By: Sunday Eyanrin (Evangelist)
Brethren, after going through the scriptural selection procedures of Elders. It is obvious that the Organizational structure and work of the local Church would not be complete without considering the special servants of the Church known as the “Deacons”.
THE ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE OF THE LOCAL CONGREGATION
THE DEACONS: WHO ARE THEY?
Deacons, are highly skilled servants in the work of the local Church.
- A Deacon is one who executes the commands of another, to be distinguished from a servant.
- Practically speaking – a Deacon is one that promotes the welfare and prosperity of the local Church by carrying out tasks assigned by Elders.
- Elders oversee all needs of the Church, and Deacons serve them in work. It must be understood that Deacons are not given the authority of oversight, rather they are given tasks to carry out.
- The Deacons are officers of the local Church, acting in subjection to the Elders of the local Church
THE QUALIFICATIONS OF DEACONS
1 TIMOTHY 3:8 – 13
Brethren, before we proceed, what do we need for one to be a Deacon? Apostle Paul by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit prescribed the following as qualification of Deacons.
- REVERENT – This term simply means, honourable, respectable, or one worthy of respect.
- NOT DOUBLE – TONGUED. A Deacon cannot be one who say one thing to certain people, then say something else to others. Such person can be classified as one with two – face. Their words cannot be trusted.
- NOT GIVEN TO MUCH WINE – A man is disqualified from the office of deacon if he is given to alcoholic beverages. Such person lacks self- control. Prov.20:1, declares, wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler. And whoever is led astray by it is not wise.
- NOT GREEDY OF FILTHY LUCRE – A Deacon must not be greedy for money. If a person is a lover of money, he is not qualified to be a Deacon, especially since Deacons are those who are in charge of the Church finance.
- HOLDIING THE MYSTERY OF THE FAITH WITH PURE CONSCIENCE – This means that, a Deacon must hold firm to the true gospel without wavering. Furthermore, he must also hold these beliefs with a clear conscience.
- BLAMELESS – This is a general term referring to a person’s overall character. Moreover, the congregation should not only examine a potential deacon’s moral, spiritual, and doctrinal maturity, but should also consider the person’s track record of service in the congregation.
- LIKEWISE, THEIR WIVES – must be dignified or respected, she must not be a slanderer or a person who goes around spreading A Deacon’s wife must also be sober – minded or temperate, finally, she must be faithful in all things.
- HUSBAND OF ONE WIFE – A Deacon must be a one woman man, that is to say, there must be no other woman in his life to whom he relates in an intimate way, either emotionally or otherwise.
- RULING CHILDREN AND HIS HOUES WELL – A Deacon must be able to have his children and household under his submission.
ELDERS / DEACONS FAMILIES IN THESELECTION PROCESS
The scriptural qualification of Elders / Deacons families are of great importance in the selection process. The families are:
- THE WIVES OF ELDERS / DEACONS
- THE CHILDREN OF ELDERS / CEACONS
WHAT ARE THE SCRIPTURAL QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED OF THEIR WIVES. 1Tim.3 : 11
- Their Wives must be respectable
- They must not be found to be slanderers or one who goes around spreading gossip.
- They must be sober – mind or Temperate
- They must be faithful in all things
WHAT ARE THE SCRIPTURAL QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED OF THEIR CHILDREN
- THEIR CHILDREN MUST BE SUBMISSIVE AND RESPECTFUL IN EVERY WAY
(b) THEIR CHILDREN MUST NOT BE UNRULY
(c) THEIR CHILDREN MUST BE FAITHFUL IN ALL THINGS
Brethren, we must not forget the fact that whatever qualifies a man, if that thing is no longer there, it means that man is disqualified.
A BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE WORK OF THE ELDERS TO THE LOCAL CONGREGATION
Brethren, it is a great challenge serving as an Elder in a local Congregation. A task not to be taken lightly. Today, as we continue to progress in the Elders / Deacons selection process, we are going to briefly summarize the work of an Elder to the local congregation.
- TO FEED THE FLOCK, “THE CHURCH OF GOD”
Acts 20:28, 1 Pet. 5:1 – 2.
Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. NKJV
1 Peterc5:1 – 2 – The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: 2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly. NKJV
- TO WATCH FOR THE SOULS OF THE CONGREGATION. Heb.13:17, Eze.3:16 – 21. Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you. NKJV
- TO RULE OVER THE LOCAL CHURCH.
Heb.13:17 – Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you. NKJV.
- TO TAKE OVER SIGHT OF THE FLOCK
1 Peter 5:2
Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly;
- TO BE EXAMPLES TO THE FLOCK
1 Peter 5:2 – Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly;
- TO PRAY FOR THE SICK
James.5:14 –15 – Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. NKJV.
Brethren, it is absolutely necessary that we understand the place of Deacons in the local congregation. Every local congregation is Independent. For those that are scripturally Organized, the Elders are those who have the Rule and Oversight of the local Congregation. The Deacons are special servants who are delegated to work under the Elders of the local Church. The Bible dose not specify what the duties of the Deacons should be. Since the Elders have the rule and oversight over the local Congregation, the Elders delegate duties and responsibilities to the Deacons. In this study, we have an Example of the delegation of duties from the Elders to Deacons on our chart.
DELEGATION OF DUTIES AND RESPONSIBLITIES FROM ELDERS TO DEACONS
Brethren, last week we gave some vital analysis on the Elders and their qualification, and what you should know before selecting a Brother as an Elder. Today we have done same to the Deacons. We pray that God will give us the understanding in Jesus Name.