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Selection and Qualifications of Deacons
Bible study on selection and qualifications of deacons.

Deacons are important to our congregation. They are a distinct group of men that serves the congregation.

This is seen in Paul's letter to the Philippians, which he addresses to the saints, including the elders and deacons (Phil. 1:1).

The Word "Deacon"
"Deacon" is translated from the Greek word diakonos and means "servant."

It's used regarding different people in the Bible, including Christ and all his disciples.

Diakonos is also used of men holding the office of deacon, meaning they serve the congregation, under the oversight of the elders.

Work of Deacons, Example of Their Selection
In Acts 6:1-6, brethren in Jerusalem selected seven men to serve the congregation.

Besides exemplifying deacons' work, this Scripture gives us an example of the selection process. The apostles gave the qualifications of deacons to the congregation, and asked the people to select men who met the qualifications. Then at a later date, the apostles appointed them.

Exact details of the process are not given in Scripture. So each congregation must establish an expedient process to accomplish the selection and ordination of deacons.

Tested Before Ordained
Like elders, men must be tested before serving as deacons. If they prove to be qualified, they may be ordained (1 Tim. 3:10).

The way we test them is to see whether they meet the qualifications in the Bible (1 Tim. 3:8-13).

Moral and Spiritual Integrity
Men qualified to serve as deacons have moral and spiritual integrity, a trait all Christians should possess (1 Tim. 3:8-10).

  • dignity (reverent, grave)
  • not double-tongued
  • not addicted to much wine (not given to much wine)
  • not fond of sordid gain (not greedy for money, not greed of filthy lucre)
  • holding the mystery of faith with a clear conscience
  • beyond reproach (blameless)

These men behave in a dignified and reverent manner; therefore, they're grave. They're serious about serious matters, and don't take them lightly.

These men are not double-tongued. They don't say one thing to one person, and something different to another person. They are consistent and truthful, even when they make mistakes.

They're not addicted to much wine. Literally translated, they're "not holding the mind" on much wine. They have no desire to partake of much wine, which would result in drunkenness and impaired judgment.

They're not fond of sordid gain. They're not men who try to make money illegally, or in ways that hurt others.

They're holding the mystery of faith with a clear conscience. They're faithful to the gospel of Christ, and possess a clear conscience (Jas. 4:17).

They're beyond reproach (blameless). A sustainable charge of sin can't be brought against them.

Lawfully Married to a Faithful Wife
A deacon must be the husband of one wife, meaning he's lawfully married (1 Tim. 3:12).

The deacon's wife must also meet qualifications, which enable her to help her husband rather than hinder him (1 Tim. 3:11).

  • dignified (reverent)
  • not malicious gossips (not slanderous)
  • temperate (sober)
  • faithful in all things

Deacons' wives must be dignified and reverent, just as their husbands (1 Tim. 3:8).

They're not malicious gossips and slanderous. Gossips habitually reveal personal or sensational facts to hurt others. Slanderers utter false charges or misrepresentations, to defame and malign others. A wife who gossips and slanders is not only sinning, but hurting her husband and his work.

Rather than gossiping and slandering, deacons' wives are temperate and sober. They're in full control of themselves, and faithful in all things.

Deacon's Management of His Home
Besides being lawfully married to a faithful wife (1 Tim. 3:12), a deacon must also have at least one child.

Notice the language in 1 Tim. 3:12, as Paul uses the plural form of words relating to deacons, their children, and their households.

  • "Deacons must be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households."

Since Paul uses the plural this way, he's not specific regarding the number of children a man must have to qualify as a deacon. Therefore, a man with any number of children can be qualified.

Deacons are good managers of their children and households. This shows they have a good track record as managers, and the skills to be managers in the church.

A Deacon's Reward
Deacons who serve well "obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus" (1 Tim. 3:13).

They have confidence in the reward the Lord will give (Matt. 23:11-12).