Understanding The Deaconship


What Is A Deacon?

The word “deacon” is only found in the scriptures 5 times (Philippians 1:1, 1 Timothy 3:8, 10, 12, & 13).  From these passages, we learn the following: 1) There must be a plurality of deacons i.e. more than one, 2) There cannot be a deaconship in the absence of an eldership i.e. no elders, then no deacons, and 3) A deacon must be a man (not a woman) who meets the qualifications outlined in 1 Timothy 3:8-13.  The word “deacon” is the Greek word “diakonos,” which is defined as “a man who runs errands; an attendant.”  The NT translates this word “minister” 16 times and “servant” 11 times.  When we combine this information together, we come to the inescapable conclusion that a deacon is a man who is a special servant to the church they are a part of under the oversight of the eldership.

Why Do We Need Deacons?

We need deacons in the Lord’s church, so the eldership can focus on the work they are commanded to do.  Elders are commanded to oversee the flock (Acts 20:28), feed the flock (Acts 20:28), lead the flock (guide, rule, and discipline) (Hebrews 13:17), and be examples to the flock (1 Peter 5:3).  Elders cannot leave this work and do other things because needs arise in the congregation in addition to these responsibilities.  Therefore, the deacons under the oversight of the eldership will attend to, serve, and minister to the needs of the congregation.

What Is The Work Of The Deacon?

We must understand as Christians, we all are commanded to serve one another (Galatians 5:13).  This is not the responsibility of the deacon only.  Deacons are special servants of the church.  For us to understand their work is for us to understand the work of the church of which they are servants.  The work of the church is to worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24), edify the saved (1 Thessalonians 5:11), evangelize the lost (Matthew 28:19-20), and do benevolence unto needy saints (Acts 11:27-30 & 1 Corinthians 16:1).  Any scriptural responsibility given to the deacons by the elders in assuring the work of the church gets done, the deacons must do.

Why Must Deacons Be Qualified?

Deacons must be qualified because of the demand of Scripture (1 Timothy 3:8-13).  The deacon must be GRAVE.  How can this man serve the church if he is not serious, dependable, and trustworthy?  The deacon must not be DOUBLE-TONGUED.  How can this man serve the church if he is unstable, unreliable in his lifestyle AND inconsistent with the general principles of Christianity?  The deacon must FIRST BE PROVED.  How can this man serve the church as a deacon if he is not serving the saints now without the office?  God is looking for a few good men who will take seriously His work, aid the elders, and serve the saints to the best of their ability.  Is God looking for you?  If so, then answer His call to be a deacon in the Lord’s church!!!