The Deacon’s Merciful Service

The Deacon’s Merciful Service

The duties we have to the deacons are greatly outweighed by the benefits of their ministry. Through the deacons Christ continues his priestly work. The deacons are perpetual illustrations of God’s love for our bodies and our souls. They remind us that God cares for our cares. He overflows with compassion for us.

How do church deacons help establish God’s kingdom? Many of us might struggle to answer that question. For a number of reasons, the diaconate is often viewed as a non-spiritual administrative committee. Because deacons oversee church money and property we might mistake them simply for parochial accountants and custodians. But, according to Scripture, if we minimize the biblical office of deacon we miss a huge part of God’s plan for vibrant Christianity.

Healthy churches and healthy believers treasure deacons as invaluable servants of God, Christ’s official ministers of mercy. They help exposit the kindness of God, strengthen the communion of the saints, and preserve the fiscal integrity of the church. It is important for us to retain or, if need be, recover a biblical view of the office of deacon.

The Conditions for Serving as a Deacon

If we want the church to value the diaconate we need to preserve the high biblical standard for becoming a deacon (1 Tim. 3:8-13).

Deacons Must Be Spiritually Minded

The first deacons were men “full of faith and of the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:3–4)“Likewise deacons must be reverent…holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless” (1 Tim. 3:8–10). Of course, deacons must be financially and administratively competent. But they must also demonstrate a God–like sympathy for the hurting and a heart given to service. The idea that unqualified men should be put up for deacon as a way of urging spiritual maturity is totally contrary to God’s will for the office. Deacons must be spiritual pacesetters.

Deacons Must Be Self-controlled (v. 8)

Deacons must not be double-tongued. A double-tongued man says whatever he can to please his current conversation partner. A deacon must be able to speak the truth to all people lovingly and tactfully.

Deacons must not be given to much wine. A deacon may drink wine; Paul urged Timothy to take up the habit (1 Tim. 5:23). But a deacon must show that he can enjoy God’s good gift of alcohol without abusing it.

Deacons must not be greedy for money. Without financial self-control no man can steward the church’s resources or set a positive example to the congregation. A deacon who is content with what he has will serve well and bolster the confidence of others.

Deacons Must Be Successful at Home

“Likewise their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things. Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well” (vv. 11-12). Deacons need not be a husband or father. But those who are must have a history of capable leadership. A deacon without wife or children must be sufficiently established so as to have some domain over which he exercises godly rule.

The Charge of a Deacon

Deacons are Intercessors

Since deacons exercise Christ’s priestly office they must reflect his ministry of mercy.

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