We talked yesterday about being a pastor or elder in the church. And for most Christians, they have no desire to be those things.
There are more people, however, who seek to be leaders of ministries. They seek to be the person who helps take care of church finances, or takes care of ministries to the poor, or organizes small groups, or organizes church events, or runs the welcome team, etc.
Though not all churches use the word deacon, a person in these positions could rightfully be called a deacon. They are people, separate from the ministry of pastor or elder, who have been given responsibilities in order to help keep the church running smoothly and allow the pastors and elders to focus on their jobs.
For a lot of people, though, they think their gifts alone qualify them for that office. They don’t.
As with pastors, Paul doesn’t point to their gifts first and foremost when talking about the qualifications of deacons. He points to their character. They are to be people who are,
worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. (8)
As with the pastors, they are to be faithful to their wives and manage their families well. (11)
Unlike pastors, they don’t need the ability to teach the Word, but they should know their faith well and live it. (9)
We are also not to simply throw people into such roles of leadership. Rather, they are to be tested first, and if they prove faithful, and their character is impeccable, then we can place them into these roles of leadership. I have seen firsthand what happens when we don’t, and the results are not pretty.
There is some debate as to whether verse 11 refers to deacon’s wives or deaconesses. I tend to go with the latter. Paul makes no mention of a pastor’s wife and what she should be like. Why then would he make specific mention of a deacon’s wife? That said, it is a debatable issue.
Either way, they are to be,
women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything. (11)
The last thing to note is that whatever their duties, they are to be servants. In fact, that is what the word deacon means. Servant. And as servants of God and servants of the church, they are to be faithful and serve well.
Paul concludes by saying,
Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus. (13)
By serving well, not only do you gain a good reputation within the church, but you also see your faith strengthened as you see God at work in you and through you to touch the lives of those around you.
Do you want to be a leader in the church? What kind of character do you have?
Are you a leader in the church? If so, are you serving faithfully?