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Summary: When looking at the qualifications for a deacon we see that these are things that all Christians should aspire to.

For far too many churches, the deacons appear to be group that runs and directs the activities of a church, whereas last week we discussed how deacons were set up to be the servants of the church. In fact that is what the title of deacon means, a servant, not a ruler, taskmaster, or overseer. The title of “overseer” and bishop, elder, shepherd, and pastor is used interchangeably in the NT for the office we call pastor.

Those that we recognize to give the title of deacon, servants of the church, have special qualifications. These qualifications parallel the qualifications listed for those who fill the office of pastor. We find these qualification list in 1 Timothy 3:1-7. Last week we looked at the calling of the first servants of the church. The basic qualifications are listed there:

Acts 6:3 (NKJV) Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business;

We need men to serve that have a good reputation in the church and outside of the church. We need men who are known for their faith, not only at church, but in their place of business as well.

We need men who are full of the Holy Spirit, and sensitive to the things of the Spirit. Knowing the things of God and living the life where the fruit of the Spirit is evident.

And we need men who have wisdom, and what I would call common sense (which is uncommon in today’s climate). Men who know how to get things done and they do it.

Paul, in writing to young Timothy, who was the pastor of the church in Ephesus, further expounds on what to look for in a deacon:

1 Timothy 3:8–13 (NKJV)

Ill: The story of John Egglen, a deacon in small country church in England in the 1800’s. On Sunday January 6, 1850, John Egglen of Colchester awoke to a town buried in snow. Why bother going to church, he thought. But being the good deacon that he was, he walked the 6 miles to the Methodist church. Even the pastor couldn’t make it that snowy morning. Indeed, only 13 people showed up: 12 members and one visitor, a 13-year-old boy, who had ducked in to escape the cold and snow. Some suggested going home. But Egglen refused – after all, they did have a visitor. But who would preach? Egglen was the man, even though he never preached before. And it showed – his sermon was only ten minutes long and was far from elegant. The text was Isaiah 45:22: “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.” Gathering a bit of courage, Egglen looked straight at the visitor and said, “Young man, look to Jesus. Look. Look. Look.” The boy did look, and was instantly and gloriously saved.

It’s a good thing Egglen didn’t stay in bed that day. That young boy was Charles Spurgeon. When he told his mother he wanted to be baptized, she replied, “Ah, Charles, I often prayed the Lord to make you a Christian, but I never asked that you might become a Baptist.”

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the young man who accepted Christ that snowy Sunday morning, the man who has often been called, the "prince of preachers."

God blessed his preaching and when he was still less than 30 years old he became the pastor of London’s Metropolitan Tabernacle. His sermons were so powerful that although the building could hold 5000 people, the crowds who came to hear him were so thick that they would line up outside trying to hear his sermons. [1]

That one faithful deacon, doing what needed to be done. Never once saying, “not my job” or “God didn’t gift me to do this.” There was a need and the deacon John Egglen filled that need. That is what we need in servant of the church, a willingness to do whatever it is that needs to be done. John Egglen could have sent everyone home and no one would have thought the lessor of him. But a soul was save that day and world in England was changed.

This message today is not just for deacons or potential deacons. These qualities that we are looking for in a deacon aught to be the goals we each should be seeking in our own lives.

1 Timothy 3:8 (NKJV) Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money,

“Likewise” is a transition to a new subject. We’ll see that word again in a minute (in verse 11). Likewise – Paul had just finished telling Timothy about what to look for in a pastor/overseer/bishop. The deacons likewise – or in the same way as the bishop – needs to be similarly qualified. Listen carefully – Likewise means that deacons are just as important as the pastors. – It is crucial they do their duties so the pastor(s) can do theirs.

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