Section 8: The Church
Week 3: The Government of the Church
Day 4: Deacons Serve the Church in Various Capacities
1 Tim. 3:8-13
We looked at elders yesterday. The Bible also refers to deacons as having a specific role within the Church. What are deacons supposed to do? Unfortunately, their specific responsibilities aren’t detailed anywhere. However, we do get some idea of what was expected of deacons from the list of qualifications.
Deacons aren’t supposed to be greedy for gain (1 Tim. 3:8). That may suggest they were responsible for the finances of the church. Deacons are also supposed to have a demonstrated ability to manage their households well. This may suggest they had certain administrative functions within the church.[i]
There may have been other areas entrusted to deacon as well. The term deacon, after all means “servant.” It therefore may be best to summarize the responsibilities of deacons the way scholar Greg Allison does:
If the office of elder is dedicated to the work of teaching, leading, praying and shepherding, then the diaconate is devoted to serving in all other areas of the church.”[ii]
Read 1 Tim. 3:8-13.
What are the qualifications for deacons? How do they differ from the qualifications for elders? Do the differences in their qualifications suggest any differences in their responsibilities?
[i] Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Doctrine, Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House (1994), 919.
[ii] Gregg R. Allison, Sojourners and Strangers: The Doctrine of the Church, Wheaton: Crossway (2012), Part 4, Chapter 7, eBook.