8 Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. 9They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. 11 Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. 12Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. 13For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.Do you see that word Likewise? Just as elders and pastors must have certain qualities to handle their positions well, so do deacons. A person who is called to a deacon must be
- not double-tongued
- not an alcoholic
- not greedy for dishonest gain
- a person of faith
- willing to be tested
- a person with a likewise good spouse who is sober-minded and faithful in all things
- a person with ONE spouse
- able to run their own household well
For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.If churches were set up in such a way that elders AND deacons did not run the church. For instance, if deacons were solely responsible for encouraging good stewardship with material possessions, with ability to foster evangelism and the gifts of encouragement and helps, then anyone can be a deacon. The bible even talks about deaconnesses.
But in the churches that I am familiar with the deacons help to run the church as well. Deacons are often thought of as mini-elders. If they handle being a deacon well, well then, lets make them an elder. WRONG thinking. It would be good if this could be changed. Different giftings, different callings and they should be recognized as such.
Deacons have a different calling on their lives than an elder does. Elders and pastors (because really pastors are teaching elders) are called to the spiritual leadership of the church, to help people understand correct doctrine, to encourage people to grow in their knowledge of mystery of the faith.
Deacons are called to look after the poor, to help those in need, to encourage people to engage in acts of mercy, to handle the physical needs of the church.
It is to the elders we turn if we have spiritual needs of education and understanding, it is to the deacons we turn if we need help putting food on the table, if we want to engage in a mission outreach and so forth.
BUT the person called to be a deacon has to be a person of good character. Can you imagine having a deacon counting your money donated to the church who has a problem with greed? Or having a deacon who had a problem with drugs or alcohol, who was also known for being less than truthful? If they would reach out to people in such a state ... for the Lord...what would folk think? They would tend to suspect the worst wouldn't they? So as to not impunge the name of Christ or of his church, a deacon also must be a person of good repute. And thus lead the church, by their good example and encouragement to better the name of Christ.