Truth Taught- God has ordained the office of the Deacon for His glory and for His Church
Deacons are set apart for a ministry of mercy, service, and outreach. They serve others with wisdom and compassion to those in need and for purposes that advance God’s kingdom on earth. Deacons visit and comfort the distressed, provide for whatever necessities may arise, and assist the congregation at services of worship.
Jonathan Karst has been serving at the discretion of the Elders for at least a year under the title “Deacon in Training”. He has performed his duties with compassion, kindness, being diligent and longsuffering through this year.
1. Why Does a Church Need Deacons?
Acts 6:1–7 (ESV)
6 Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. 2 And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. 3 Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. 4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” 5 And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. 6 These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them.
7 And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.
A. The Church needs Deacons because the Church has people with needs
6 Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution.
As we see here, Deacons are to be the helping hands of the Church. They are to engage in the ministry of watchfulness and care for the Church Members. I purposely use the term Church Members because there were a certain number of Greek widows and Hebrew widows assigned to the care roll of the Church. The deacons were not responsible for all the widows in Jerusalem only those who were part of the Church.
Deacons are to be those who are self-starters who look out among the flock to see needs and to extend help and care before those needs become dire.
The Church needs Deacons because the Church has people who at times need help. A Deacon’s first priority is to those within the Church who may need help and struggle to help themselve. Widows and the elderly rise to the top of the list. However, the list goes on because we all need cared for at times.
Deacons are in many ways the arm of grace for the Church. They show love to the body in practical ways.
They serve under the authority of the Elders with zeal and joy. A Deacon must serve with joy being an example to the flock in all areas of life.
B. The Church needs Deacons because the Elders are called to another task
2 And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables.
The other reason Deacons were called and are called today is so that the Elders can serve the people in the ministry for which they have been called. I’m so thankful that we have Elders who serve and are willing to pitch in and help even when at times we needed to move into the deacon’s role for a time. However, when we do this, we are limiting our own calling because we cannot do everything.
The Apostles recognized their calling and their time and energy restraints. They very wisely and under the moving of the Spirit set aside a number of men to serve the people and to be an example as well.
2. Who Qualifies to Serve as a Deacon?
1 Timothy 3:8–13 (ESV)
8 Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. 9 They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 And 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. 12 Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. 13 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.
A. The Deacon must be blameless
8 Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. 9 They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless.
In this section the overarching attribute is that the Deacon be blameless. This means he should have a good reputation among the people. To be blameless means that he has a good reputation not one that would lend to distrust or doubt among those whom he serves. Blamelessness does not mean the Deacon is sinless but that he does not have a poor reputation in the general areas highlighted by Paul here in our text. No one can say when Jonathan comes in to a room, here comes that drunk or here comes that liar, Jonathan. No can say when Jonathan comes into a room, you’d better watch your money here comes Jonathan. By the grace of God Jonathan Karst has a good reputation among all he interacts with.
He has also been tested as the Scriptures command. He has served already for over a year in this capacity.
B. The Deacon must have a blameless wife
11 Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things.
This text tells us that the Deacon’s wife will also play an important role within the Church. She too must have a good reputation. By the grace of God, Maria Karst is also blameless. She has a good reputation in the community. She too is a wonderful servant very qualified to take on this role. She too has been tested and has proven her love for Christ, her family and her Church.
C. The Deacon gains a good standing as he serves well
12 Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. 13 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.
This verse does not teach that a Deacon must be married. This verse does not teach that men who are divorced are automatically disqualified from serving as a Deacon. This verse going back to the original languages does teach that if married, the Deacon must be ultra loyal to his own wife. Literally “a one woman man” not one who flirts with other women.
Jonathan Karst has proven himself to be a “one woman man”. He is the leader of his home and governs it well.
For the Deacon who serves well, two rewards await…
1. They have an elevated standing within the Church. This is not a prideful self-seeking standing because the Deacon is not seeking it but through consistent service, he is worthy of it.
2. They will gain greater confidence in the faith as they serve well. They will see how God provides for His people firsthand. They will see their work rewarded by God and these things will strengthen their faith.
I want to encourage anyone whose faith is struggling to begin serving others and watch how your faith increases.
As a deacon, will you Jonathan faithfully, diligently, and cheerfully
manifest Christ’s love and care, visit and comfort the distressed, minister to the poor and needy, and strive to advance God’s Kingdom? Will you work with and submit to the Elders as we seek to help you fulfill your calling as Deacon?
I will, and I ask God to help me.