. Ruling their children and house well
THE PRIVILEGE OF SERVANT LEADERS (1 Tim 1:12)
Privilege of being Chosen by Christ
Privilege of being able to Serve Christ
THE BENEFITS OF THE SERVANT LEADERS (6:7)
A. Word of God increased
B. Number of disciples multiplied GREATLY