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   Deacon's Questionnaire & Study Course

"He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love." --- (SofS 2:4)
Travis Case, Pastor/Teacher          Northgate Baptist Church          F.E.A.S.T Ministries


Acts 6:1-7, "And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians (Hellenists or Greek believers) against the Hebrews (Jewish believers), because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. 2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. 3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. 4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. 5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: 6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. 7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith."

1 Timothy 3:8-13, "Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; 9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. 10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. 11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. 12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 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."

Introduction:

A. Deacons are a very Vital Asset to any church.

B. However, many Baptist churches Tradition gives much Authority to the position of Deacon that is Not Found Anywhere In The Scriptures.

1. This study will be from the Biblical View Point Not Baptist Tradition!

2. I would hope that We All would have a Greater Desire to be Right With God and His Word rather than to Standing True to what we have been taught Whether It Is In God's Word or Not.

C. Instead of electing Servants that were needed to carry on administrative Tasks and be Helper To The Pastor, it is Normal Today to:

1. Elect deacons Without Any Real Function in the church.

2. "Ordain" them merely to the Honorary Position of being "Deacons" --- "They Have Earned The Honor".

3. Choose men because of Social or Economic Status in the community instead of men Qualified to perform specific task.

D. It is also normal today to elect a "Deacon Board" for the Pastor to go before and Get Approval (get them on his side) before bringing an item before the Congregation.

1. This is merely a Dressed Up Form of "Presbyterianism" or "Elder Rule." --- We just don't call it that.

2. This practice Started under the Influence of the Church of England, whose roots are found in Roman Catholicism which established "Deacons" as "Officers" in their churches.

3. The phrase, "Use The Office of A Deacon," is translated from One Greek word "diakoneo" (a Verb not a noun) which correctly can be translated "Ministry of A Servant."

4. The Bible teaches that All Members of The Congregation Are Equal In All Matters.

E. Neither does being a Deacon Qualifies a man to Teach or Preach in the church.

Deacons are to take care of Menial Task.


20 Questions:

1. Where and When did the position of deacon Originate? -- Acts 6:1-7

At Jerusalem during the First Century.

2. Why was there a Need For Deacons? --- Acts 6:1

A. Growing --- As the church grew, so did the problems.

B. Dividing

1. Frustration of some members of the early church for Not Having Their Needs Attended To.

2. The Greeks felt that the Jews were giving them the shaft --- deacons help solve the problem and stop a church split.

C. Pastor's Priorities

1. The Pastors Knew that if they Neglected the ministry of the Word the Church Would Suffer.

2. Acts 6:2, "... It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables." --- V. 4, "... we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word."

3. The addition of Deacons to the church shows how Vital the ministry of Prayer and the Word is.

4. Many pastors deal with Petty Issues that Shackle them, Hindering them from their primary duties.

5. Deacons Freed The Pastors to give their Full Energy to Prayer and the Study, Teaching and Preaching of the Word of God.

3. Who Selected or Chose the deacons? --- Acts 6:2-3

The Church at the pastors request.

4. Under Whose Direction did the deacons serve or Who Appointed them their Duties? --- Acts 6:3

The Pastors. The church chose the deacons at the pastor's request and than the Pastors Appointed Them Over Certain Duties.

5. Do Deacons have the Responsibility of Overseeing the overseer or Policing The Pastor? --- No Scriptures

A. Nowhere in the Bible are deacons to Oversee the Overseer.

1. The Deacons are the pastor's "Helpers" not the pastor's "Bosses".

2. If a man is Not Willing to be a Help to the pastor, then it would be Improper and Unscriptural to call upon him to serve in the capacity of a Deacon.

3. Otherwise, the Deacon would be Detrimental rather than Beneficial to the cause of Christ.

4. It is the Pastor who Appointed the deacons their duties, not visa versa.

B. At No Time did the early church deacons Work Against The Man of God or seek to make things difficult for him.

1. Instead of Fighting Against the pastor, they sought to Fight With him and For him.

2. Deacons in some churches have felt the Need To Approach Those who repeatedly sought to cause trouble in the church, letting them know that the Church As A Whole Would Not Allow It To Continue.

