Summary: I preached this sermon at the oridnation of three deacons, but directed more as a charge to the church to be servants as well. We are all called to serve and sometimes we need to take off our bibs and put on our aprons.
“I Will Be A Servant in the Church”
Today, we have ordained three men into the position of deacon. Many times as events like this take place we fail to catch and see the meaning of what is taking place. First of all, it is important that we understand that word “ordain” simple means to set apart for a particular duty or service. When we ordain someone as an “elder” we set them apart for that specific function. When we ordain someone as an “evangelist” we set them apart for that particular function. When that person is set apart for a specific role, they are accountable to the church and to God to fulfill that specific function. Today, we set apart three men as deacons of the church. The meaning of the word deacon tells us a great description of what the job description of a deacon is. The word “deacon” comes from the Greek word, which means minister or servant. Therefore, this morning we have set apart people for the office of minister or servant within the church. Several things may come to mind when you hear of this, you may first think that the preacher is the “minister” of the church, but that is not true. The preacher is a minister or servant of the church, but not the minister. In fact even though we set apart individuals for the specific office of “deacon” or minister, we all are servants of the church.
Yes, the Bible does speak of a specific office within the church called a “deacon”. This office of “deacon” was first spoken of in Acts 6, when the number of disciples was rapidly increasing. One of the main ministries of the church at that time was distributing food to the widows in the church. That responsibility began to become overwhelming for the Apostles, so they called the people to select seven men, who would be entrusted with this responsibility and they would be “deacons” or “minister” in the church. There are three distinct roles that God has set apart within the church today. First is the evangelist, whose job is to set things in order and the preaching of the word. The second is the elders who are the pastors of the church, whose job is to shepherd the flock and to direct the affairs of the church. The elders are the spiritual leaders of the church and are in a position of mutual accountability to the evangelist. In other words I as the evangelist am accountable to the elders here for my responsibilities, and the elders here are accountable to me for their responsibilities as the shepherds. The third is the position of deacon, whose primary responsibility is as a servant, so that the evangelist and elders can likewise do their respective duties.
Today, I have three ways in which I want to encourage these three men set apart today, and also anyone specifically who has been set apart for a service…
1. Serve with Integrity
In all aspects I encourage you and everyone to be people who live a life of integrity, especially in your service to God. In other words don’t be like the church treasurer who after many years of serving stood before the congregation and thanked them for allowing him to serve and said, “believe me I got far more out of this job than I ever put into it.” Serve with integrity of heart.
2. Serve with Excellence
I want to encourage these men to serve with excellence, as though they were working for the Lord. We as Christians need to ensure that everything we do we do it well, God is worthy of our best efforts. I think of when Solomon built the Temple, he refused to use silver because it was not good enough to be used in God’s Temple. We need to have a mindset of serving to the best of our ability and never doing anything second rate or half way for the Lord. There is a reward for faithful service that is done with excellence.
One can use some common sense and learn that though there are blessings for serving faithfully with those duties that have been entrusted, but that is a great responsibility and there are punishments for not serving faithfully and with excellence. Deacons, don’t take your job lightly, God is worthy of your best efforts, and they will be rewarded.
3. Remember you are Accountable
I do want to remind these men that they are accountable to God for how they serve, so in that was this position is different from any job that they may ever have. These men are not just filling a role on a church board, but they have a responsibility to serve wherever they can to the best of their abilities. Remember you are accountable to God and not just to men.