Summary: Here’s a sermon for the ordination of elders and deacons.

Ordination Service

1 Timothy 3:1-13

1 This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.

2A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach;

3not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous;

4one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence

5(for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?);

6not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil.

7Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

8Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money,

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

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

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

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

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

Leadership is a privilege, and with privilege comes responsibility.

God holds Elders doubly responsible

because they are in a position

where they can either draw people toward Jesus

or drive them away from Him.

Indeed, it is a privilege to be an elder or a deacon.

But it is also an awesome responsibility.


1. Christian leaders should be certain that their goal is to serve God and others, not to receive the title or honor that comes with leadership.

2. Leaders should not use their position for their own advantage or comfort. No task should be "beneath" them--although some tasks may be delegated. They should not ask others to do what they are unwilling to do themselves.

3. Leaders will seek to distinguish their own preferences from the will and welfare of the group as a whole.

4. Normally the position should seek the leader. There may be some situations in which persons may apply or volunteer. Nevertheless, when someone strongly desires a particular responsibility, his or her motivation should be carefully examined.

5. We must learn to see each other as valuable to the Lord and basically equal in his sight.

Today we have the privilege to set aside2 of our men

and ordain them as an elder and a deacon of Gospel Chapel.

This is a very special time for all of us.

In order to set things up right,

what does the church need to know?”

Today we are going to explore the qualifications and the duties

of elders and deacons.

What makes an elder an elder?

What makes a deacon a deacon?

And then we also need to explore what OUR responsibilities are,

as a congregation, to our elders and deacons.

Question #1

What Qualifies a Man to Be an Elder?

Our Bible text today in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 tells us

This is quite a list…isn’t it?

Qualification #1

Elders & Deacons must be "blameless”

That means “above reproach"

His fellow church members must have a high regard for him.

There should be no question about his integrity.

Qualification #2

The elder and deacon must be, "husband of one wife"

There is so much debate about what this actually means.

But my interpretation of it is that the elder and deacon..

must be a man that has not divorced a wife,

since he has been a Christian.

What we did BEFORE we came to Christ doesn’t matter…

once we’re born again!

2 Cor. 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Can he be an Elder if divorce came after being saved…Yes!

Jesus said in Matthew 10: 12 And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery

1 Corinthians 7 says: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. 13 And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. 15 But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace.

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