DEACONS IN THE CHURCH
INTRODUCTION: Today the names of two brethren have been placed before
the congregation to consider for the work of deacon. These two men are
good and faithful Christians who has expressed a desire to serve in the
capacity of deacon. The elders encourage you to consider these men for
this work in light of God's word. What does the New Testament say concerning
I. DEACONS NEED TO BE CHOSEN
A. What are we talking about?
II. DEACONS NEED TO BE QUALIFIED (THERE ARE CERTAIN QUALIFICATIONS,
BOTH SCRIPTURAL AND PRACTICAL).
1. Deacon comes diakanos, and mean, "one who executes the commands
of another, especially of a master; a servant, attendant, minister" (Thayer,
B. Any congregation of the Lord's body needs Deacons.
2. It is used in more than one sense.
a. It is used in a general sense, to designate any Christian,
since we are to be servants of the Lord Jesus and each other.
i. Matthew 20:26-27 "Yet it shall not be so among you; but
whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27-
And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave;"
b. It is also used to designate a special group of servants who meet certain
qualifications and are used for special labor for the local congregation.
ii. John 12:26 - "If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where
I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father
i. Philippians 1:1 and 1 Timothy 3:1ff.
1. Local congregations in the first century was spoken of as
having them. This would be a reason if for nothing else. We need
to be concerned about following the pattern of Scripture.
2. There are many works that elders often do which should be delegated
to deacons. This allows the elders to concentrated on their work of shepherding.
a. Acts 6:2 - "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."
3. It is clear that elders and deacons complimented each other in the first
century. See Philippians 1:1
b. Elders should not have to do the daily physical work of the church.
There is nothing demeaning about purchasing paper products, taking care
of the church grounds, ordering class material, benevolence, etc. But the
elders should be free to care for the spiritual needs of the membership,
teach the lost, make decision concerning the future of the congregations,
visiting those who are physically and spiritually sick, encourage and feed
young Christians, oversee the preaching and teaching of the Word of God,
c. Deacons should be appointed over specific works, given responsibility
for that work, and allowed, with supervision by the elders, to get the
work done. They are never independent from the guidance of the elders,
but should be allowed enough freedom of action to accomplish their work.
A. 1 Timothy 3:8-13
III. DEACONS NEED TO BE HONORED
1. Positive qualifications
B. Acts 6:1-3. We must note:
a. Reverent (8a) - He must be a spiritual man who is first
and foremost interested in serving and worshiping God.
2. Negative qualifications
b. Holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience (9) -They
should be sincere in their faith. There should be nothing in their lives
which will cause them to have a guilty conscience.
c. Proven (10a) - They must have demonstrated their ability, faithfulness,
and willingness to serve, before the congregation.
d. Found blameless (10b) - There must be nothing in their lives that
would bring reproach on the body of Christ. Blameless denotes that he does
not seek to ignore or cover up his mistakes, but that he is penitent of
and life and makes proper correction where it can be made.
e. The husband of one wife (12a) - He must demonstrate his Christian
life in his family. Women and single men would be disqualified.
f. Ruling his children and house well (12b) - He must have demonstrated
his ability is taking care of his family and guiding them in the way they
a. Not double-tongued (8b) - He must be honest. His word must
be his bond.
3. Their wives. Since godly wives are essential to the success of a family,
it should not surprise us that deacons' wives have certain qualifications.
b. Not given to much wine (8c) - He should not be a drunkard.
While there is some question concerning this passage it does not give deacons
the right to be social drinkers.
c. Not greedy for money (8d) - He should never be covetous concerning
a. Reverent (11a) - The wife of a deacon must be spiritual
minded as well. They will compliment each other.
b. Not slanderers (11b) - They must watch their tongues. They
will cause tremendous damage to a deacon's reputation and the reputation
of the church by an uncontrolled tongue.
c. Temperate (11c) - They must keep their bodies under control and not
allow any habit or practice to control them.
d. Faithful in all things (11d) - This denotes a general faithful Christian
1. It is true that the word deacon is not mentioned here.
C. Some practical qualifications (As implied from Scripture and the enumerated
2. But there is little doubt that this is the very work that is being
described. Because the Holy Spirit had not yet used the designation for
the work mentioned does not mean that the work of deacon is not being described.
3. The Apostles give three qualifications here. There is little doubt
that these seven would have met the qualifications laid down by Paul.
But these general qualification bear looking at as well as those in 1 Timothy
a. Of good reputation - They should be known for moral, spiritual,
faithful Christian living to those in and out of the church.
b. Full of the Holy Spirit - He should be full of the fruits of the
Spirit as found in Galatians 5:22- 24.
c. Full of wisdom - He must have developed wisdom in his life (i.e.
good old fashioned "horse sense"). There are some who are good men who
have little common sense about dealing with people and getting things done.
1. Deacons need to be cooperative. They will have to be able
to work with elders, the other deacons, and the membership.
2. Deacons need to be able keep a confidence. There will be matters
discussed between elders and deacons which do not need to be spread abroad.
3. Deacons need to be dedicated. The church should come first in their
A. "For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves
a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus"
(1 Timothy 3:13).
CONCLUSION: Every Christian should have the characteristics mentioned here
(with the exception of being married and having children). And let each
of our young men seek to work toward being able to serve the Lord as a
deacon, elder, or preacher.
1. Paul says that those who serve well do two things.
B. Let us give honor to faithful deacons.
2. They obtain "for themselves for a good standing" - They receive honor
from their brethren for the faithfulness.
3. They obtain a "great boldness in the faith." - Their faithfulness
give them greater strength in the faith. They become stronger as Christians.
1. Romans 13:7 - Render therefore to all their due: taxes to
whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to
2. Let us give thanks for those deacons who work so hard to advance
the cause of Christ.
Copyright 1999 by Grady
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