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Grace Notes Ministry:
A Church Full of Deacons
It's a shame that if I were to ask what are the two offices in the church, somebody would say, "I know, Jerry's and the Assistant pastor's." The real answer is Pastor and Deacon.
Very few doctrines are as misunderstood in Baptist churches as the doctrine of the deacon…even when you hear the word deacon it conjures up all kinds of images in your mind depending upon your past experience and what churches you’ve been raised in.
If I were to ask you, what is a deacon?/what are they supposed to do?...I would get dozens of answers.
Some places like here, they
fit the Biblical model. But in
some places they are money hungry or power crazed, some places they are the
brute squad, some places they are ladies, and in
Some would say that
Other churches would say
I know of churches where
Well, what does the Bible
say about the office of deacon, and the role of
The term deacon is a marvelous term…in general, it means servants. (“aren’t we all supposed to be servants?”) Yes, this message is for the whole church, and I want to show you 3 levels of servants in the church.
The Greek word for servant is diakonos (diakonos)—where we get the word deacon. The word did not originally signify an office, it was simply a word for servant.
· General Servants
And the 1st servant in the Bible we’ll call a general servant—we’re all called to this.
Hundreds of Bible verses use the word diakonos, and translate it as servant, or in the context of a servant…not as a deacon. (ie: waiter—Acts 6)
The following verses all contain the word diakonos:
His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.
There they made him a supper; and Martha served…
And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them.
You can see, these verses are about general servants, in the sense of cooks, butlers, and waiters.
But then, the word was broadened to include all kinds of service…for example:
For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God…
This is about law enforcement officers, and others in authority serving the public.
Let me show you what Jesus then did w/ the word diakonos:
If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.
He’s talking about general
servants…and we all are
(bring up example to stand as example of a general servant)
None of us have been saved to sit…but saved to serve!
So, we’re all
I wouldn’t want to convey
the idea that the
We’re all to be “general servants”!
Then there’s another category:
· Gifted Servants: (bring up another example...female)
So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.  Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;  Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;  Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
It’s their spiritual gift. Many here have the gift of ministry, I Cor. calls it the gift of helps, our Spiritual Gifts survey calls it “servant”. These are not just general servants, they are gifted servants.
They don’t have to be leader, they love to serve, behind the scenes, no recognition required.
Here are some characteristics of a gifted servant:
1. An alertness to and awareness of practical needs
They see what needs to be done, usually w/out even being told.
They see those dishes and just wash them. (others would have walked by 10 times) They see the trash in the parking lot and pick it up (pull that weed) rather than complain about it.
2. Motivated to meet needs quickly…they can’t stand delays
They don’t like to formulate and talk about it, just get it done!
3. Work to meet needs with disregard for personal weariness
4. Great desire to complete a job once it is started
When others want to leave on the work day, these say, ah, where are you going? Only a few hours and we’ll have it all done!
So, there’s general servants = all of us
Then, there’s gifted servants = it’s their spiritual gift
Still the word diakonos,
they are gifted
But, then there’s a 3rd
group, represented by… (bring up
example). There are some
Now deacon group 1 is called to be servants
Deacon group 2 is called to be servants at another level
Group 3…tell me, has the meaning changed?…are they suddenly the ruling body?/has the meaning changed?/do they run the church?
No, they’re still servants, but at the 3rd and highest level.
Why do we need a 3rd group when we’ve got these other 2?
Because this 3rd group is called to be the example to the other 2 groups!
These are to be the…
· Model Servants [call one up]
Our God is really big on the concept of being an example:
Parents teach children by example / older women teach younger by example / Paul told Timothy to be an example to the flock / we can win the lost by being an example of a changed life!
More things are caught than taught!
The capital “D” Deacons are the examples, the model servants to these other 2 groups!
That’s why the qualifications are so high (almost the same as for Pastor!)
1st-- Guys, I have a problem w/ gambling, and I need your prayers!
