Qualifications for Deacons
Thanks again for posting this study looking at spiritual leadership, character and qualifications of a deacon, at how they should behave, serve in the church and keep it in order.
The particular office of a deacon is not mentioned at all in the OT and only on a few occasions in the NT. Most commentaries say that Acts 6:18 was the first few inauguration of the office. The seven men elected in Acts were in a way the first deacons ordered to minister, organise and assist in helping the growth of the early church.
The ministry of deacon is considered a gift to be exercised accordingly and not ignored as we find in Romans 12:7 and 1 Corinthians 12:28 where the words “ministering” and “helps” are used. Both of these words refer to the duties or office of the deacon.
In Acts 20 we read of Paul setting up the church in Ephesus and then he passes the baton to Timothy for him to carry on the work. He then writes to Timothy exhorting him to maintain certain standards so the church of Christ wouldn’t fall into disrepute into liberal ways.
Paul through his exhortation in this letter speaks of qualifications of overseers and elders then continues likewise listing Deacons qualities as being…
. Not double-tongued.
. Not addicted too much win.
. Not greedy for dishonest gain.
We have seen in the passage during the week the basic meanings of these qualities but let’s look at the domestic qualities.
. Husband of one wife… He has only one wife at a time ~ not to be polygamous. The focal point being the man’s need to be faithful and sexually pure.
. Managing their children and their own household well… It is important Deacons prove their spiritual character first and foremost in the home. They are to have their houses in order by managing their money, possessions and relationships with wife and kids.
The role of the wife is pointed out as…
. Must be dignified… Same word used in verse 8 ~ Women held in respect with their spiritual devotion.
. Not slanderers… Women in control of their tongues and not gossip.
. Sober-minded… Women who have self-controlled and possess a sober judgment not addicted to things.
. Faithful in all things… Women who are totally trustworthy.
The Deacon has an invaluable role serving under the guidance of the pastor sharing concerns for the needs of the congregation and given support.
Though the office of deacon isn’t mentioned much in scripture the word deacon (diakonos) appears many times in the New Testament and translated as servant, waiter or attendant. The role of serving or having a servants heart applies to all of us as believers in Christ so whether or not we are called to be deacons in an official capacity within a church we are all called to minister to or to serve one another.
Some examples of ministering from scripture can be found in Matthew 8:15, Matthew 25:44, John 12:26. Ultimately we are to follow the example of Christ himself who, it says in Mark 10.45… came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.