Role of a Deacon

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by saturneptune, May 6, 2006.

  1. saturneptune

    saturneptune
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    In some previous threads, there were some references to deacons, and I have heard some of these phrases in my church about deacons of the past which to me are not Scriptural roles of deacons. These phrases include
    1. deacons run the church
    2. a deacon ran the pastor off
    3. a member got in trouble and had to go talk to the deacons, and other such phrases.

    To me, the role of a deacon is a servent of God, a servent, supporter, and helper to the Pastor, and servent to the local church. A deacon's leadership role is primarily an example. I feel a board of deacons can discuss issues of the church and bring recommendations, but the central idea, is that we who are deacons are servents. I would be very interested in any comments on this subject. This could only help me understand the role more. Any help appreciated.

    Michael
     
  2. whatever

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    I think you are correct. Hope that helps. [​IMG]
     
  3. rbell

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    Here's an issue that I think causes a bit of cloudiness...

    Let's say you have a church of sixty people. There's a fellow serving as deacon. But he's also the church treasurer, the chairman of the personnel committee, and the chief grass-cutter. There might only be five or six eligible men to BE deacons there...This man might be serving, but let's face it...he's also heavily in leadership, because there's not many others available to lead.

    Yes, tons of churches don't emphasize the service aspect enough. But sometimes, deacons that also "run things" might simply be wearing two hats out of necessity.

    As our church has grown (from a congregation of 150 or so to 750 or so in the last four years), our deacons have had their jobs narrowed to specifically be about service.

    Our monthly deacon's meetings are about...

    5 minutes devotional;
    15 minutes minister's reports;
    5-15 minutes Lord's supper plan (depends on if it's coming up right away);
    20 minutes Deacon ministry teams reports (ours choose from several ministries and serve there--from homebound to new member assimilation to several other things)
    20 minutes visitation reports (our deacons visit all our church visitors that give us a record of attendance; plus they visit any person who joins. Between these two groups of folks, they saw over 350 folks last year)
    20-40 minutes prayer for our church and its needs.

    Our deacons "get it." I think they're awesome.
     
  4. Hope of Glory

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    One problem is that many Baptist churches call their elders "deacons" or at least treat the deacons as if they are elders.
     
  5. MRCoon

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    Well that statement cleared things up right as mud for me [​IMG]

    Maybe being a typical IFB-er (?) I've never been in a Church that used the term 'Elder'. We have always ad Deacons or Pastors (one Pastor and the rest Associates...and not the 'Senior' term either).

    I believe that alot of times it is similiar to one of the posts mentioned above for many churches. Those chosen to be Deacons tend to be those who have shown/proven a commitment for service, the church, and the Pastor. Most are already involved in other areas of service whether as a Ministry Leader or not but still in a position of understood authority and respect. So for them to transition into or be nominated for the position is expected and usually not with any issue. I thank the Lord that I've never been a 'problem Deacon' nor have I been in a Church where Deacons have chased away a Pastor or been a problem, etc. I believe that alot of this is caused by one or more of the involved parties not being sold out for the Lord and His work...which may be very obviously but it's harder to identify in person.

    A Deacon is first and foremost a Servant. He should be one who can/has performed (and will continue) certain tasks both menial and spiritual. He should be a prayer warrior and should be the guy at all the church services, prayer meetings, visitations, etc. He should have a heart for the poorer, widows, orphans, outreach, and serving the Pastor's needs.

    And if he is not up for these tasks he should be dumped...traded in...uh I mean prayerfully and politely relieved. ;) :D
     
  6. Hope of Glory

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    Here's a link to all the verses that concern the pastor (shepher), the overseer or bishop (episkopos), and the elder (presbuteros). This list includes every reference to the words.

    The second link is a link to every reference to the word for "deacon".

    Notice that in many Baptist churches, the deacons fill the role of "elder" or "overseer" and not the role of "deacon".

    Church Offices

    Deacon
     
  7. webdog

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    Deacons are to submit to the Elders, so I do not see how Deacons are supposed to "run a church".
     
  8. piaairline

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    What if a church that is smaller and has only Deacons and no elders, with one pastor?

    Thanks.
     
  9. standingfirminChrist

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    Pastors is only mentioned 8 times in the Bible, seven of which can be found in the Old Testament

    Jer 2:8;
    3:15;
    10:21;
    12:10;
    22:22;
    23:1-2;
    Eph 4:11

    Pastor can only be found one time in the entire Bible:

    Jeremiah 17:16 As for me, I have not hastened from being a pastor to follow thee: neither have I desired the woeful day; thou knowest: that which came out of my lips was right before thee. {to...: Heb. after thee}
     
  10. webdog

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    I would think either they are using the pastor as a single elder, with numerous deacons, or their deacons have the wrong titles if they are running the church, and should be elders.
     
  11. StraightAndNarrow

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    The names for the positions are not important. Their contribution is vitally important. Ever cheked to see how the titles "Pastor" and "Minister" are used in the New Testament?

    *********************************************

    Pastor and Minister in the New Testament

    The word “Pastor” isn’t in the New Testament and occurs only once in the Old T.

