A deacon is not in authority over anyone

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by thegospelgeek, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. thegospelgeek

    thegospelgeek
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    This is a common statement on the BB and comes in various forms and usally gets a lot of Amens, etc. However, how does one reconcile this statement with; (corrected with right copy and paste) TOO MUCH MULTITASKING
    I am in what is basically my first Pastorate and my first time working with deacons. I have been involved in some studies on the roles and duties of a Deacon and thought I would see what my BB friends think on the subject.
     
    #1 thegospelgeek, Dec 29, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2010
  2. KenH

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    Elders are overseers(episkopos). Deacons are servants(diakanos).
     
  3. RAdam

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    That verse concerns the office of bishop/elder, not deacon. The verse you probably meant is this one:

    1 Timothy 3:12 - "Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well."
     
  4. glfredrick

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    <pulling flame suit on>
    A deacon, by definition, is a "ministry servant." In holding the office of deacon (one of the official offices of the church) the deacon will eventually have some digression as to making ministry decisions in the church in order to best serve the congregation.

    A deacon, however, is not a "ruler" of the church, and in no instance is one described as such, either in Acts where the office was instituted, nor any other place where a deacon is mentioned.

    I'm not sure that the Bible rules out deacons serving also as elders, and in that case, a deacon might also be a ruler or leader in the church, but in that case only.

    The common Baptist practice of a church with a singular pastor/leader and a deacon board that oversees the administration and ministry of the church would be in error according to the Scriptures, which is why a good many new church starts are moving to a more scriptural view with multiple elders and deacons who serve in ministry.

    Note, in the NT, there are several terms that are used synonymously for the role of "leader" in the church, presbuteros (presbyter/elder), poimen (pastor/shepherd), and episcopas (bishop/overseer). The term that is not used synonymously is diakonos (deacon/servant). The two terms are often seen side-by-side in the Text, but denote different offices.

    <adding a double layer of flame suit>
    More so, deacons -- because they are not "rulers" in the church -- are also seen in Paul's writings as potentially permitting women. Women can and do serve in the church, and so can rightly be seen in the role of deaconess, but cannot be seen in the role of elder, pastor, teacher, leader.

    I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant [diakonos] of the church which is at Cenchrea... Romans 16:1 (KJV)

    And 1Tim 3:8-12, which lays out the qualifications for both men and women in the context of the service of deacon.
     
  5. thegospelgeek

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    You are correct, I copied the wrong verse. Please excuse me.

    Going with the thought.

    Paul used the ruling one's house well for the Bishop/Elder/Pastor. Then uses the same concept as a requirement for a Deacon. Why would he do that?
     
  6. thegospelgeek

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    Good information and adds to my study of the position. I understand that the Pastor/Eders9s) are the overseer of the church, that is clear. However, I find it difficult to state that the Deacon is not a leader in the church. The fact that it is a position in the Church also sets it out as a leadership position. Why would God put qualifications on a position, or even have a position if it did not involve leadership?
     
  7. glfredrick

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    Leadership in servant ministry would be a good way to see the position. When serving the congregation and leaders of the church, deacons would naturally have to be men (and women, if that aspect is considered) of high moral character, not in a marital war at home, capable of managing their own finances in order to use the churches finances to minister to others, etc.

    Not "deacon board" who have the power to direct the affairs of the church, hire or fire pastors/elders, etc. There is not a time in Scripture where that is the case, or where there is such a thing as a "deacon board."

    In a sense, the American view of deacons in congregational-type churches (Baptists included) is derived more from the town hall model, with everyone having a vote and the people electing "representatives" than from Scripture. Deacons and pastors are not "elected" by a vote of the people in Scripture, they are appointed by the leaders of the church of directly by Apostles (no longer possible). The whole concept of a board of deacons, who are elected by the church to rule over them, is imported, not derived. <do I need to don my firesuit again>

    A great book on the subject is Strauch's Biblical Eldership.
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/0936083131/?tag=baptis04-20
     
  8. thegospelgeek

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    I agree 100%. With the leadership/responsibility comes somewhat of a role of authority, if by nothing else other than just influence. However, this influnce is to be used to serve, not dictate. I am in now way supporting a Decon Board, however to say there is absolutly no authority is somewhat misleading.
     
  9. Luke2427

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    God help you- you're a Free Will Baptist with Deacons.


    I am certain there are a few exceptions but I served in the movement for nearly a decade.

    I never met a Free Will deacon board that did not think it was their duty to govern the church and would not give pure hell to a pastor who tried to lead at all.
     
    #9 Luke2427, Dec 29, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 30, 2010
  10. Aaron

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    Scripturally, deacons are to oversee the distribution of the carnal goods of the church in its ministry of mercy to those in need. Elders are to give themselves to the ministry of the Word and prayer.

    Neither office lords anything over God's heritage, the individual church members. What is given to the church is given freely and turned over to the work of the deacons, and the authority of an elder is that of the truth that he preaches.
     
  11. SaggyWoman

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    If deacons aren't taking care of their family, they don't need to be taking care of the church.
     
  12. Deacon

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    The role of a deacon is ill-defined in the bible.
    Deacons are servants.
    Deacons rule over the domain entrusted to them by the elders.

    Rob
     
  13. John Toppass

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    All deacons are servants but not all servants are deacons. Phoebe was a servant, just like Paul introduced her.

    The offices of Pastor (Bishop), Elder (Pastor is an Elder) and Deacon are to be held by men who qualify, just as the scriptures state. To read it any other way means to ignore the scripture for your own gain.
     
  14. canadyjd

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    The qualifications for the Elders and the deacons (with the exception that an elder must be able to teach) are simply evidence of good Christian conduct that all Christians should have.

    Paul gives these qualifications for the leaders of the church (elders) and the servants of the church (deacons) because those serving in those positions should exhibit exemplary Christian conduct for others to emulate.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  15. thegospelgeek

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  16. thegospelgeek

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    Exactlly. That is a good Appalachian summary of what Paul wrote.

    But how can they "take care of the Church" if they have absolutly no authority?
     
  17. thegospelgeek

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    What do you mean by ill-defined? I would think that God defined the role, just maybe we miss it.
     
  18. Jim1999

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    Just ask yourself, who looks after the ministry of the church when you have no pastor? Who fires the pastor when he or she steps out of line theologically or in life?

    Deacons fill a far different role in this century than they did in New Testament times....Remember, we don't wear sandals and long robes anymore. We changed with the times.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  19. thegospelgeek

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    So, does the Deacon have authority on how to do this? Or does he have 'no authority"? That is kind of my point to those who say they "serve" but have no authority. It is impossible for them to serve in the church without a semblance of authority.

    Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that they run the church as we all know many Deacons do. But that they are in a position of leadership. Even if that leadership is by submission. neither the Elder nor Deacons are in a position to Lord over the members, but in serving they must be leaders. Those who are last will be first.
     
  20. thegospelgeek

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    Some thing change with the times. Some do not. How the roles are viewed may change, but what God wants, ask, and demands does not.

    The Pastor is neither hired nor fired by the Deacons. he is put in place by the authority of God and will be removed the same way. If not, it's not really a church anyway.
     

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