Deacons Dedicated to serving - Acts 6:1-7

Current Blog Series : Biblical Vision Explanation

"Deacons are the warrior servers of the church."

I have already discussed the elder’s responsibilities in the two “Elders are a Gift to the Church” articles. Today I want to cover the hot button topic of deacon responsibilities. I’ve seen churches fall apart or succeed because of the relationship between the pastor and the deacons. Often times a fight over power arises between the elders and the deacons. I believe that our American churches are split over power due to a lack of Biblical understanding.

According to the New Testament, a deacon is a servant. The name deacon means servant, and their precursors in Acts 6 were chosen to handle the practical needs of the church. The purpose of passing on practical needs was so that, the apostles could devote themselves to leading the church through prayer and the ministry of the Word.

The elders are called to “direct the affairs of the church,” (1 Timothy 5:17) and teach the Word, deacons are called to support that direction. There is no Biblical grounds for deacons to “share power” with elders. There’s often a desire for the office of deacon so that they may control the church, which is Biblically wrong. The deacon should be full of the Spirit and gifted in the area of “doing gifts.” At my home church Cross Point the men who are nominated to be deacon, are men that must already exude the attributes of service among the body. This is not a biblically mandated way to pick deacons, but it is a great way to ensure that these men are truly gifted for the office.

When considering nomination and “new deacons” there is a responsibility for all offices of the church to train up younger men to one day fill any office needed. (Titus 2) I believe that elders and deacon’s should both have a “younger” learning their job. At Cross Point my father has several men that he has befriended who help in his activities as a deacon. Little do these guys know, dad is preparing them for the office of deacon when the body needs a new man. Deacon service doesn’t stop at serving tables, it is a service that follows through to the next generation of the church. May we both elders and deacon’s desire to serve in our specific Biblical roles.  

Elders lead ministry, deacons facilitate ministry, the congregation does ministry. That, I believe, is the New Testament model, and that biblical clarity in deacons’ role and function is invaluable for promoting peace and unity in our congregations.

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