3. Wise deacons have Spiritual Discernment and are Willing to Take A Stand when necessary.

4. Deacons are not appointed to Stir Up Trouble but to Keep Down Trouble.

C. The pastor answers to Christ and to the Congregation.

6. Is the position of Deacon a Position of Leadership & Authority or are the deacons the Ruling Body of The Church? --- No Scriptures

A. "Deacon" comes from "Diakonos" which referred to a Waiter, an Attendant, one who Ran Errands or other Menial duties.

B. Charles C. Ryrie in his Ryrie Study Bible notes that: "... these men were "Deacons" Only In The Sense of Being Servants." Further, he notes: "Deacons Were Originally The Helpers of The Elders."

C. The N.T. Churches usually had a Plurality of God-Called Pastors who gave Spiritual Leadership to the church.

1. The Deacons Served and Ministered to the Physical Needs of the members at the Appointment of The Pastors.

2. Every N. T. Church is Autonomous under Christ --- deacons have no more power or authority in the decision-making process than any other member.

D. Every Godly, Spiritual Deacon knows that he Is a "Servant" and Not a "Boss".

7. In the list of Spiritual Gifts relating to the Ministering and Leadership of the Church are Deacons ever Mentioned? --- No.

Rom. 12:6-8, 1 Cor. 12:1-11, Eph. 4:11-16

8. In N. T. passages where the church leadership of Elders or Bishops are mentioned, are Deacons ever mentioned? --- No.

Acts 11:30, 15:2, 4, 6, 22, 23; 16:4; 20:17; 21:18; James 5:14; 1 Peter 5:1, 5

9. Are Deacons the Defenders of Church Tradition? --- No Scriptures

A. In many church the deacons are Guardians of The Past.

B. They become "Turf Shepherds" and their most common expression is "We've Never Done It That Way Before."

C. This is Completely Foreign to the New Testament.

10. Are Deacons the Old Men of the church? --- No Scriptures

A. Many churches believe that Only Older Men should be ordained to the office of deacon.

B. The Bible places No Specific Age Requirements.

11. Are Deacons the Controllers of the Church Finances or must the Church Treasurer be a Deacon? --- Acts 6:1, 3

A. There is No Mention anywhere in the N.T. of deacons controlling the finances.

B. The Only Possible Exception is that the pastors may have appointed them over the Benevolence Fund to help widows. --- Acts 6:3

12. What are the Qualifications for Deacons?

A. Believers --- "Seek out From Among You"

1. They were not un-saved business people Outside the church.

2. They were Inside the Church.

B. Honest Report --- "Reputable"

1. Deacons must be men of Integrity and Trustworthy.

2. They were Highly Esteemed.

3. They could be Trusted.

C. Full of The Holy Spirit --- Means to be Surrendered to or Controlled by the Holy Spirit.

D. Full of Wisdom.

1. Wisdom is the ability to see a situation From God's Point of View.

2. Deacons are Not To Act Impulsively, but are to use godly wisdom in ministry and decision making.

E. Grave --- "Reverent"

1. Dignified, honorable, reputable and worthy of respect.

2. Does not take serious things lightly.

F. Not Doubletongue.

1. Does not say one thing to one person and something else to someone else.

2. Is consistent in speech.

3. Does not talk one way at church and another way at work or on the golf course.

G. Not Given To Much Wine --- "Not paying attention or giving thought to wine."

Given the stigmas of alcohol in our culture, it would be difficult for a deacon to serve faithfully and drink socially.

H. Not Greedy of Filthy Lucre.

1. Not having a lust for money and the things money can buy.

2. Does not use every opportunity to gain money.

3. Deacons had to be men of integrity, not "greedy" so that they could be trusted to handle funds meant to feed the poor.

I. Mystery of The Faith.

1. Does Not mean something Incomprehensible or even Difficult to know.

2. 1 Corinthians 2:7-8, "But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory."

3. Deacons are to hold the revealed mysteries of the N. T. as priceless treasures.

J. Pure Conscience.

1. They are to live out the "mysteries of God" (truth) in a clear conscience.

2. They are to walk their talk.

K. Proved --- "Tested like precious metals."

Tested over a period of time --- to see if they are Genuine.

