What Are the Qualifications for the Office of Deacon?
December 3, 2010
"Likewise must the deacons be..." I Timothy 3:8-13 KJV
The word deacon comes from the Greek (diakonos) meaning servant. Deacons are to serve and help the Church, not run and tear down. It is a shame the conditions that most deacons are in today. They think of themselves as a type of hierarchy that controls the church. This is a very unscriptural view. Also, any deacon who thinks of himself this way is not qualified to empty the trash, much less be a spiritual leader in the church of God.
The office of a deacon is reserved for men who become servants of the church and the pastor in a special sense beyond that which is expected of every Christian. Acts 6:1-4 gives us a Biblical pattern for the work of a deacon. Their primary function was to look after the physical needs of the church, such as finances, property, social projects (such as caring for the widows and the fatherless), thus freeing the pastor for study, prayer, preaching, counseling and leading the church in sound doctrine.
There are several qualifications for the office of deacon.
1. He must be a man. I Tim. 3:12 Some may think that Phoebe in Romans 16:1 was a deacon. She is in the servant part, but she was not in the office of deacon.
2. He must be born again. I Tim. 3:9
3. He must have an exemplary life and testimony. I Tim. 3:8 The deacon's own spiritual life must be above reproach that he might be an example to the rest of the church. He must be grave or serious about life and purpose and also in spiritual matters. He must be sound in the faith and be able to teach and lead the church in absence of the pastor. He must be full of the Holy Ghost. Not double tongued. This means he must have integrity and openness and be trustworthy. He is not one who is one way one place and another way at other times.
4. He must have only one living wife and not be a divorced man. I Tim 3:12
5. He must rule his own house well. I Tim. 3:12 His children that live at home must be in subjection to him.
6. He must be mature and proven. I Tim. 3:10. This does not mean they just got faithful in the last year and got involved to impress and score points with the pastor. They must know and live the Bible.
7. His wife must be spiritual. I Tim. 3:11 She is to know the word and be an example of godliness in her dress, submission to her husband, not slanderers or accusers. She must be quite and submissive. She can tear down the office of her husband by her mouth.
So we see there is much to being a deacon. I had dealings with a deacon a few months ago who did not want me to preach what the Bible said about repentance and hell. He asked me to leave the church. He showed me that he in no way is a scriptural deacon. Amen.