The Office of Deacon
After Christ commissioned the Twelve and created the first course of structure for the New Testament Church, the next order of business was to develop the office of the deacon. The men of God met and commissioned seven men who would facilitate ministry to the local church in Jerusalem and to the surrounding communities.
- A church without deacon ministry is a church pastored by a deacon who has not been properly discipled in the way of Biblical New Testament ministry.
- When the senior pastor is the lead deacon in a church, the church will repeatedly bounce off the ceiling at 75-125 in attendance.
- One deacon can effectively pastor about 50-75 people. You may add 25-75 for each active deacon in a congregation. A deacon will be most effective serving between 25 and 50 people. That number may vary with his availability and effectiveness.
- The deacon is a bishop/apostle in training.
- A church pastored by a deacon will develop that deacon to the level of apostleship if the church is healthy and its members will embrace the commission of Christ to “Go ye, and teach, and baptize”
- Who has the responsibility to: “Go ye, and teach, and baptize”?
- All Believers?
- What would happen if everyone in the church accepted their Discipleship responsibilities?
- GO YE – where?
- TEACH – who?
- BAPTIZE – how?
The Biblical Qualifications of the Deacon
The word “likewise”, in 1Timothy 3:8, indicates a connection to the previous communication about the bishop. A deacon is a “bishop in training.”
1Timothy 3:8 “Likewise must the deacons be…”
- not double-tongued,
- not given to much wine,
- not greedy of filthy lucre;
- Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
The previous Scriptures laid out the qualifications that are shared by the bishop and the deacon.
1Timothy 3:2-7 “A bishop then must be…
- the husband of one wife, [How does a woman become a deaconess?]
- of good behaviour,
- given to hospitality,
- apt to teach;
- Not given to wine,
- no striker,
- not greedy of filthy lucre;
- but patient,
- not a brawler,
- not covetous;
- One that ruleth well his own house,
- having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
- Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
- Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.”
The Deacons provide:
- The deacon provides care ministry to the membership – Ac 6:3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. [The “business” was caring for the widows]
- The deacon is a soul-winner – Acts 8:35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
- The deacon provides baptism to new converts – Acts 8:38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
- The deacon is an evangelist – Ac 8:5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. Ac 8:6 And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.
- The deacon is a miracle-worker – Ac 6:8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.
- The deacon exercises power over unclean spirits/and spirits of infirmity – Ac 8:7 For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. Ac 8:8 And there was great joy in that city.
The apostle, bishop and the deacon – There are only two Biblically described positions of leadership in the New Testament church
- The apostle or bishop is the same except in administration
- The deacon provides pastoral care to the flock of God