Duites Of Deacons

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by John R, May 22, 2007.

  1. John R

    John R
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    Our local Church is trying to revise our bylaw to a more bibical stand. But we seem unable to agree on the duties of the office of Deacons. I would like to here from you all on what you view the duties of a Decon.
     
  2. Jkdbuck76

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    I think that there is not so much said about
    the duties of a deacon so much as what is
    said about his character.

    The first martyr was a deacon named Stephen.
    The last thing he did was to preach a sermon
    to a bunch of guys carrying stones.

    A deacon is there to help the Pastor in any
    way he can using the gifts that God has given
    him. As they held up the hands of Moses during
    the battle, so must each deacon do.
     
  3. jshurley04

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    Deacons

    I think that what you have to remember is that a deacon is just a worker that is set aside by the church. They have NO authority in the church scripturally, except what the church chooses to give them. Scripturally, they are not responsible for the direction of the church, that is the pastors job. They are not in charge of decisions of administration, that is the pastors job. But they can be involved in whatever the church body chooses to have them do. They are to serve the pastor and the body.
     
  4. tinytim

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    As a pastor, my deacon is my co-worker..
    And I have a great deacon... we had a Bible study recently at church where we discussed this very thing...
     
  5. Pipedude

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    I've never seen any compelling evidence that the deacons in the Pastoral Epistles were derived from the seven in Acts 6. Is there any precedent in early church history for the Baptist custom of saying that the seven held the office of "deacon"?
     
  6. DQuixote

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    Amen. We had 7 in our last church who left it up to the pastor to do everything, even when reporting that a toilet was stopped up. Yet, decisions of the deacon body could override the pastor.

    In our present church we have 15. None does anything on a regular schedule, like visit the sick and elderly, the hospital, in the home, and countless other tasks that the pastor is saddled with. When I was hospitalized, the pastor and choir director visited. It was the same with my wife. Yet, the pastor does nothing without a consensus of the deacon body.

    It would not do for me to be the pastor at either church. The shakeup would make headlines, and that not just locally.
     
  7. JDale

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    The words used to describe the duties of "the Seven" in Acts 6:1-7 come from the same Greek root that denotes the office of Deacon in the Pastoral Epistles (Greek - diakonos). The connection is not as clear in the English -- but the relation of the office and the duties of the office is clear (Acts 6 -- "minister" and "serve"; Patorals -- "Deacon").

    JDale
     
  8. JDale

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    This is a typical perversion of the role of officers in the local church -- and the one I've seen (and suffered through) most often in "Baptist" churches -- and not just SBC's. It's unfortunate and unscriptural.

    JDale
     
  9. Bro. James Reed

    Bro. James Reed
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    We have 2 deacons. My dad is one. They are servants of the church by way of the physical tasks that need to be performed; i.e. emptying trash, cleaning, handling "interruptions" during the service, serving Lord's Supper, etc. In this regard, they don't do anything that a regular member couldn't do, but they are specifically called out and set aside for that purpose. Basically, it is one who is going above and beyond the expected duties of a member, and showing a special desire to be of that use in the church. They are also good to lead singing, prayer, and to fill the pulpit every once in a while (although that's not true in every case).

    As far as the business end goes, our deacons serve as the trustees of the church. They are able to make minor financial decisions in that regard, but anything needed over a couple hundred dollars is brought to the church for a vote. They also have some leeway in deciding what to pay a visiting minister.

    Our pastor makes no financial decisions.

    The deacons may also serve as a sort of advisory group about inviting certain ministers to the church, especially during a meeting where many ministers are present, but they have no real final authority in that regard. The pastor makes that decision, unless the church has already voted to invite a specific minister(s).

    You might think of deacons as a sort of behind the scenes stage crew or pit crew. They pretty much put everything together that we need to function in an orderly fashion.
     
  10. TurboMike

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    Correct me if I'm wrong but the role of church authority:

    1. Christ

    2. Elder/Bishop- episkopos and presbuteros
    These two posistions are actually seperate, but Paul uses them in together alot of times. Maybe the converted Jews understood the role of Elder more? Anyway, they are overseeers of the church. The functioning nad administration of such

    3. Pastor- poimen
    Actually a Elder/Bishop set aside for preaching and teaching ONLY

    4. Deacons- diakoneo
    Servants. Working within the church body. The hands on guys

    5. Deacons wives- Partners to the deacons.

    How in the world we took the name deacon and made it authority and the place all resonsibilty on the Bishop/Pastor is beyond me.

    Thoughts?

    btw, first time i've posted here in years :)
     
  11. Jkdbuck76

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    That is unfortunate. In our situation, the older deacons who are retired usually visit the sick. We have one deacon who works 50 hours a week, he's 30 and he's got a child on the way. He does not visit the sick as much as the older deacons. This youngest deacon would be me. However, my gift is being the "go-to" guy and I also preach from time to time and I lead the bible study if he needs for me to.

    Quite honestly, I think God might be calling me into pastoral ministry. However, every time I think He calls, I let the "answering machine" pick it up.

    How do I know it is really God calling me?
     
  12. gb93433

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    I think of pastor as an overseer. His giftedness and the way God has equiped him allows him to see the big picture and be aware of the overall spiritual climate.

    Whereas the deacon sees something else. He may see to it that practical ministries are taken care of. He may be sensitive to others and their needs unlikme someone who is not all that good at serving in auch a ministry. I served with a deacon in a church that was excellent. He took his responsibility as any good pastor would. That man had an ability to make sure people were comfortable in the church and were welcomed. He took his responsibility seriously. I learned how to serve better because of him. He was hardly noticeable in a service. He was rather quiet but he could be seen making sure the room was comfortable. He knew what was going on that probably most others would miss. During the week he made sure the church was ready. The value he placed in serving peope was great. When he seated people it was amazing to watch him. At all times he was aware of what was happening in the sanctuary and knew where he would seat people if they came late. That man lived out the value of serving people. It did not take me long to realize I was a different person because of being around him. It affected me in my life with my family. I began to serve them more.
     
