Summary: What scripture says about the role of deacon.
THE MINISTRY OF THE DEACON
TEXT: ACTS 6;1-6, I TIMOTHY 3:8-13
Let’s begin with a question. Is the deacon ministry necessary and valid in today’s church? A fellow pastor in another state said that he didn’t have deacons in his church and would not permit the church to ordain any deacons to the ministry. Another pastor said he didn’t like deacons because they cause more problems than the help they give to the church. Does the ministry of the deacon have validity in our churches?
Let’s study the following passages to better understand the role of deacons in the church: Turn with me to Acts 6:1-6 and I Timothy 3:8-13
I. FIRST, WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THE NEW TESTAMENT FUNCTION OF THE DEACON. Acts 6:1-6.
A. You will note that the word deacon is not mentioned in this passage. There is a word related to deacon that is used here. It is the word "serve". In Greek this word is diakonos which means to wait on tables. The word was used more in a sense of function rather than title.
B. There are two other related words used in the New Testament to refer to deacons:
1. diakonos [ a noun meaning servant, minister]
2. diakonia [ a noun meaning ministry, service]
3. diakono [ a verb meaning to minister or serve]
C. The early church used the experience of the plight of the Grecian widows as the beginnings of the ministry of the deacon.
D. In this passage we can conclude two things:
1. A deacon is a servant and a helper of the pastor. He is not a dictator or ruler. A board of deacons is not established to control the church. The deacon is a servant of Christ and His church.
2. A deacon is elected by the church and not by the apostles [pastors] or by any other group. It is not a political position within the church. The church chooses its deacons from the church body.
II. SECOND, WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT THERE ARE THREE CRITERIA FOR DEACONS. Acts 6:3
A. He is to be a person of integrity. [good reputation] The word signifies a witness. He is a person who has a reputation in word and in action. He is an evangelist. He should possess blameless character.
B. He is to be filled with the Spirit. Ephesians 5:18 is a command to be filled with the Spirit. A deacon is full of the Spirit and not full of himself.
1. He is baptized in the Spirit (born again)
2. He is controlled by the Spirit. He is not a know-it-all. He is obedient to the Spirit. How can a slave say NO to his master.
3. A deacon is concerned about his relationship with Jesus. Which is more important: a bottle of Pepsi or the liquid within?
C. He is full of wisdom
1. Wisdom is not knowledge, a learned skill. Wisdom comes from God. It is seeing the world from God’s point of view.
2. If a deacon wants to be wise he needs to study daily the Word of God. He needs to make prayer a priority.
If a deacon will follow these guidelines then the following will be true for him: I Timothy 6:13