Sunday, October 15, 2017

Qualifications for Deacon

Question:  here at OBC, what is the difference in deacon and trustee?
Answer:  1)  in function/ practice - not much
              2)  in recognition - A LOT!!

Deacon = 1) a Biblical office
therefore  2) found in Christian churches throughout history, the globe

Deacon is 3) recognized as a Representative of  (a) the local church and b the Christian faith - 1. Tim. 3:7

Since we're in a series on leadership, we'll look at the Biblical references and qualifications for deacon - Acts 6 and 1 Tim. 3

Acts 6:1-7 - deacon = servant
1 Tim. 3:8-12 - Deacon became an office in the church.  
About a 30-year span between these two.

Note:  1)  the Greek word for deacon - servant
          2)  the transition - to an office  
                                      to a position in the church
          3)  the office/position/job = Servant Leader
or a servant (of the church) who leads

Question:  regarding these passages:  Is this a 1) check list?  or 2) a general description?

IF is a check list - then it would disqualify Elijah, Samuel, David, Hosea, Daniel, Paul, Christ

IF is a general description (of character), then = "this = the type of person ... for this office"

So ... we're going to make a list from these passages.
But, as we do, NOTE THIS

Christians differ in gifts, calling, service, ministry, BUT the Moral Standard / general character is the SAME for all God's Children!!!

God doesn't have a different moral standard for recognized leaders as for everyone else.

Point:  as we review the list, should be asking 2 questions:
  #1.  How does the deacon candidate measure up?
  #2.  How do I measure up?

Acts 1:6-7 - choose 7 men:
a)  from among you - because you know these people
b)  Known to be - reputation)
c)  full of the (Holy) Spirit
d)  full of wisdom - and acts accordingly

The process:  selected by the people, approved by the Apostles

The job = to Serve as Overseers - 1 Pet. 5:2   (servant leaders)

1 Tim. 3:8-12 - (note:  vs. 8 - "likewise") men.....
a) worthy of respect
b) sincere
c)  not indulging in much wine (controlled by, influenced by) - Eph. 5:18
d) not pursuing dishonest gain
e) doctrinally solid
f) tested
Married??? if so, with wives who are ...
a) worthy of respect
b)  not gossips
c)  temperate
d)  trustworthy
e)  husband of 1 wife
f) managing his household well

2 Closing Questions:   

#1.  How does the deacon candidate measure up?

#2.  How doe You measure up?  - this isn't just for leadership positions

NOT as a deacon - NOT as a recognized and appointed officer of the church.  You may never be put in that position..

BUT as
   (1)  a servant --- of god and the Church
   (2)  a servant - who attempts to influence others (toward Christ, godliness)

You might say, "influence others???  I can't even get my own act together!!!"

Answer = That's part of the development process

So, where are you in your Spiritual pilgrimage?   Your influencing ministry?  Your leadership development?

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