Summary: Join us in examining the Biblical role of a deacon.
Today we elect four men to serve our church in the office of deacon. Before we participate in this election, I want to lead you in examining the question, what is a deacon? That is an important question for a church to answer. However, it is difficult to get a comprehensive answer because the Bible does not offer extensive references to the ministry of the deacon. In the KJV the word deacon occurs five times. (Philippians 1:1; I Timothy 3:8, 10, 12, 13) Each of these references is translated deacon in the KJV and some other translations. In these texts the word is a noun. It describes an office in the church. However, the verbal form of this word is translated servant in many other locations. One of those locations is our text for today. In Acts 6 we do not find the word deacon. However, we find the verbal form that is translated deacon in a number of other locations. We believe this event, in Acts 6, to be the beginning of the ministry of the deacon. “Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a murmuring against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, ‘It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. 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;” (Acts 6:1-2 NKJV) In verse 2 we find the word “serve” which is the verbal form of the word that is translated deacon in other locations. Therefore, if we want to define a deacon we should simply call him a servant. A true deacon wants to serve.
Joke: This week I read about a church that called a new pastor. The man was 60 years of age. His first sermon was 15 minutes long. It was kind of short but fine with the folks. The next week he preached for 20 minutes. That was ok, too. But the following week he preached for an hour and 45 minutes. The deacons pulled him off to the side and asked for an explanation. He said, "Well, you know that parsonage bathroom is so small. This morning my wife and I were running late and we got mixed up and I accidentally put her false teeth in by mistake. Once you get those things going’ you just can’t get ’em to stop." At the next deacon’s meeting it was recommended to get a bigger bathroom in the parsonage. (Contributed to Sermon Central by Mike Richardson)
Today I want to give careful consideration to what it means to be a servant. This will be our answer to the question, what is a deacon? I want to look at three aspects of being a servant.
1. Lets begin by discussing the Demands of being a Servant. Obviously, the role of serving is a demanding role. What are the demands?
A. One of the demands of being a servant is sacrifice. The servant sacrifices his time, his personal privileges and his comfort to fulfill his role. A person who becomes a servant of Jesus Christ sacrifices. When others are at ease he is serving. When others relax he is serving. Let me give you some examples.