How old should a deacon be?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by trainbrainmommy, Nov 24, 2010.

  1. trainbrainmommy

    trainbrainmommy
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    I have a good friend whose husband was made a deacon in his church when he was 19. I also know a church that has a deacon (PK) who is younger than 16. Is it appropriate to have a teenager in a position of authority over older men? I know Paul told Timothy to not let people despise his youth. Any thoughts?
     
  2. annsni

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    I believe that a man should be established as a man before he could be a deacon. This means that he is at least finished with his basic education. Additionally, I'd say this man should be mature enough to be out of mom and dad's house and living on his own. Finally, this man should have shown for a length of time that he is mature in the faith by being in ministry at the church alongside others who can witness his maturity and faithfulness to God.
     
  3. Jim1999

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    A man or woman should be mature, grounded in the faith and elected by the local church to be a deacon. It has nothing to do with age, living at home, or finished school. Having said that, basic common sense will also determine who is eligible to serve in the church in this capacity.

    I started pastoring a church at 18, and pastored all my life. Where did my age enter into the picture?

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  4. Tater77

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    Age is just a number , spiritual and emotional maturity are key.
     
  5. Jon-Marc

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    Although I have known some very mature teenagers, I believe that is way too young for such a position as deacon. I was in a Christian Web site once where the Administrator was 16. I was a moderator when I deleted some VERY offensive posts by a spammer that were praising the devil and blaspheming God. The boy criticized me for deleting them. I quit as the moderator and left that Web site shortly after that. Teenagers should not be given positions of authority, and neither should adults until after they have proved themselves.
     
  6. Jim1999

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    Maybe I am too old to be a deacon now!

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  7. Old Union Brother

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    So far in this discussion no one has mentioned the qualifications of a deacon as presented in I Timothy:

    3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

    3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

    3:3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

    3:4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

    3:5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

    3:6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

    3:7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

    3:8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

    3:9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.

    3:10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.

    3:11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

    3:12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

    3:13 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.


    How many teenagers are the husband of one wife? How many teenagers have proved themselves?
     
  8. Salty

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    Jim,
    Jack Benny told me you are only 39! :saint: :smilewinkgrin:
     
  9. Tom Bryant

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    The problem is that a deacon is not in authority over anyone. A deacon is to be servant. So the issue is whether the person is spiritually mature enough to fulfill the Biblical guidelines and mature enough to serve others.
     
  10. preacher4truth

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    Tom Bryant, you couldn't have said it better.
     
  11. freeatlast

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    Age is not a factor based on scripture, and should never be a consideration, but because of what is does give
    I am afraid that the average church deacon today is actually disqualified for the position. That being said here is what should be considered when choosing a deacon.
    Likewise [must] the deacons [be] grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;
    Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
    And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being [found] blameless.
    Even so [must their] wives [be] grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
    Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well

    This man should be proven as one who holds to the faith. That does not mean that he simply holds to the gospel but to all that is involved in the faith. He is grounded in the word of God and holds to sound doctrine. He should have nothing in his life that anyone can point to that is contrary to the word of God. While I do not believe that the passages are saying that he must be married I do believe that even if he is not he should be of an maturity where he holds to at least the principles of the passage (in the Greek not English). I say that because it does not say :husband of one wife." The Greek says "one woman man" which is totally different then what the English says. The Greek is dealing with character not how many times the person has been married or how many wives at a time although that too would be a consideration.
    So without using an age as part of the decision process since the scriptures are silent on it I would say the person (only male) would need to live totally up to what the scriptures say.
    Now that being said this would eliminate most deacons today as most of the church does not follow the scriptural commands.
     
    #11 freeatlast, Nov 25, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2010
  12. freeatlast

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    Jim I see this type of thing all the time. What I mean is someone gives a testimony about what they did and so it must be good or acceptable. I can only say in due respect that you or any other person is the standard, the scriptures are and that alone is what should be used to make the dicision. Now I am not saying that you did not meet the qualifications. I have no way of knowing. However what I am saying is just because you did it at a certain age does not justify it nor does it disqualify a person. If you or anyone has literally met all the qualifications in scripture, in spirit, that is given then they will have a great reward. If they did not and rebelled and took an office they had no right to then my guess is that one day they will regret it. I am not talking about hell or questioning salvation, just the idea that we all will give an account and suffer loss if need be. There is one thing I do know and that is that to hold disregard for clear scripture, even if not intentional, for unclear scripture on the gender issue should disqualify a person. So that alone for me would raise a question as to someone being qualified to be a deacon or pastor. I would vote against them if they felt that women can hold the office of Pastor or Deacon and I base that on scriptural qualification. As a matter of fact I have been in this situation and have done just that and the person was rejected.
     
    #12 freeatlast, Nov 25, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2010
  13. Jim1999

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    What about deaconess Phoebe addressed by Paul in Romans 16:1f?

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  14. freeatlast

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    Jim you have to know that only the very most liberal translations use the word "deacon" in their translation. Also there is no such thing as a "deaconess" in the Greek text in scripture. Next the same writer that wrote to Timothy for the qualifications for a deacon and Pastor is the same one writing in Romans. In the case of Phoebe who was clearly a woman who loved her Lord she was simply a servant that stood out and Paul is making sure that she is treated properly in a culture that did not recognize women. It has nothing to do with an official position or office.

    I can certainly see how someone might believe that a woman could hold the office after reading Romans 16 as long as they had not read Timothy and Titus where it is made clear who can hold the office and what his qualifications have to be. However if a person has read Timothy and or Titus and still holds that women can hold the office then I believe that they are in rebellion to the word of God in this area.

    May I add one thing. I have known of churches where they have women called deaconess', but they only deal with other women, never men and they have no official authority to make policy even when dealing with the women. I think scripture would be honored there in the idea that they meet the standards at lest in spirit while being given a title and yet they do not hold the official office of Deacon.
     
    #14 freeatlast, Nov 25, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2010
  15. Timsings

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    It is the job of the local church to determine the qualifications for their deacons. This includes age, gender, marital status, length of term, and any other issue that might need to be considered. It is also the job of the local church to determine the process by which their deacons are elected. If you disagree with how some other church elects their deacons, that is your prerogative, but it is still up to the local church to make their own decisions. That is the baptist way.

    Tim Reynolds
     
  16. Salty

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    Tim,

    We all agree that it is up to the Local church to decide, however, I think the question is more of what should a church consider to have qualified deacon (or pastor for that matter)

    I always get a laugh when a church is requesting a bi-vo pastor, but requires him to have a masters degree. Likewise, lets be reasonable in selecting deacons. Too often a selection of a deacon is a popularity contest - not of spiritual maturity.

    Salty
     
  17. trainbrainmommy

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    I have to respectfully disagree. Who counsels the pastor? Who makes recommendations to the congregation? Who serves communion? Who steps in as leaders when a pastor leaves? In an IBC, it's the deacons and trustees. These men ARE in positions of responsibility and authority.
     
  18. Winman

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    I believe this is clearly speaking of older children, most probably teenagers. Anybody can manage a three year old, managing a fifteen year old is quite another matter. And I believe this is what this verse is speaking of.
     
  19. freeatlast

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    I understand the Baptist way. I was speaking of the biblical way.
     
  20. Jerome

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    NIV:
    I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church in Cenchreae.
     

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