Summary: Serving in the Church & Deacons. (Powerpoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
THE OFFICE OF A DEACON:
They must be respected (vs 8):
They must be genuine (vs 8):
They must be self-controlled (vs 8).
They must be honest (vs 8):
They must be biblical (vs 9)
They must be approved (vs 10)
They must be consistent (vs 11-12)
They must be industrious (vs 13)
THE HOUSEHOLD OF God:
A hope (vs 14).
A home (vs 15)
A hymn (vs 6)
• The great Italian violinist, violist, guitarist, and composer, Niccolo Paganini;
• Willed his marvellous violin to city of Genoa on condition that it must never be played.
• The wood of such an instrument, while used and handled, wears only slightly,
• But set aside, it begins to decay.
• Paganini's lovely violin has today become worm-eaten and useless except as a relic.
• It is a good illustration of Christian servant hood:
• A Christian's unwillingness to serve may soon destroy his capacity for usefulness.
Now every Christian is called to serve:
• Remember the example of Jesus (John chapter 13) washing the disciples feet;
• Then his challenging and thought-provoking Words (The New Living Translation):
“After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? 13 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. 14 And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. 15 I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. 16 I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. 17 Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them”.
• Now although our passage tonight is primarily teaching about deacons;
• The principles and values should be the desire of every Christian.
• Every Christian is called to serve!
• So don’t think this does not apply to me;
• If you are a Christian then the principles and values mentioned apply to you as well!
• Now in the New Testament the word translated as “deacon” means ‘minister or servant’.
• Some form of this word appears 101 times in the New Testament;
• And only on five of those occasions does it refer to the office of the deacon.
• The rest refer to the lifestyle of a servant that EVERY Christian is called to become.
• In the general sense the word “deacon” (Greek: ‘diakonos’);
• Jesus uses this word (‘diakonos’) in Matthew chapter 20 verse 26 when he says:
• “Whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant (literally- ‘deacon’)”
• So although the office of deacon is a specific role and calling;
• EVERY Christian is called to embrace a deacon’s or a servant’s attitude.
(1). The office of a Deacon
• As mentioned earlier the word “deacon” simply means ‘minister or servant’.
• And five of those 101 times this word is used in one form or another;
• Refers to the office of the deacon.
• The early church was very effective in meeting the practical needs of the people;
• So much so that according to Acts chapter 4 verse 34 says:
• “There was no needy persons among them” – that is quite a boast!
• But as the young church grew and grew;
• More and more people came under that circle of care and it started to fail,
• And very soon a serious problem developed.
• There came a time when not everybody was being helped and looked after.
• According to Acts chapter 6 verse 1:
• Some Grecian Jews started complaining that their widows were being overlooked;
• That they were missing out in the daily distribution of food.
• And the Hebraic Jews were getting more favourable care and attention.
• And so the church was called together to try to find a practical solution to the problem.
• Acts chapter 6 verse 2;
The apostles told the church (Acts chapter 6 verses 2-4)
• That it would not be right for them to neglect the teaching of the word of God;
• In order to wait on tables and serve food.
• Don't miss understand it was not that serving food was beneath them.
• It was a matter of priorities;
• We all have so much time per day;
• And the apostles did not want to get side-tracked with practical issues.
• So they chose seven men to be the first deacons;
• Seven men who could give their time sorting out the practical issues;
• Thus freeing up the apostles to concentrate on teaching the word of God.