Thoughts On the office of Deacon

The Job of a Deacon is diverse.   I think about that often when I think about the different personalities in a healthy Diaconate.   I find it interesting that the Office of Deacon comes with Qualifications and a basic Job description, but it doesn’t come with a Manuel of how to do the job. 

A Deacon should be,

  1. Dignified – They are to be men who are composed, and mature, they should carry themselves in a manner that is worthy of Respect.
  2. Not Double-Tongued – A Deacon ought to be a man who is in control of the way that he speaks, he thinks carefully and prays hard before he ever opens his mouth so that his speech is always consistent.
  3. Not addicted to much wine- A Deacon is a man who is not controlled by the substances of this world. I think there are two key points to this phrase.  First, there is the fact that he is not addicted.  Wine or Alcohol doesn’t control his life it isn’t in control over how his day goes.   Addicts are enslaved by the substances that they crave, A Deacon cannot be enslaved by the things of this world. Second, there is the fact that he Isn’t addicted to MUCH wine.  He doesn’t get drunk; he doesn’t lose control of his faculties and mind.
  4. He is not greedy for dishonest gain. –  Again, we see that the conversation of control is at the forefront of a deacon’s life.  Money doesn’t control him; he isn’t hungry for it.   For this reason, a Deacon isn’t convinced by his flesh or the enemy to sin against others to gain more money for himself.
  5. He must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. – The Deacon must have good theology this is so important that we see that there ought to be testing.  Deacons are to be men who Hold the truths of scripture without concern over their inability to fully grasp it because deacons are to be men who can walk by faith.
  6. A Deacon must have a Good and Godly wife – The Office of Deacon is an office where the man himself might be good and godly but is disqualified because his wife doesn’t live up to the standards that are expected of her
    1. She must also be dignified and well thought of
    1. She must not be a slanderer who runs around criticizing at all times
    1. She must be sober mined under control and steady
    1. She must be faithful in all things- A deacon’s Job is hard, and he will need help, therefore, a deacon’s wife must be a faithful helpmate for him.
  7. A Deacon must have his personal life in order.
    1. He is the husband of one wife- he is a one-woman man not running around with the latest woman that catches his eye but an example of Marital faithfulness for the rest of the church to follow
    1. A deacon is to manage his children well. He is to be a father who leads his home in love, encouragement, worship, evangelism, and discipline.   There is a lot one could say here but let me say this.  A Deacon is a man who can manage. He isn’t passive, aggressive, or abusive toward his children.  He is a man who has taken the call to raise his children in the fear and admonition of the Lord.   He has done so in a manner that leads his children to honor and respect him.  Because he has loved them well-disciplined them well, his children, while imperfect, are well behaved and under reasonable control. They carry themselves with dignity, show respect to others, and, in general, exhibit self-control in public and at home.
    1. He is to manage his household well- he must have control over his household, he doesn’t have to be rich, but he must be able to manage consistently the things that he has been given in the best way that he can. 

The Job Description of a Deacon is simple.  He is a Servant.

After you get past these things the role of deacon gets a bit less defined because God made our deacons as unique Human Persons that will serve in different manners.   One Deacon may be loud and energetic, He may be the kind of guy who walks up to you and shakes your hand and welcomes you when you walk in the door.  Or he may be quiet and bides his time building his relationship with you through his capacity for listening and hospitality.  Some Deacons are more educated than others, Some Deacons are more skilled with a hammer and saw, Some Deacons are better teachers and speakers, and Some would prefer to make sure that all the I’s are dotted and the Ts are crossed behind the scenes.   

These differences make our churches whole. We wouldn’t want a diaconate room with only the loudest most verbose men in the church or a Diaconate where no one ever wants to talk about anything, Instead, we want a diaconate with balance.   A diaconate where Some men talk a lot and others interject only when it is vital.  A diaconate where the kingdom of God is the most important thing to the men who are sitting around the table. A diaconate where we rub and push and are changed by each other knowing that even the most mature men in the church need to grow.   

The job of a Deacon isn’t a checklist, and it can’t fit into a mold.   There will never be 2 Identical deacons and that is ok.   To highlight this a man in our church told me wanted to grow into a deacon, and he listed to two men in our Diaconate that he wanted to be like.  One verbose and energetic and the other quiet and reserved.  The two men are opposites in terms of personality, but both carry in them the qualities and character that Paul tells Timothy to look for. 

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