Deacons By Pastor Joe
The Scriptures have much to say about the office of a deacon, especially how it is a position of servanthood and not so much a position of leadership. Most churches have taken on the title of “deacon” for their leadership board because of its biblical significance. The scriptures teach us that all deacons were godly individuals who were chosen to fulfill certain obligations/duties to keep the church functioning smoothly. We should take a few minutes and look at the passage which initiated the whole idea of deacons. We also use the term deaconesses as an appropriate title for female servant leaders. We can read the account in Acts 6: 1-4
“But as the believers rapidly multiplied, there were rumblings of discontent. The Greek-speaking believers complained about the Hebrew-speaking believers, saying that their widows were being discriminated against in the daily distribution of food. So the Twelve called a meeting of all the believers. They said, “We apostles should spend our time teaching the word of God, not running a food program. And so, brothers, select seven men who are well respected and are full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will give them this responsibility. Then we apostles can spend our time in prayer and teaching the word.”
According to the word of God the first major responsibility of deacons was to run a feeding program for widows! Let me clearly admonish everyone from the onset that there are no absolutes as to what a deacon can do and for that matter of fact cannot do. The goal for our fellowship is to follow, to the best of our ability, the biblical guideline for this position. We can find further biblical insight as Paul addresses Timothy concerning the qualifications of deacons. The following verses are found in 1 Timothy 3:8-13 “In the same way, deacons must be well respected and have integrity. They must not be heavy drinkers or dishonest with money. They must be committed to the mystery of the faith now revealed and must live with a clear conscience. Before they are appointed as deacons, let them be closely examined. If they pass the test, then let them serve as deacons. In the same way, their wives must be respected and must not slander others. They must exercise self-control and be faithful in everything they do. A deacon must be faithful to his wife, and he must manage his children and household well. Those who do well as deacons will be rewarded with respect from others and will have increased confidence in their faith in Christ Jesus.”
Since our local church only has deacons we end up seeing our leadership board as a combination of both deacons and fulfilling some of the responsibilities of Elders. It is my hope that one day we will have elders and deacons and they will fulfill the biblical mandates and obligations for each unique role. We are in the beginning process of putting together a roster of individuals who can serve as a deacon. Annually we review the deacon qualifications recorded in our Constitution and Bylaws so that nominees reflect a sincere adherence to the biblical standards. I want to encourage you to be in prayer about your place of serving within this local fellowship. Possibly God is calling you to serve as a deacon for a season here at Hawthorne Assembly. We will need to elect a couple of deacons at our April 24th Annual Business Meeting. If you have any questions about the qualifications for a deacon according to our own Bylaws please contact me as soon as possible. I would love to discuss with you the potential for serving as a deacon.