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