The Church that Jesus started during his personal ministry on earth has two officers. The officers of the Lord's Church are Pastors and Deacons. The Bible makes reference to pastors as bishops or elders. This article deals with deacons. Deacons are to be servants of the Church and not rulers of the Church; however, Deacons are to be be leaders. Without leadership in any organization, whether in a church, club or athletic program, we usually find chaos.
Deacons are first mentioned in Acts 6:1-6.
1. And in those days, when the number of the disciples was 'multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.
2.Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, it is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.
3. Where fore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, Whom we may appoint over this business.
4. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
5. And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and ProChorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas and Nicholas a proselyt of Antioch:
6. Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.
The Grecians were complaining about the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected. The twelve Apostles didn't have time to preach and take care of the complaints. The Apostles called the Disciples together and told them to choose seven men to take care of this business. The multitude chose Stephen, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Paremenas and Nicholas. The Apostles prayed and laid their hands on them as the first Deacons.
What kind of men should be Deacons? Let's look at I Timothy 3:8-12:
8. Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;
9. Holding the mystery of the faith in pure conscience.
10. And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.
11. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
12. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
1. Deacons must be grave: A man of dignity.
2. Deacons must not be doubletongued: Two faced.
3. Deacons should not be given to much wine: A deacon should not be a drunkard. I Timothy 5:23, Paul encourages Timothy to use a little wine for his stomach's sake. The problem today is the way it is used as a beverage. The abuse of alcohol is prevalent in our country. I believe a deacon should abstain from alcohol rather than be a bad example to those around us.
4. A deacon should not be greedy of filthy lucre. This means a deacon should not have an insatiable love of money.
5. A deacon should hold to the Faith as stated in the word of God. A deacon must stand boldly for the truth and stand against the things that are wrong.
6. A deacon should be proved: A man should not become a deacon until he has proved he is the type of individual as described in the previous scriptures. Someone that is a novice is not a suitable candidate to be a deacon.
7. A deacon's wife should be grave (dignified), not a slanderer (not a gossip), sober (sober-mined) faithful in all things (faithful to her husband, to Christ and the Lord's cause).
8. A deacon should be the husband of one wife, ruling their children and his own house well. A man that is not a good husband, father and able to be head of the home certainly is not a good candidate to be a deacon.
9. I Timothy 3:13 says a deacon that uses the office well will purchase themselves a good degree. In other words a deacon who serves well will become known as a man who is to be trusted.
10. A deacon is to be a spiritual individual.
I was ordained to the office of deacon on November 5, 1977 at McFerrin Baptist Church in Madison, Tennessee. I attended McFerrin from the age of 2 years until I was 46 years old. I was saved and found peace with God at McFerrin when I was 11 years old. In January of 1995 I began attending a small mission in Bowling Green, Kentucky. McFerrin's previous Pastor, Kenneth Massey, started the mission. This small group of people was organized as Three Springs Baptist Church on December 2, 1995. A Church can have as many deacons as required by the Church. I can truly say that since 1977, being a Deacon has been a blessing and at times it has been a burden. The Lord has blessed my life as Christian and a Deacon and for this I am truly thankful to my Saviour, Jesus Christ, who was willing to give his life for you and me.
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