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Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by SaggyWoman, Jan 11, 2005.
Does deacon ministry = pastoral ministry?
Both important. If by equal you mean the same-- then no. If by equal you mean both important-- then yes. If by equal you mean that one does not have pre-eminence over the other--then no. If by equal you mean that both being properly functioning are necessary for a biblical NT church--then yes.
Two distinct ministries - elder (pastor) and deacon.
Do deacons do some of the work of a pastor?
Deacons do some ministerial work, yes. Lay persons do ministerial work.
Stephen and Phillip in the Jerusalem Church were deacons, but both preached, witnessed, etc
They grew into/trained to the position of servant in the church.
Remember the timeline of Acts. Between Pentecost and Philip and the Eunuch is 10 years! It's only a few pages in our Bibles so we tend to think of immediacy.
Pastors (Elders) are to prepare their lay people for ministry.
Deacons are called to specific types of ministry within the body. Otherwise, no different than the average Joe in the pew in terms of responsibility for ministry.
Pastors and Deacons are the ONLY scriptural offices we see typified by the Early Church practice, and with listed requirements in the NT.
The NT Church called out deacons under the authority of the Apostles in order to free up the elders, who were to be providing for the spiritual feeding of the body, but were spending too much time caring for the tangible physical needs of the church. Deacons then and now, are specifically called to do the same. Deal with the needs of the congregation and the church as a whole, under the direction of the Elder(s), and free them up to focus on the spiritual needs of the body. This usually includes visitation ministry, distributing funds and help to those who have needs, assisting in the operations of the church programs and facilities, and providing support to the pastoral staff in administrative and spiritual matters.
So in short, No, they are not the same thing in terms of focus, actually they are complimentary roles.