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TITLE: Deacons - their work
TEXT: Acts 6:1-4
PROPOSITION: Deacons serve an important role in the function of the church.
KEY WORD: Sources
  1. While many sermons and classes discuss elders, few on deacons.
  2. Deacons are:
  3. - elders in training, Junior Elders
  4. - an advisory board for the elders
  5. There is a specific office in the church (qualifications, duties)
  6. This lesson will focus on the duties.
Three sources of information about deacons
  1. Meaning of the word
  2. List of qualifications
  3. Work of the 7 in Jerusalem (Acts 6)
Meaning of the word - Deacon
  1. Minister, ministry, servant, serve (used in all forms 101 times in NT)
  2. This word was used of preachers (1 Timothy 4:6), Phebe (Romans 16:1), Timothy and Erastus (Acts 19:22), many women (Matthew 27:55), and many others
  1. “Office” in mentioned - a specific role with qualifications
  2. Specific qualifications only give a few hints
    1. Younger than elders - children are not required to be “believers”
    2. Must have moral and spiritual integrity
    3. Must have shown leadership in some way - 1st tested
Deacons in Acts 6
  1. No one was appointed until a special need arose.
  2. Deacons were appointed “over this business” (specific assignment)
    1. If temporary - deacon is temporary
    2. If on-going program - deacon is needed long-term
  3. Delegated authority - not have to run to elders for every decision
  4. Their authority is limited to their area (program, ministry)
Mistakes seen today
  1. “Business meeting” of elders and deacons - information, communication - YES
  2. “One man / one vote” in these meetings - church not a democracy
  3. “Deacon meetings” - MYOB - Do not run others business
  4. Failure to appoint numerous deacons - church growth experts suggest - 1 per 25 members as a minimum
  5. Failure to assign deacons a task - delegate to them specific authority
  6. are no “deacons-at-large” - each must have a task.
  7. Failure to challenge them.
  8. Failure to trust them.
    1. Elders must not be “self-willed”
    2. They must NOT micro-manage every detail - become errand boys
  9. Failure to support them. They are not required to “do it all”. They are to manage the work and see that it is done.
  10. Failure to supervise, require accountability, report on progress or problems
  11. Failure to communicate with the congregation - needs, plans, seek input

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