Deacons are servant-stewards in a church. They are individuals who are entrusted with a significant scope of responsibilities and resources – to handle with godly wisdom and care – on behalf of church leadership. By taking on a church’s practical needs, like benevolence funds or facility upkeep, Deacons ensure that Elders can keep the church focused on proclaiming and teaching and discipling people in God’s word. But Deacons aren’t just people who are merely focused on managing things excellently – they are people who steward things with Christ-like hearts and character.
The Bible emphasizes character qualifications for Deacons (see 1 Timothy 3:8-13). The fact that Scripture highlights this shows us that the role is not meant to be merely functional. Deacons are meant to serve in a certain way. Deacons are people that any Christian should be able to look to and see a good example of what it looks like to worship Christ, walk with Christ, and work for Christ.
The role of Deacon is sometimes confused with the role of Elder, but the Bible teaches these are two distinct offices (see 1 Timothy 3:1-13) with two distinct purposes: Elders serve by leading; Deacons lead by serving. The requirements outlined in Scripture show that both Elders and Deacons should be believers with godly character. Elders, however, must also be men, must not be recent converts, and must be able to teach sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. Furthermore, although Bible-believing churches have sometimes disagreed on this matter, we believe Scripture shows the office of Deacon being filled by both men and women, and you can read more on that here.
Acts 6:1-7 outlines the priorities of this kind of service:
1) to maintain the centrality of God’s word (lane-clearing),
2) to coordinate practical care for God’s flock (servant-stewarding), and
3) to preserve unity where practical problems might become people problems (shock-absorbing). Deacons have a very important, yet often unseen and under-appreciated role. We want to follow Scripture’s instruction and honor those to whom honor is due. We believe Deacons are a great gift to our church and know that God himself will reward these faithful servant-stewards.