Deacons

God has appointed two offices for his churches. That is, two official positions in the sight of God.  One is a calling and the other is voluntary service.  These offices are pastor (shepherd, overseer, elder) and deacon.  The pastor is a calling and comes with certain qualifications.  The deacon is voluntary and comes with similar qualifications and some additional qualifications as well.

The pastor

  • Pastoring is shepherding; leading and feeding sheep
    • is carried over from the Old Testament – Jeremiah
    • Jeremiah 3:15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding
  • Shepherd, Overseer, Hebrews 13:17, 1 Peter 5:1-3, Acts 28:20
  • Psalm 23 The Lord is my shepherd…
  • Pastoring the flock
    • Provide nutrition to the flock John 21:15
      • Sheep have a specific diet.  My sheep hear my voice is what Jesus Christ said.
      • Doctrine – 1 Timothy 1:3, 10, 4:6, 13, 16, 5:17, 6:1, 3, 2 Timothy 3:10, 16, 4:2, 3, Titus 1:9, 2:1, 7, 10.
    • Manage the range
      • Proverbs 24:27 Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.
      • Don’t ruin the range with your methods
      • Where you have sheep you have some natural predators.  Managing the range means protecting sheep from their natural predators.  They will try to be where the sheep are.
    • Acts 20:29-30 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.  Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
    • DIRECTION (1 Timothy 1) – Defining the movement.  Paul besought Timothy to abide at Ephesus to provide leadership.  The book of 1st Timothy shows how that leadership would be accomplished as Paul passes the torch.
    • Communicate the direction
      • Charge some (vss 3 – 4) – Where are we going?!  What are we doing?!
      • Nothing happens until someone says something
      • The bigger the group, the better the communication must be
      • Apt to teach
      • Never assume anyone knows anything
      • Good leaders are avid listeners
      • Informed people are happy people. People left in the dark will imagine the worst because Genesis 8:21 is true.  (Illustration: Yellowstone National Park concession company rumors in 1989.)
      • Establish the law (Boundaries, vss 8-11) – Policy is not what’s written down but what’s accepted in behavior
      • Faithfulness is required (vss 12-14) – You want preassembled people, meaning leadership is not a carrot dangled in front of someone to keep them interested.
    • Provide the pattern (vss 15-16)
      • that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. (vs 16)
      • Be the example in principles.
      • Leadership is ministry.  Lead not drive
    • Control disease – 2 Timothy 2:17
    • Stimulate growth (Genesis 30:31-32, 34-43)
      • Delegate to the faithful (vss 18-20)
      • Devote time to the greatest possibilities
      • Pride tightens the grip, humility let’s go
      • Mentoring is non negotiable – This charge I commit unto thee, O Timothy

The deacon

  • If you get around two or three pastors for any length of time and the subject of deacons comes up, you will hear a horror story.
    • Deacon is not a Trustee.
    • Deacon is not a Director.
    • These are titles by men, for men.  They are not recognized by God.
  • Deacon serves a logistical function according to Acts 6:1-4
  • They are a pastor’s presence when the pastor can’t be present
  • Requirements are in 1 Timothy 3:8-13
  • Pastors should have as much respect for the men who hold this office as they should have for him in his position.
  • Service is the proving ground for these offices. Mark 10:43-45
    • Home is the first proving ground. 1 Timothy 3
    • Deacons need to come fully assembled, not works in progress.  Hey, I’ll make you a deacon if you’ll show up to church.  Not at all!  Pastor Sowell has a unique way of describing men who want to be deacons