Summary: Deacon’s Ordination Service
The Heart of A Servant
Today we have been given the opportunity to commission one of God’s servants, Dea. Willis Fulks, into the office of Deacon. This is not something that should be entered into lightly, because it carries with it a great responsibility.
Jesus said in Matthew 20:26-28 “…but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servants and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life a ransom for many.” The leaders of the Church should have an attitude and disposition of a servant. The goal of the leadership is not to be served and/or worshipped, but to be of service to others. This goes for the Pastor, Assoc. Ministers, Deacons and everyone who holds a leadership position within the Church. This is the model that Christ gave us, that we should serve one another. It is a sad fact that most Churches have the opposite of this model, the members and leadership serve and worship their Pastor. It is fine to appreciate your Pastor, support and walk with him/her as they walk with Christ, but it should never result in a situation where you worship your Pastor and forget about Christ and serving the membership. The Deacon especially must be mindful of this. Their first responsibility is to God, their family and then the Church. As it relates to the Church, they should have the heart of a servant, not one of a ruler. I believe that Dea. Fulks have the heart of a servant and upon this recognition, we will ordain him for the service for which God has already prepared him to do.
In Acts 6 we find where the first deacons were selected. As you read this chapter, you get an understanding of why they are needed and what their roles were from the beginning. We have a situation here where the Church was growing and some of the members “Hellenistic Jews” complained because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food. This was not done on purpose, but when the Church began to grow, the disciples were being stretched pretty thin. When this complaint was brought to the disciples’ attention, they called the congregation together to discuss the matter. In verse 2 of this chapter the disciples said “It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables.” In other words, they believed that their primary focus should be on studying the word of God so that they would be able to feed the people spiritually. It is important that the minister have time to study God’s word in the administration of their duties. This is their primary responsibility. The disciples recognized this, but in doing so, they recognized that the physical needs of the people still needed to be attended to, so they made this recommendation in verse 3. “Therefore brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit, and of wisdom, whom we may put in
charge of this task.” The first task of the deacon was to serve and take care of the membership. Now notice the qualifications of those chosen to assume the burden of handling the material substance of the Church. Do not be mistaken, the office of deacon requires more spirituality and wisdom and prayer than any other office of administration. These men had to be men of honest report, their honesty unquestionable. As you can see, if a deacon’s honesty ever comes into question they will lose their effectiveness with the members that they serve. The next qualification was that they had to be full of the Spirit and of wisdom. They were to be spiritual men who had wisdom. Just because someone may be able to run a business, that does not qualify them to be a deacon in God’s Church. Why? Because without the Spirit and Godly wisdom, it is impossible to make spiritual decisions over material things. The fact that they would be handling material things could give them a lopsided view of things so they had to be spiritual in order to see things from a spiritual perspective. Once they were selected, they were brought before the Apostles where they were commissioned for service through the praying and laying on of hands. After this, they went forth to accomplish their ministry serving the body of Christ. The heart of a servant is one that does not mind serving others, not seeking their own recognition, but going about fulfilling their ministry as unto the Lord. Remember in John chapter 13, when Jesus washed the disciples’ feet? Peter initially did not want Jesus to wash his feet because Jesus was the "“teacher". Only servants washed someone else’s feet. Jesus gave us an example of how we should serve one another. I cannot stress this enough that we are all servants, serving one another, but a deacon has to have a servant’s heart. A deacon, just based on the interactions that they will have with the body, must be patient and loving, never offending those that they serve. Turn with me to 1 Timothy 3 8-13. Here Paul tells Timothy what he should look for in a deacon and/or deaconess.