Summary: Appointing Deacons reminds us of the challenges God has given to all of us to follow Christ closely and work for his cause.

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God’s Special Servants: Deacons

I found this interesting illustration that is appropriate to today’s celebration of our new deacons…

**Bruce Larson, in his book "Wind and Fire," points out some interesting facts about Sandhill Cranes:

He says: These large birds, who fly great distances across continents, have three remarkable qualities. First, they rotate leadership. No one bird stays out in front all the time. Second, they choose leaders who can handle turbulence. And third, all during the time one bird is leading, the rest are honking their affirmation and encouragements.

That’s not a bad model for the church. Certainly we need leaders who can handle turbulence and who are aware that leadership ought to be shared.

But most of all, we need a church where we are all sounding off encouragements to our leaders. **

To that I would like to add a fourth thing. These Sandhill Cranes also do something else, without which they would all be lost. They all follow the God given direction that he placed within them, their instinct. The reason they can lead is because of their ability to follow.

In our text today (Acts 6:1-7) we will be briefly looking at one of the earliest appointments of leadership within the church from among those who have become some of the best followers of Christ.

But before we go to Acts 6 let’s look again at the clearest text of scripture we have concerning the qualities of those who receive the roll of “special servant” or “deacon” in the Lord’s church.

1 Tim. 3: 8 Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money,

9 holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience.

10 But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless.

11 Likewise their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things.

12 Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

13 For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Did you listen to those qualities? We are talking about men who follow Christ closely here. These are qualities that rub off on those who walk with Jesus. This is what happens to one who spends time looking at him, listening to him, learning from him, living like him… One who works for and worships Christ. Item number one in reaching this calling of ministry is FOLLOWING CHRIST: humbly, patiently, and persistently.

Sandhill Cranes don’t have a choice in whether or not they follow the directions God gives them. He stamps it into them by instinct. But for we to whom God has trusted his greatest treasures, there is a choice in the matter. God doesn’t drag us, he calls us. He doesn’t stamp this into us by force, but he calls us according to our giftedness and or practice. These men who have been appointed here today have made choices in their lives that serve as models to the rest of us. Their service here will be blessed if they continue to follow Christ and if we support them in the works that they are appointed to perform.

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