Many churches have members appointed to an office or wearing a title called “deacon.” These churches have their own concept of what these individuals are and what they are supposed to be doing. In some churches deacons are the decision makers. In other churches deacons are nothing more than figureheads. The preacher is doing the work of the elders, the elders are doing the work of deacons, and the deacons are doing nothing.
Deacons have an important role to play in the Lord’s church. We know that God has set the church in order. He has put every part in its proper place. To understand what a deacon is, and what he is to do, we must understand what the Bible says about deacons. Continue reading » Deacons – Their Qualifications and Work
Paul directed his letter to the church at Philippi specifically “to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons.” From its contextual proximity to the office of bishop, the reader can ascertain that Paul is addressing a group of people serving in the office of deacon. They are not merely servants as all Christians are commanded to be, but fill that special office of deacon assigned by the Holy Spirit to qualified men thus appointed. It is our aim to discern what is the work of the deacons within the church of Jesus Christ. Because the mission of the office is somewhat obscure, various denominations have evidently mutated the office and actually elevated it above that of bishop. It would be a mistake to consider the modern deacon tradition among artificial religions to be indicative of the Bible mandate for the office. Instead, we search the scriptures and find three distinct lines of reasoning to guide our quest:
- The implication of the Greek word diakonos which is translated “deacon” in various passages.
- The qualifications given for the office by the Holy Spirit in 1 Timothy 3.
- The likelihood that the apostles’ selection of seven men to assist their work in Acts 6 constitutes a prototypical deaconship. Continue reading » The Work of Deacons