Deacons Acts 6:1-7 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Deacons were added as an office in the church because of the temporal needs of the congregation that needed attention. The charge to the deacons is found in Acts 6:1-7.
The office is a spiritual office in a practical ministry – in other words the burdens of the ministry were beginning to prevent the men who were pastoring the church in Jerusalem from getting the spiritual food and power they needed to feed the flock [and we’re not talking about bacon and biscuits]. So, it became necessary for men to help with “the daily ministration.” This takes on a number of things today that they weren’t having to deal with back in those days: church building, church finances, church law, church visitation, etc.
Therefore these men had to first be spiritual – because they are an extension of the pastor’s ministry. Without him they have no ministry. They had spiritual qualities:
- Honest report
- Full of the Holy Ghost
- Full of Wisdom
Notice that their qualifications are equivalent to the qualifications for the pastor [1 Tim 3:1-13].
Second these men had to work – Acts 6:3 – business. A deacon waited on tables. Therefore, deacons are not set up as a ruling board or a group to run the pastor. They deal with things that go along with the ministry because you deal with the carnal needs to minister to the spiritual needs. Of course their efforts are only as valuable as the ministers they relieve. In other words the pastor needs to pray and minister the word [Acts 6:4].
Third these men had to be acceptable to the congregation – Acts 6:5 – because they are ministering to the flock. It’s hard for a man to minister if he isn’t acceptable to the flock. They were chosen from among the congregation.
Fourth they were installed with prayer and the laying on of hands – Acts 6:6 – prayer for the Lord to bless them and strengthen them and give them wisdom. The prayer was accompanied with laying on of hands because of the “transference” to them, like laying hands on an offering. Notice the spirit that went to the men that helped Moses [Num 11:17].
Fifth, the installation worked beautifully – Acts 6:7 – Notice the great fruit that resulted from the ministry of the word after these men got involved in the work:
- Word increased
- Disciples multiplied
- Priests got saved