Please note that this is not "law", but it is a revealing of the word, the grace and the Spirit of the true deacon Jesus Christ and provides us with a basis for understanding by the Holy Spirit.Gary S Brooks, Apostle, TH.D
For Current or Prospective Deacons
Definition of a Deacon
Greek: diakoneo: to be an attendant, wait upon (menially as a host), an aid, waiter, servant.
Webster's Dictionary: a servant, a subordinate officer in a Christian church, one who is elected to serve.
The word "deacon" is not necessarily a title, but rather describes the office. Remember also that this is an office, not a gift ministry of an Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor or Teacher. Neither is it a call of God, for a deacon is approved by the Spirit and appointed by men. Your Pastor appoints you (in an Apostolic presbytery) and therefore may also disappoint you.
A deacon is first most a servant of the Most High God. He or she is one who is subordinate to, and who assist and serve their Pastoral leader and Elders by attending to a variety of natural, yet necessary duties in the church that would otherwise hinder their leadership from fully performing their Spiritual responsibilities.
The position of a deacon is in no way to be esteemed lightly, for they that serve in the office of a deacon well, purchase to themselves a good degree, a grade of dignity, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ. He or she functions in the spirit of "the seven" (Acts 21:8), among whom were Stephen the martyr, and Philip the evangelist. So then even our modern day Evangelists may also serve as deacons in the local church of the Pastoral leader that they are submitted to for a covering.
Choosing of a Deacon
1 Timothy 3:10 KJV Acts 6:1-6 KJV (read)
A prospective deacon (male or female) is chosen among his or her church family and proven by the Holy Spirit to be a true servant of the Lord to be a ready candidate. His servanthood is realized by his brethren in seeing his consistent, joyful performance in service to the Body of Christ, functioning under the "spirit of the house" and motivated with a pure heart of servitude. He esteems it an honor and a ministry to be able to work at the most menial tasks in the church. He cherishes his brethren as higher than himself, but not in false humility, desiring only to be a help in whatever capacity. In this way, he has a good report with his church family, they being pleased with his character and record of conduct. Therefore it would be no surprise to the church family if that one were appointed to the office of a deacon.
After a season of proving, his Pastoral leader may appoint such a one to this office. Through prayer and with confirmation of the church leadership, the Pastoral leader receives the mind of the Lord for a candidate to the office of a deacon. Through prayer and the laying on of hands of the church leadership (presbytery), the candidate is confirmed and publicly established among his brethren.
Qualifications of a Deacon
Acts 6:1-6 KJV 1 Timothy 3:8-13 KJV (read)
1. OF HONEST REPORT: A deacon must have a reputation of Godly morals and conduct among his brethren and with those outside of the church. He may have enemies, but their respect should not be an issue.
2. FULL OF THE HOLY GHOST: He must be baptized with the Holy Spirit of Christ (with the evidence of speaking with other tongues), and therefore be showing forth the anointing and fruits of the Spirit through his life. He must be willingly subjected to the personal leadership of the Holy Ghost and submitted to the authority (in the church of which he is a member) with sincerity to the Lord and to the leadership of the House. For the Kingdom of God is in, and in relationship with, the Holy Ghost.
3. FULL OF WISDOM: He has chosen the fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom. This is evident by his respect of the Lord, manifested in his lifestyle, to his brethren, and his respect of his leader(s). A deacon realizes that Christ is the wisdom of God, and he moves in the Spirit of Wisdom. He shows keen discernment and understanding of people and situations, knowing the Lord's way in serving them.
4. GRAVE: A deacon’s life draws respect, admiration and love the brethren because of his mature, sober character, and his desire of giving himself as a servant. He is held in an honorable esteem by his church family.
5. NOT DOUBLE-TONGUED: His tongue is under the control of the Holy Spirit, speaking with a new tongue, where out of his mouth proceeds blessing, not cursing, sweet water, not bitter. He seeks not to offend in word, but only that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers, having his speech seasoned with salt, that his words may be palatable.
