Summary: A look at the role of deacons.
Dying to Serve
May 23, 2010 (AM)
Dr. Mike Fogerson, Speaker
I Deacon is a verb, not a noun
A The Jerusalem church, in a very short time, had grown to (by some estimates) around 20,000 people (big congregation for 12 pastors).
1 Caring & coordinating for a membership that is large is a staggering responsibility (each disciple had over 1,600 members each).
a Somebody’s not going to be happy with the pastor, feeling left out, overlooked, cast aside.
aa In this case, Hellenistic Jewish widows felt overlooked.
bb In the church, there was at least two groups who wanted things their way.
b The pastors/apostles were doing everything (praying, preparing sermons, AND the fellowship committee) and not doing the most important things.
aa The disciples knew their ministry responsibilities, but the church didn’t (Preacher, it’s your job to make sure the widows are cared for, clean the fellowship hall after meals, make sure you get the windows, & you’d better have a good sermon on Sunday).
bb The disciples knew it wasn’t balanced! So the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, "It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables. Acts 6:2 (NASB) Out of order
2 The disciples (pastoral leadership) instructed the church to choose 7 men from the congregation to serve tables.
a These 7 were not called “deacons”, but they were either...
aa The first deacons of the early church OR
bb They performed the job/ministry without being given the title “deacon”.
b They were to meet 5 qualifications: men, from among them (Christians), good reputation (Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double -tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain,9 but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.10 These men must also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach.11 Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things.12 Deacons must be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households.13 For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus. 1 Tim 3:8-13 (NASB)), full of the Spirit (control), wisdom (Bible/theological knowledge, & apply it to everyday life).
B Some of the best deacons I’ve ever served with never had the title.
1 I’ve seen men with the title who never had the service.
2 You don’t need an ordination service, certificate to do the service end of being a deacon.
a “Deacon” means service, served, or serving...things a servant does. Diakon(os) (eo) (ia)
b At the end of our days, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
c It doesn’t matter if FBC recognizes you as a deacon, God recognizes your service.
II Get ready for the best beating you’ll ever get.
A Stephen is an interesting guy to examine today.
1 His original ministry was serving widow women food, communion, helping the church leaders so they could spend their time praying & studying.