The Role of a Deacon
Good evening, turn with me in your Bibles this evening to , in just a few moments were going to ordain, Kevin Meadows and Dave Coleman into the deacon ministry here at UHBC. I want to take a moment and talk to you about THE ROLE OF A DEACON.
It is mentioned there in my father is a deacon, Amy’s dad is a deacon at Lake Ellen and the word daikanos means to serve. These man as deacons are servants of the church and of the Lord Jesus Christ. I’d like to just talk with you out of the Word of God concerning deacons which is Acts chapter 6. WHAT IS A DEACON SUPPOSED TO DO?
What is the Biblical role of a deacon?
I want to give you three things:
Deacons Have Servant Responsibilities
Deacons Have Servant Responsibilities
Can we say that together?
Look at the first 4 verses in .
Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
Theres alot in that text. Some people believe that if a church is growing then it will no longer have any problems, HOW MANY OF YOU KNOW THAT IS NOT THE CASE. The problem in a church is not that it is growing or not growing the problem in the church is YOU AND ME.
The problem with the church is that the church is made up of people and all people are sinners, and all people are potentially creators of problems. We all are. You say oh not me, YES YOU, and the one sitting next to you and the one behind you and the one on this platform.
We are all sinners and the Bible says we really do need the Lord. So here you have this church the disciples are increasing in number, and a complaint arose.
Whats going on here, the Hellenistic Jewish widows were complaining that the native Hebrews that is the Hebrew speaking Jewish people were recieiving daily rations of food for the widows ad these Hellenistic greek speaking widows were not.
So just think about it, you have an ethnic battle between the greek speaking ones and the Jewish speaking ones. Its in the senior adult department, and its not just that its with the widows and they are a group of angry ladies, and then to top it all off it is over food.
Now this is a pastors nightmare it involves women, it involves senior adults and it involves ethnic problems and it involves food so how are you gonna win in this situation?
Church is growing but right here you got a fight, and if your not careful your gonna have more than a food fight. Your gonna have some punches thrown.
So the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables.
Now what is this? This is not the apostles saying they did not want to help people, or serve people its not implying that, no pastor should feel that way none of us are above this. it was saying these guys had priorities and I am so grateful they did. Their priorities and their giftedness was to lead the church, by praying, by studying, and by preaching and teaching the word of God.
That was their primary calling, so they knew if that was their spiritual giftedness and their role that the Lord had other believers who could do the work of taking care of the widows and handling tasks like they were facing.
So they told the church body to handle it in this way:
“Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task.
THAT WE MIGHT PUT THEM IN CHARGE OF THIS TASK. Not that you might that we might. This has alot of stuff in it, Notice these things about the first deacons who ever existed.
They were all men.
Now I kow there are people who say look at Pheobe and she was a potential deaconess but let us remember that she was an exception and not the rule.
2. They had a good reputation based on Godly Character.
3. They were filled with the Holy Spirit
there was love and joy and peace and patience and kindness and goodness and faithfulness and self control in thier lives.
4. They were filled with wisdom
They knew how to handle situations and they needed this most of all.
Then it says that they were put in charge of this but the apostles said now were going to put them in charge of doing the task. In other words their not out doing their own thing they are working they are seeking the Lord for God ordained men, here you’ve got some deacons they are men, they are spirit filled they are wise and they exude the fruit of the Spirit, and they function under the leadership of the apostles and I’m telling you that’s the way God wants it.
It is a beautiful picture of exactly the way it ought to be when a deacon is a servant in his responsibilites.
BUT WE WILL DEVOTE OURSELVES TO TWO THINGS PRAYER AND THE MINISTRY OF THE WORD
I believe that’s 90 percent of a pastors job.
Prayer and ministry of the word, say that with me prayer and ministry of the Word.
I think that pastors are supposed to do alot of talking to God and then after they talk TO God I think they ought to talk FOR God. Spend time with God and then spend time telling other people about God. That’s not all were to do but that is the primary thing that were supposed to do.
When we get so busy that we cannot spend adequate time doing that we need deacons who take the initiative to take some of that load off of us. I love my wife, I talk about her alot, but let me tell you what with all do respect, I really like talking about her, bragging on her thanking God for her, but as much as I like talking about her, I REALLY LIKE TALKING WITH HER.
I’d rather talk with her than talk about her. I pray that this is the way we would be about JEsus, I pray that we would like to talk about Jesus to other people, but I really pray that we would spend time talking with Jesus even more than we talk about Jesus.