2nd-- I’ve been drinking some to forget my troubles, help me!
3rd--Confession is good for the soul. I must confess I have a serious problem w/ gossip, and I can’t wait to get out of here!
No, they are to be the
examples...the models, and any church member should be able to look at one
For example, if the deacon is a s.s. teacher, he is obligated to be the “model” s.s. teacher! Not necessarily in terms of talent, but character, and faithfulness, preparedness, attitude, spirit, enthusiasm, etc.!
Model choir member—other choir members should look at them and say, so that’s how to be a good choir member!
Family life (there are stringent qualifications for a deacon’s family…pastor’s too! We'll look at those tonite)
Deacons, there’s a charge for you in this message today…you are being called upon, not to be perfect, but to strive to be the models: model servants, models in every area of personal and practical life! And v. 7 shows what can happen, look!...
And the word of God
increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in
Read 1 Tim. 3:8-13 [contrast Acts 6]
We have fine examples in the persons of our current and retiring deacons [give examples of service]
This is a challenge to new and younger deacons being developed in the church...
Our young couples ought to look at the Deals and be able to say, oh, so that’s how you have a marriage, so that’s how a man should treat his wife, that’s what it means to love your wife as Christ loved the church!
Our young ladies should be
able to look at Mrs. Sheree and say, so, that’s what it means to submit to
the authority of your husband/follow his spiritual leadership!
Deacon wives: your
So, the wives are to be examples to all the other ladies in the church. An example of service…of submission…of faithfulness. I mean, why should any of the ladies help in children’s ministries if a deacon’s wife won’t? Why should any of the ladies serve in the nursery if a deacon’s wife won’t? Why should any of the ladies attend the ladies’ meetings if the deacon’s wives don’t?
Our young men can look to Bro. Jim or Bro. Don and see an example of being a deacon servant.
I'm glad that our teens and children around here can not only look to the Smiths as a model example, but at Bro. Bryan. They can relate to him as just a 'big kid', and yet God can pour good things into their hearts as they are challenged to grow and mature likewise.
Those raising kids should
be able to look at the
Every church member should be able to look at a couple like the Joneses or Dunns and say, so, that’s how to be faithful, that’s how to have a good spirit, that’s how to maintain a good testimony! [honor both retiring]
What an awesome responsibility is that of the office of deacon, and so, the Bible calls upon us to lay hands upon you, and pray for you.
This is not simply for show. It’s a Biblical practice going back to the very beginning.
(past and present Deacons come to altar)
We’re asking God to do 3 things:
Fill you w/ wisdom. Deut. 34:9… “Joshua was full of the spirit and wisdom (Acts 6); for Moses had laid his hands upon him…”
Fill you w/ Holy Spirit as never before. Acts 19:6… “when Paul had laid hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came upon them.”
Bestow upon you spiritual gifts for the ministry. I Tim. 4:14… “neglect not the gift that is in thee…laying on of hands.”
Most of these men are
The church is witness to this, so you need not bow your heads, but are free to watch and pray in your hearts.
Invitation: have wives join them / “come lay a hand on one of these men”
-Assimilation Survey to recruit new servants
-Assimilation Survey to recruit new servants
A Church Full of Deacons
3 levels of servants in the church
· G____________ Servants
We’re a____ called to this Acts 6, John 2:5, John 12:2, Luke 4:39, Romans 13:4, John 12:26
None of us have been s_______ to s____…but s_______ to s_______
Serving the Lord is not a s________________ s________!
· G__________ Servants Romans 12:5-8
It’s their s________________ g______ I Cor. 12
Characteristics of a gifted servant:
1. An alertness to and awareness of practical n________
2. Motivated to meet needs q____________
3. Work to meet needs with disregard for personal w_______________
4. Great desire to c______________ a j____
· M________ Servants
God is really big on being an e____________
More things are c__________ than t__________
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