Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

“Deaconess”

Categories: THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH
What are the duties of deaconesses that serve in the church?

Sincerely,
Lady In Waiting

Dear Lady In Waiting,

There is no official position within the church of ‘deaconess’.  The only time the word ‘deaconess’ is used is in Rom 16:1… and that is only in a couple of translations.  Most translations simply translate the word ‘servant’ because that is what it means.  A ‘deacon’ is a ‘servant’.  The word is used numerous times throughout the New Testament and shouldn’t be viewed as a special position unless the text specifically declares it as such.  For example, 1 Tim 3:8-13 discusses a type of servant (deacon) that has specific qualifications and authorities within the church.  The context of that passage shows us that it is a specific type of servant/deacon.  In Rom 16:1, we don’t have that sort of distinction.  Phoebe is simply a christian that served others with what talents and strengths she had; it wasn’t an office within the church.