  13. gb93433

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    Make sure your wife is 100% behind you. You would live in a glass house and your wife would need to be able to handle criticism and you being gone. Pastoring is much like being a farmer. The work is never done. The phone may ring at any hour. Most likely it will be at night.

    Personally I have more ministry now than I did when I was pastoring. My time is not taken up with fighting and troubles in the church. I spend most of my time with people who want to grow. Most of them are young people who are new Christians or realize their need to grow. It is a great time for me to teach them to share their faith. I do ministry with them much like they will encounter when they begin to work for a company.

    I believe we have about two years to reach a person and disciple them after they have made a decision to follow Christ. Within two years that person will either learn to follow Christ, be a pew sitter, or leave the church in about two years.

    Seems to me that too many denominations try and sell the idea that to do ministry involves some kind of full time directly related church work. I know of a church that for about 80 years has never had an official pastor but the people do the work. Young men are being trained by the older men. There is a continual training process among the men and women. All the time people are doing short term missions work. Some have saved up their money and have gone for two years. Some have started churches. Discipleship is a lifelong process of training and equipping in that church. Many of the people in that church have gone to a theological school.
     
  14. Jerome

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    Ignatius, Epistle to the Trallians, Chap. 7: "And what are the deacons but imitators of the angelic powers, fulfilling a pure and blameless ministry unto [the bishop], as the holy Stephen did to the blessed James"

    Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book 1, Chap 26: "Nicolas who was one of the seven first ordained to the diaconate by the apostles"

    Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book 3, Chap 12: "Stephen, who was chosen the first deacon by the apostles"

    Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book 4, Chap 15: "Stephen, who was the first elected into the diaconate by the apostles"
     
  15. dcorbett

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    My Dad (He is in Heaven) was a deacon for over 50 years, and he served in 3 different churches in that capacity. He believed that he was called to be a deacon, and he believed that a deacon serves GOD and then the Pastor. He also believed that when there is no Pastor, the deacons have to run the church and keep order until there IS a Pastor.

    My Dad spent many hours on his knees, praying for guidance and wisdom. Sometimes the deacons had to step in and take care of a Pastoral issue, as he did when our Pastor at our church when I was 16 was found to be committing adultry with a deacon's wife. Our deacons had to decide what to do and present it to the church (without the one deacon whose wife had sinned so greviously)

    Deacon was a title, a handle, but those men were really the trustees of the church also.....since there were no other trustees named, I imagine.

    That was SBC. (Daddy would leave the SBC if he were alive today)

    I am Independent Fundamental now, and it is the same in my current church. The deacons are servants of God and trustees of the church.
    They also act as a pulpit committee when needed. This has caused some people to leave, but they can go find a church that does what they want, or they can serve God where He puts them... :thumbs:

    We have a janitor to do those janitorial duties.


    Debbie Mc
     
  16. PJ

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    If a deacon is fulfilling his calling, his decisions are not necessarily easy for he works for the pastor but equally for the church. This balance is vastly important, yet not often adhered to.
     
  17. Jonathan

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    We Baptists like to claim that we are a "people of the Book". The issue of deacons proves that we are, in certain cases, a "people of the Book plus tradition".

    A consistent hermeneutic would recognize that the term used in Acts 6 is the same term used to describe Jesus in Isaiah 53 and Luke 17 and is the same term used to describe Pheobe in Acts 16 and is the same term used in the Pastoral Epistles. It is a term that is descriptive of an activity, not an office.

    Clearly read, Acts 6 is not the origin of an office but, rather, the description of a revolutionary development in the early church where the laity was freed up for ministry. Taken as an example for us, Acts 6 shows how a church can best meet needs by matching giftedness with the work required to meet the need. Again, to be consistent, this provides the roadmap for how we should select folks to be Sunday school teachers, nursery workers, greeters, ushers, or any other position of service within the church.

    Our problem is that we view Acts 6 through our church history rather than through a consistent method of Bible observation/interpretation/application. The best example of this inconsistency is how we handle the two most widely known transliterations (at least in the Baptist world). When we preach/teach on Baptism, we make it very clear that the term in our English bibles is a transliteration rather than a translation and then teach the translation as an apologetic against those traditions having an incorrect mode. Yet, when we teach on deacons, we stick to the transliteration because it fits with our own tradition.

    So, having established an office based on tradition, we find ourselves with difficulty in properly defining the tasks of the office.
     
  18. tinytim

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    Then when did the office originate... it was around by Timothy's time.
    If Acts 6 doesn't point to it, what scripture does?
     
  19. Jonathan

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    The origin of the "office" is in tradition, not Scripture. Again, if you read Acts 6 and use a consistent hermeneutic to understand the terms (in this case, "diakonos" or "one who serves", you see the origin of a way that the church can select servants to address specific needs within the body. In the same way, if you read Paul's instructions later on, you find instructions and requirements for all servants in the local body. In order to read "office" into either passage, you have to read those texts through the prism of church tradition.

    I'm not opposed to a church having deacons. I'm just arguing that when we seek to have Scripture support a traditional norm, we be honest about it. We are driven far more by tradition and cultural comfort than we would like to admit. This is precisely why we have such difficulty in defining what the office is and why it has lead to so much strife in so many churches. The Kingdom would be far better served if we let Scripture speak for itself.
     
    #19 Jonathan, May 24, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2007
  20. tinytim

    tinytim
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    What about this verse...
    1 Timothy 3:13
    (13)
    For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
     

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