Summary: A message concerning the calling and responsibilities of Deacons.
The Qualifications of a Deacon
July 13, 2003
Intro: “Everything rises and falls on Leadership.”
Setting: The Ephesian church had been blessed w/ great leadership. Acts 20 tells us it was founded by Paul who later turned it over to Timothy. During his time in Ephesus, Paul trained a core of godly leaders to lead the church. When he left, he empowered Timothy to lead and later wrote this letter to give him a strategy to correctly build the church. Crucial to the task was establishing godly leadership – choosing the right elders and deacons. In this letter, Paul gave Timothy a divinely inspired checklist of qualifications to use.
Note: It is imperative to understand that when God calls people to serve His church, He looks for those whose hearts are right w/ Him. His is not concerned about talents, wealth, power, or experience, but w/ spiritual virtue. He is looking for people who want to go in the same direction He is.
Trans: In 1Tim. 3, we find the qualifications for elders and deacons. Elders are pastors called to lead through teaching, while deacons are servants called to lead through service.
Text: Deacons in like manner must be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. And let these also first be proved; then let them serve as deacons, if they be blameless. Women in like manner must be dignified, not malicious gossips, temperate, faithful in all things. Let deacons be husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. For they that have served well as deacons gain to themselves a good standing, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy 3:8-13
I The Call of the Deacon
A The Idea of Being a Deacon
Define: deacon (diakonos) appears over 100 times in the N. T. Only here and in Ph. 1:1 is the term used in an official status. It translates servant or waiter.
B The Reality of Being a Deacon
1 It is not an OFFICE
Note: Deacons are not a ruling body. They neither rule over the body, nor do they police the pastors. Deacons serve the body and support the pastors. In the truest biblical sense, the deacon comes under the authority of the pastor and supports and responds to his leadership.
Truth: A deacon is one who performs public duties on behalf of the church. He is charged w/ the ministering to the temporal affairs of the local congregation relating to the care of the body. He does not govern – he ministers.
2 It is not a STEPPING STONE.
Note: Deacons are not junior elders who are using this position of service as a stepping stone to a higher position.
3 It is a SPIRITUAL MATTER
Note: Look at the list of qualifications – this is most definitely a spiritual matter. Just b/c some of the task appear menial does not mean the man is too.
Trans: Elders (pastors) are church leaders – Deacons are church helpers.
II The Qualifications of the Deacon vs. 8-13
A Personal Qualities vs. 8
1 Men of Dignity
Word: semnos – serious or stately – to venerate or to worship. The idea is that a deacon is one who has a spiritually majestic quality about them that causes other s to have a sense of awe and respect when around them.
2 Not Double-tongued
Word: dilogos – double-tongued. He is not a man who gossips or speaks w/ hypocrisy – he never gets caught up in mischief. He speaks w/ integrity, consistency, and grace.
Deacons do not spread speculation nor do they misuse truth. In fact, they put an end to discord protecting the mission and leadership of the church.
3 Not Addicted to Wine
Word: prosecho – addicted to or to turn one’s mind toward. A deacon is not to be preoccupied w/ drink and it should in no way influence his life. At FBC, we have an abstinance a policy.
4 Not Fond of Sordid Gain
Word: He will not use his office for personal gain. Deacons should not have a greedy spirit, nor should they use the respect they garner from being a deacon to gain an advantage in business.
B Spiritual Qualities vs. 9-10
1 Holding to the Faith w/ a Clear Conscience
Note: Deacons are not just men who believe the truth, they live it. They are men who have strong biblical knowledge and insight and are able to live w/ a clear conscience b/c they live what they believe.
Note: This phrase includes the idea that deacons should not be a new convert or young in the faith. Rather, he should have a proven depth and authenticity of spiritual maturity.