What Does God Expect From A Deacon?
“And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.
Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, it is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.
Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word”-Acts 6:1-4
What does God Expect from A Deacon?
The word “deacon” means servant, a servant of God.
It comes from the Greek word diakonos but it still means that a deacon is a servant.
Diakonos is totally different from the secular concept. In the world, when a group of people calls someone to be their servant, they begin to take on the attitude that while the servant serves, they are to sit and be served. Wrong. Time and time again the Scriptures point out to us that every believer is a minister and has a job (or two) to do. Some churches have done away with deacons because they understand that everyone is called to serve in some capacity. So the question is, why have a special title for these servants? What makes them deacons, and what makes a deacon special?
All of us are called to be servants. Those who are called to be deacons are not held to a higher standard than the rest of us, for all of us are held to the standard of Jesus Christ and His righteousness and holiness. Deacons are not held to a higher standard, but they are placing themselves in a position of higher responsibility and accountability before God.
Read Acts 6:1-4
Why were deacons chosen?
They were chosen because there were complaints in the church. Sounds like something straight out of today, doesn’t it? If we had perfect churches, with only perfect people, we would not need deacons. Deacons were called because there was a problem. They were called to a specific task. They were not just called and then a job was given to them later. No! A problem arose, then people were found to fix the problem.
THE 3 UNCOMMON QUALITIES OF DEACONS
But now we must note why these men were chosen. They were chosen because they possessed three qualifications. Now if you are reading out of the NIV, you will not see the first of these qualifications. It says “the men were of “good repute.” The first part of being a deacon is having a good reputation. Deacons must have a good name. The best thing that a man can have, is a respected name.
” A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.”- Proverbs 22:1
This is backwards from what we learn in our society. Our culture tells us that men are to work hard to provide all the great luxuries for our family. They teach us that our children should have more than we had when we grew up. We hear statements such as, ‘The ends justify the means.’ The Bible teaches us to work hard to make a good name, and not to worry about money.
Men are supposed to strive to be great. Can you believe you just heard that in church? Men are supposed to strive to be great. There is nothing unchristian about greatness! For years the church has been so worried people might become proud that they have beaten men into submission. Come OUT! When the disciples were trying to figure out who was the greatest, did you know Jesus did not put them down for trying to be great? He says to them,
“But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,” Matt 20:26 .
He tells them, “Go and be great, but do it God’s way.”
Make this bold declaration!
I am an apprentice. Jesus is my master. I will work to make a great name. I will strive to be great. But I will do it God’s way.
3. BE SPIRIT FILLED
Why were deacons chosen? There was a problem. Why were these men chosen? First because they had a good reputation. Second, (and now you NIV people can join us again) they were filled with the Spirit. This one is not very hard. Do you know how you become filled with the Spirit? You ask. Luke 11 tells us that God wants to give the Spirit as a good gift to those who ask. We need to ask to be filled with the Spirit each and every day. God is excited about giving you the Spirit.
God loves to give the Spirit to His children, and all they have to do is ask for it. Now remember this, God does not fill a dirty cup. Part of asking for the Spirit is asking God to clean the cup. You don’t pour a fine wine into a dirty goblet, but into fine crystal. 1 John 1:9 says, If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Ask Him to cleanse you, then ask Him to fill you. You cannot do the work you are called to do if you do not have the power of the Spirit. You cannot demonstrate grace to complaining people if you are not guided by the Spirit.
The third qualification for these deacons is that they are filled with wisdom. Most people believed that wisdom comes with age. If wisdom comes with age, how can people be wise beyond their years? If you get wisdom from years, how can you have more wisdom than the years you have been alive? You can’t, and wisdom does not come with age. Proverbs tells us where wisdom comes from.
” The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”- Prov 9:10.
As you learn more and more who God is, and who you are, you will learn what it means to fear the Lord. God loves His children, and He disciplines His children. You should fear that discipline because it is never pleasant. As you are filled with the Spirit, you will gain His wisdom as He shows you who God is and who you are. He will teach you to take Isaiah’s attitude when confronted with God saying, ‘Woe is me, for I am a man of unclean lips.’
Now I want you to hear this. There is a proverb that speaks to every deacon, and every believer. Proverbs 15:33 says: The fear of the LORD is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor.” These are the qualifications of the deacon. Notice it! Jesus tells us that the Spirit will be our teacher. As he teaches us, and we grow in wisdom through the fear of the Lord, we recognize that we receive honor, and a good name through our humility.
The greatest characteristic of a deacon or a deaconess is to be an answer to an ecclesiastical problem.
My charge for you is to seek to be the answer to a problem. Go towards your task. Work to keep a good reputation, a great name through humble service. Be filled with the Spirit of God to enable you to work well. And let the fear of God grow wisdom in you as you serve Him each and every day.