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Deacon Ministry

Deacon Chairman: Will Dawson

 

 

Deacon Qualifications

A deacon is not an administrative position, but rather a position of service among the congregation. Deacons were selected in the early church to wait tables and meet the needs of the congregation. They were to be an extension of the Pastor’s ministry, to be his hands and feet. There will be several qualifications that should be met for one to be considered a candidate. While man looks on the outside, God looks at the heart.

In 1 Timothy 3:8-12, we find some of the basic qualifications for deacon candidates. Paul was warning Timothy about selecting leaders, and how this process would be critical to Timothy’s ability to lead and the church’s well-being.

It is not about popularity. Some may feel it is an indicator of status, but it is an indicator of services. No search for leadership or servanthood could correctly evaluate a person’s heart or thought life.

There are a few obvious things to be considered…

Scripture says: you will know them by their fruit.

This is referring to all believers, especially those in service to the Lord.

 

Another area of obvious evaluation comes in attendance or involvement in church related activities.

 

  1. (Worship, Bible Study, Visitation, Outreach, Tithes and Offerings.)

 

  1. A deacon must be supportive of the general direction of the church leadership. Not a grumbler or complainer.

 

  1. Must exhibit and hold to sound doctrine- solid in their Biblical stance and beliefs.

 

  1. A deacon must demonstrate the Fruit of the Spirit; we can find an explanation in Galatians 5:22-23.

 

  1. A deacon will be a sound exemplary citizen-someone who obeys and abides by the law of the land, our civil, local, state and federal authorities (not anti- government). Acts 6:1-6

 

  1. The Early church discovered that the Pastor could not possibly minister to every need in the congregation. Deacons were selected to assist the pastor. Through time, the office and role of deacons has evolved in many churches into an administrative board, controlling the directions of the church. Nothing could be further from the original design for deacons.

During the selection many things were considered:

  1. Were they a positive, active witness for Christ?

(2 Timothy 1:7)

  1. Did they demonstrate a life full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom? (Acts 6:3)
  2. Did they understand the role of the Pastor and recognize the differences between Pastor and Deacon?
  3. Did they exhibit confidence in their salvation experience?
  4. They would often preach and share their testimony publicly.

 

 

 

Wives

A deacon candidate’s wife will also be considered. The wife could either solidify or eliminate a candidate. Scripture has several considerations for the wife of a potential candidate.

 

They must be dignified. This does not mean to consider themselves elite in any way. They, too, must have a servant’s heart. But they must also be respectable.

They cannot be gossips. Scripture teaches that the tongue, and our speech, can be extremely destructive forces within the church. Sometimes we tend to believe that gossip is for women only, not so. (This behavior was not tolerated by the early church leaders, and probably is the cause of many church squabbles today. It cannot be tolerated.)

Wives must be temperate, meaning sober in behavior, and have a sound thought life. Not reacting in a harsh way.

They also must be faithful to the Lord and to their spouse. Trustworthy and responsible with sensitive information.

 

 

Final Thoughts

A deacon must be above reproach. They must be without blame. They should be a model of behavior within the church, as well as the community. A deacon is expected to be a one-woman man. This has been debated for years as to the actual meaning. (Some say one woman at a time, some say not ever divorced.)

This church has held to the “never divorced” concept, and will continue that stance. To reconsider or change the standard now would cause serious division in our congregation.

Ordination of deacons should not be divisive, but should be a time of unity. The phrase “one woman man” also includes a man’s purity, physically and emotionally. Many men would say they are faithful to their wives, but they have emotional affairs through pornography and other sources. A deacon must be a model of commitment to his spouse.

 

 

Another area of concern is regarding alcohol. There is no specific mandate in Scripture that tells us we must abstain from alcohol, but there is the command to be sober in behavior and judgement. Without question, alcohol dulls the senses and affects judgement.

Paul abstained from such activities for the weaker believer who might be confused by such activity. (A deacon should be a positive example, one that should not be ashamed, and one for others to follow.)

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