L. Blameless.

1. Does not mean "Sinless".

2. Irreproachable or above reproach.

M. Husband of One Wife --- "One-woman kind of man"

Must be devoted to their wives and families --- they are to have healthy marriages.

N. Ruling His Children Well.

1. The testing ground for a deacon is how he raises his children.

2. Each deacon should be examined in light of how they accept their responsibilities as fathers.

O. Ruling His House Well.

If a man does not take his responsibilities at home seriously, what will he do in church?

13. What are the Qualifications for a Deacon's Wife?

A. Grave --- "Reverent"

Dignified, honorable, not taking lightly things that are of a serious nature.

B. Not Slanderers.

Must not speak quickly and when she does speak, do it in love.

C. Sober --- Sincere

D. Faithful In All Things --- "Trustworthy"

1. From time to time she will hear information that for the good of the church and the cause of Christ, she must keep to herself.

2. "Temperate" --- self-control in all things.

14. Can Women serve as Deacons?

A Woman can serve her church in many ways, but the Scriptures Clearly Exclude Her from serving in the office of Deacon or Pastor.

B. The word "Deacon" basically means "Servant, Attendant, One Who Runs Errands, A Waiter."

1. Romans 16:1, "I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:"

2. "Deacon" is a Job Description and described her ministry --- Her position was of service not leadership.

3. "Deaconesses" denotes a "Female Servant" and Not An Officer of the church.

C. When Phebe is referred to as a "Servant," the Bible does Not suggest that she served in the "Office" of a deacon but rather that she was faithful in Serving In The Church as any woman can be a servant in her church.

15. Are Deacons to be Ordained or simply Elected like a Sunday School Teacher or any other office? --- Acts 6:6

A. The candidates were "Set Before The Apostles."

B. The Apostles "Prayed" over them.

C. The Apostles "Laid Hands on Them."

16. What are the Benefits of having Godly Deacons? --- Acts 6:7

A. Church Harmony --- Widows were no longer neglected.

B. Word of God Spreads

C. Church Grows

D. Many of the Priest were Converted.

(Because the apostles were no longer encumbered by this internal problem, it freed them to give their full energy to the study, teaching and preaching of the Word of God.)

E. The Benefits to the Deacons themselves:

1. Good Standing --- An excellent reputation and recognition among the people of God.

2. Great Boldness --- "Boldness" is a much-needed quality among Christians.

3. Because of this, Faithful Deacons Make Great:

a. Advisors --- Because of the strict qualifications for deacons, they must be Godly, spirit-filled men --- who better to serve as Advisors.

b. Examples --- With deacons being found "blameless" with their character, dedication and integrity --- they make great examples for our young people as well as adults.

c. Leaders --- Because of the very nature of their calling and work, deacons are to lead out in the church.

Matthew 20:27, "And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:"

17. Should a person Seek the position of a Deacon?

A. If you mean by that, "Should a person Seek To Serve Others," the answer is a resounding "Yes"!

B. If you mean by that, "Should a person seek the 'Office' of deacon because of a Desire For Power, Prestige, Influence, etc.," the answer is a resounding "No"!

1. First, because There Is No Such Office In The New Testament.

2. Second, because anyone seeking honor, prestige, etc. has already Disqualified Themselves As Being "Filled With The Spirit."

3. Third, because the Church is commanded by God to do the "Seeking."

18. Is the office of deacon a Lifetime Office? If a deacon from another church joins your church, Must You Accept Him As A Deacon in your church? --- No

Every N. T. Church is Autonomous under Christ --- what any other church does (in ordaining a man as a deacon) has nothing to do with your decisions.

19. Does a church Have to Have Deacons in order to be a Scriptural Church or How Large should a church be before she has a Need of deacons?

A. The church at Jerusalem had Over 10,000 Members before they had deacons.

B. It is believed that when Paul instructed Titus to appoint elders (pastors) in all the Missions he was establishing, he also appointed deacons.

C. Whether this is true or not, a church can Scripturally ordain deacons When They Feel The Need Has Arisen.

20. What are the Responsibilities of Deacons?

A. Peacemaker --- Performing menial tasks for the widows of the church.

B. Also see 16. - E. - 3 - above.





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