So the emphasis there, IM GOING TO DEVOTE MYSELF TO PRAYER FELLOWSHIPPING WITH GOD AND THEN DEVOTE MY SELF TO THE STUDYING OF THE WORD and getting the word of God out.
These deacons began in this whole setting of service and thats exactly the way deacons ought to do. You know a prayerless deacon, or a prayerless preacher is powerless and worthless to the kingdom of God. We need to be in prayer deacons have servant responsibilities.
And what you guys do youre out here and your serving and ministering and your praying with people and your being peacemakers and not division seekers. Your really functioning the way these first deacons functioned and it takes a load off of your pastor, and it frees us up to do those things that were are supposed to do.
When we do that the Body is functioning correctly and we advance the kingdom of God.
Secondly not only do deacons have servant responsibilities
Deacons Are Congregation Approved
Deacons Are Congregation Approved
It says in verse 5
And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch.
Now notice what you’ve got you have the apostles leading out suggesting and then you have the congregation coming along side and approving saying ok alright that sounds right.
Adrian Rodgers said the church is to be pastor led, Deacon served and congregation approved he got that from verses like this.
Notice the wisdom they used in the selection of the first deacons
You say whats the wisdom of that?
Who had the complaint?
The Greek speaking widows. Everyone of those first seven names is a Greek name. Do you realize what they could have done?
They could have elected all Hebrew speaking Jewish Christians, but instead they said you know what the people that are upset are the Greek speaking Jewish Christians.
So were going to elect as our first deacons, Greek speaking JEwish Christians. Because their folks are the ones having the problem, their folks are having the complaints and when they did that they showed good faith to the whole church and they said look we understand the problem so were going to be sensitive to your need, were gonna take care of the problem so that you dont think were stacking the deck against you.
It was one of the most beautiful accomidating differing examples in scripture. If you dont notice that you’ll miss it that’s a smart move. That is good leadership on the churches part.
Then the Bible says they had their first ordination exactly how were going to do it tonight.
These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them.
The church nominates the deacons exactly what they did, then the staff and the dacon leaders interview them make sure they meet Biblical qualifications and then we pray over them and we lay hands on them. That’s exactly what we have done by the Bible.
It blesses my heart that you have a group of men that really do care about being Biblical in how they hold deacon elections even down to the finite details which we are currently adjusting a few things just to make sure we have an extra layer of Biblical soundness.
I thank God for men who want to do things God’s way.
Doesn’t it bless your heart that when we do what were doing tonight that what were doing tonight has been done exactly this way by Bible believing churches for 2,000 years.
As that extra layer of doctrinal integrity goes we will be launching a new minstry called the Barnabas ministry, which will take men who have been nominated and allow them to shadow current acting deacons and allow us to get to knw them on a spiritual level while training them in how to counsel, how to handle sick visits, how to handle different issues but mainly to determine where these men are in their walk with Christ.
Meeting the criteria set forth
I believe that the church will be blessed for taking this so seriously because it is.
That blesses me.
Deacons are congregation approved.
3. Deacons are gospel proclaimers
And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.
Because they handled the problem in the right way heres what happend the word of God kept no spreading.That’s what its all about getting the gospel out, it’s not about trying to make sure your ok its about getting the gospel out. When God’s people conduct God’s business in a godly manner God blesses that by allowing the church to grow and the gospel to spread.
EVERY MEMBER WAS SOUL WINNERS
They were telling all of their family members about Jesus and even the religious leaders of the Jews the priest were leading out in the evangelistic process. These deacons didn’t just take care of the problems of the church they also shared the gospel of Jesus verbally and one of them his name was stephen
And Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people.
This is not an apostle this is a deacons and he is performing miracles, He is leading people to Christ, He is praying for people to be healed and they are being healed HE is casting out demons. That’s what its talking about don’t water it down, you had a deacon walking in the power of the Holy Spirit and God was using Him in extraordinary things.
God has not changed, demons have not left the planet and God can still do miracles through pastors and deacons and church members if we will pray and get hold of God and let the Spirit of god work through us. It’s not all just crebreal Christinaity is more than just about head knowledge, we love Him with all of our heart soul and mind and strength but we also operate in the power of the Holy Spirit or we have nothing.
I dont want for UHBC a form of Godliness that denies its power.
If GOd cant do anything anymore then how do we know He is even God.
There nothing wrong with Him and if you seek to walk by the Spirit then you will know the power of God working through you and the church will be blessed as a result.