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
- dignity (reverent, grave)
- not double-tongued
- not addicted to much wine (not given to much
- 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
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
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
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).