    The word for Minister diakonos {dee-ak'-on-os} is defined as:

    1) one who executes the commands of another, esp. of a master, a servant, attendant, minister
    a) the servant of a king
    b) a deacon, one who, by virtue of the office assigned to him by the church, cares for the poor and has charge of and distributes the money collected for their use
    c) a waiter, one who serves food and drink
    For Synonyms see entry 5834

    Mat 20:26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
    Mat 20:27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:
    Mat 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

    huperetes {hoop-ay-ret'-ace}
    1) servant
    a) an underrower, subordinate rower
    b) any one who serves with hands: a servant
    1) in the NT of the officers and attendants of magistrates as -- of the officer who executes penalties
    2) of the attendants of a king, servants, retinue, the soldiers of a king, of the attendant of a synagogue
    3) of any one ministering or rendering service
    c) any one who aids another in any work
    1) an assistant
    2) of the preacher of the gospel

    Luk 4:20
    And he closed the book, and he gave [it] again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

    Huperetes

    Act 13:5
    And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to [their] minister.


    Huperetes

    Act 26:16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
    ________________________________________
    Rom 13:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to [execute] wrath upon him that doeth evil.

    Diakonos

    Rom 13:4
    For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to [execute] wrath upon him that doeth evil.


    Rom 15:8 Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises [made] unto the fathers: diakonos
    ________________________________________
    Rom 15:16 That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost. Leitourgos

    1) a public minister, a servant of the state
    2) a minister, servant
    a) so of military labourers
    b) of the temple
    1) of one busied with holy things
    2) of a priest
    c) of the servants of a king
    ________________________________________
    1Cr 9:13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live [of the things] of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?
    Ergazomai

    1) to work, labour, do work
    2) to trade, to make gains by trading, "do business"
    3) to do, work out
    a) exercise, perform, commit
    b) to cause to exist, produce
    4) to work for, earn by working, to acquire


    ________________________________________
    Eph 3:7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. diakonos
    ________________________________________
    Eph 6:21 But that ye also may know my affairs, [and] how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things: diakonos
    ________________________________________
    Col 1:7 As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; diakonos
    ________________________________________
    Col 1:23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and [be] not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, [and] which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; diakonos
    ________________________________________
    Col 1:25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; diakonos
    ________________________________________
    Col 4:7 All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, [who is] a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord: diakonos
    ________________________________________
    1Th 3:2 And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith: diakonos
    ________________________________________
    1Ti 4:6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. diakonos
    ________________________________________
    Hbr 8:2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. leitourgos
    ________________________________________


    I would summerize to say that the position of Pastor/Minister sounds more like that of a Deacon rather than an Elder or leader of the church.
     
  12. standingfirminChrist

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    some pastors Ephesians 4:11

    4166 poimh,n poimen {poy-mane'}
    Meaning: 1) a herdsman, esp. a shepherd 1a) in the parable, he to whose care and control others have committed themselves, and whose precepts they follow 2) metaph. 2a) the presiding officer, manager, director, of any assembly: so of Christ the Head of the church 2a1) of the overseers of the Christian assemblies 2a2) of kings and princes

    A pastor is an overseer of the flock, the local assembly.
     
  13. StraightAndNarrow

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    My mistake. I searched for "pastor" and not "pastors." But this is the only place in the NT as far as I can tell that the term is used.

    What's your take on the Greek words used for minister? Generally the word used is diakonos, the same as for Deacons, a servent.
     
  14. MRCoon

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    So I have always understood Pastors as being the same reference as Elders and Deacons were Deacons...is an Elder different than a Pastor?
     
  15. Bro. James

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    Whence cometh: Father, Archbishop, Vicar, Cardinal and Pontiff? Such addresses are not found in scripture. In fact, using Father, in a religious sense, is specifically prohibited in scripture, except for God. Someone must be teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

    Deacon means servant--a waiter at tables--also the New Testament inference.

    Selah,

    Bro. James
     
  16. Hope of Glory

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    The pastor is an elder and the church is supposed to be run by the elders. I also hold that a "bishop" is a different role than pastor because of etymology of the word, but he would also be one of the elders.
     
  17. MRCoon

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    SO you are saying a Church should have a group of Elders (made up of Pastors & Bishops) and then a group of Deacons (made up of Deacons)? I don't know many Baptist churches like this...interesting?!

    Does anyone know if Baptist history covers the reason for not doing this? I could see a desire of seperation from Romanism hierarchy (Bishops & Elders) but this is an interesting subject.
     
  18. piaairline

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    I am confused too.

    If there is one pastor and many deacons, are the deacons servant to the pastor?

    If there is one pastor, 2 elders and many deacons, are the deacons to the pastor and elders?

    In what situation will the relationship become autocractic on the part of the pastor?

    Thank you!
     
  19. StraightAndNarrow

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    Why do you think the same word is used for Deacons and Ministers of God in the NT. Why is it used to describe a woman (Phoebe)?

    My take is that we are all supposed to be servents of the Lord, Pastors, Deacons, Elders, and laymen.
     
  20. webdog

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    Yes, and to the congregation.
    Yes, same as above.
    When you only have one elder. I believe the Bible gives the elders authority over the entire church, so if they deem it necessary to allow leadership responsibilities to the deacons, I believe this to be normal.
     

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