6. NOT GIVEN TO MUCH WINE: A deacon has learned that all things are lawful, being called to perfect liberty, but all things are not profitable. He will not give himself to the influence of any substance, alcohol or non-prescription drug, or allow any in his life for the sake of holiness or whereby his brother will stumble, be offended, or be made weak in the faith. He is more concerned with walking in love towards his brethren, than in what he can and cannot do.
7. NOT GREEDY OF FILTHY LUCRE: A deacon desires no praise or reward for his services, or to be recognized by men for what he does. His motives are pure, his heart is in his serving, not in what he might benefit. He works in humility and thankfulness, with an attitude that draws no attention to himself, through his speech or his actions. He is not controlled by money and cannot be bought.
8. HOLDING THE MYSTERY OF THE FAITH IN A PURE CONSCIENCE: The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him ... Christ in us and among us. The deacon has a daily, living experience of a tangible reality with the Christ that indwells his body, and His manifested Presence with him wherever he goes. He is possessed by the faith of the Son of God and is submitted to the proceeding Word of the Lord for his life. He fellowships with the Holy Spirit, maintaining a pure, clean conscience in his walk with God.
9. PROVED, BEING FOUND BLAMELESS: A prospective deacon must first be called, then proved by the Holy Spirit as a true servant. The duration of the season of proving is determined by the faithfulness and obedience of the candidate. He will also be approved by his church family. His lifestyle will not contradict his calling, thereby disqualifying himself as a prospect.
10. THE HUSBAND OF ONE WIFE: Marriage exemplifies the relationship of Christ, the husband, with the Church, His wife. The deacon, if married, will portray a tangible example of this Holy union of one. His wife (as well as himself), must be of a mature character, will not degrade, betray, expose to shame or violate another’s trust through gossip or false accusations. She is tempered with seriousness, and is a trustworthy person.
11. RULING THEIR OWN CHILDREN WELL: A deacon will train his children in the ways of righteousness. He will teach, nurture, love, rebuke, correct, and discipline his children to live a "Christian" lifestyle in every situation, giving them an example to follow.
12. RULING THEIR OWN HOUSE WELL: A deacon’s "home life" is an orderly one. It is regulated and governed by the principles of the Kingdom of God in every area, whether it be job related, financial affairs, social activities, entertainment, whatever is involved living outside of "the church" environment. His home is a sanctuary of the Lord.
Responsibilities of a Deacon
Acts 6:1-3 KJV (please read) Acts 4:34-35 KJV (please read)
1. SERVE TABLES: A deacon is appointed over the business of serving tables. Again, the word "servant" means to be an attendant, to wait upon menially as a host, an aid, and a waiter. The word "tables" is understood to mean a literal table from which a meal is served, as well as a banker’s counter where money is handled.
Simply put a deacon, under the direction of his Church leadership, functions in the administration of the "natural", yet vital needs of the church. In contrast, the Elder's ministry is functioning in the "spiritual" needs of the church.
Please note though, that the responsibility of the operation of the local church does not lie with the deacon, but with the Elders. In Acts 4:35, what was given was laid at the Apostles (Elders) feet for distribution. The deacon is given direction by his Elders to do the work of the ministry, yet will do far more than only what he is asked to do, showing himself to truly be a profitable servant of the Lord, because his heart is in his serving.
This is the one and only responsibility of deacons in their local church, and that is serving tables. The deacon, understanding Divine government, keeps and maintains his heart at all times, that he is both submitted and accountable to his Elders, that he may function in his appointed ministry with confidence and strength.
The Identity of a Deacon
Isaiah 42:1 KJV
Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my south delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgement to the Gentiles.
Matthew 12:18 KJV
Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgement to the Gentiles.
Luke 22:27 KJV
For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? Is not he that sitteth at meat? But I am among you as he that serveth.
Matthew 20:26-28 NKJV
... but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave -- just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and give His life as a ransom for many.
To truly have the heart of a servant, a deacon must have the heart of The Servant. Jesus Christ is the chosen Servant of God, the true Deacon. Every deacon must be identified in Him to perform this ministry in the Spirit of Him that came to serve, and not to be served ... he will lay his life down for the brethren.