What is a deacon?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Gina B, Aug 28, 2009.

  1. Gina B

    Gina B
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    The job description varies in different churches, but my understanding is that the Biblical definition is different than many Baptists seem to interpret it.

    It seems that women are performing the role of deacons, but the job description is simply labeled different when a woman does it.

    So...what's the biblical definition of a deacon?
     
  2. Johnv

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    The word we translate "deacon" (diakonos) simply means servant. In 1st Timothy 3, the deacon qualifications are outlined in verse 8-13.




    It says that deacons:
    • Must be of good respect, and sincerity
    • Must refrain from abusing alcohol
    • Be honest in thier business dealings
    • Must keep hold to their faith honestly and with clear conscience
    • Must be faithful to their wives, and their wives must be persons of honor
    • Must have a manageable handle on his household
    It also requires deacons to be vetted prior to being a deacon.

    If these things sound a bit general, and are things that any church member of good standing should adhere to, it's because you're right. The long and short of it is, being a deacon doesn't require any special characteristics (unlike the role of bishop outlined in v1-7), but should instead be a model member of the congregation.
     
    #2 Johnv, Aug 28, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 28, 2009
  3. Tom Bryant

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    JohnV gave a good answer. In each church, how that servant role is played out looks differently depending on what the church wants.
     
  4. Revmitchell

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    Really? And where in scripture do you find that?
     
  5. Johnv

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    1 Tim 3, vs 8-13 gives the minimum requirements. It doesn't list the duties. A deacon's duties are decided by the church.
     
  6. rdwhite

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    By way of further discussion, I know a church in Georgia that does not have "deacons" by such a title. They did this because the title "deacon", in many churches (especially out east) has evolved from the role of a servant to that of dictator. Some churches even have a board of dictators (I mean deacons) that make all the decisions and determine policy for the church. Many times the pastors of these churches are hirelings of the deacons. Instead of risking this stereotypical abuse in the church they do not and will not have deacons. They have rather what they call "Ministers in the Body", or MiBs.

    I understand why they have taken this route. However, I disagree with them, because now they have removed any biblical qualifications. I believe a better option would have been to teach the biblical role of deacon, and to denounce those who usurp authority.
     
  7. Revmitchell

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    And where do you find that in scripture.
     
  8. Johnv

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    Scripture doesn't say what the duties of a deacon are. Are you saying a church can't decide what it wants the duties of its deacons to be?
     
  9. Revmitchell

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    I didn't make any attempt to assert anything. I only asked a question. Not sure how you missed that. You gave scriptural reference with regards to the deacon early and the made an assertion about their role with no scripture.

    I am trying to understand how you came to your position.
     
  10. Johnv

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    Simple. Not sure how you missed it. If scripture doesn't define the dutues, then it's reasonable that the privilege of defining the duties fall to the local church.
     
  11. Revmitchell

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    So why were Deacons called in the first place?
     
  12. Johnv

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    The role of deacons is not defined in 1 Tim 3.
     
  13. Revmitchell

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    Why were the Deacons called in the first place?
     
  14. webdog

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    To serve the church. Since each church has different needs and functions, I concur with JohnV, it is at the local church's discretion the role they serve.
     
  15. gb93433

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    Replace toilet paper and mop floors.
     
  16. Revmitchell

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    Why were they called in the first place.
     
  17. Revmitchell

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    In Acts chapter 6 in the first 3 verses what duty was assigned and to whom was it assigned to?
     
  18. Trotter

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    The first deacons were called to take care of the menial tasks so that the disciples could attend to spiritual matters instead of "waiting tables."
     
  19. Revmitchell

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    What menial tasks?
     
  20. Tom Bryant

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    To me the first situation was in Acts 6. The deacons were to wait on tables and over see the feeding ministry of the church. We don't have widows who need to be fed. So our deacons serve in other areas where we have need.

    For me and our church, we ask the Deacons to do specific kinds of service related ministry so that the pastors are able to continue to pray and teach.
     

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