Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

“Whose Servant?”

     The New Testament gives qualifications for men to serve the local congregation as elders and as deacons.  If there are men qualified to serve as deacons but there is not a plurality of men qualified to serve as elders, should the congregation ask men to serve as deacons when there are no elders?

Deacon Dilemma

Dear Deacon Dilemma,

No elders means no deacons.  A deacon without an eldership is a servant without someone to serve.  Deacons are servants of the church.  The word ‘deacon’ comes from the Greek word ‘diakonos’ which literally means ‘servant’.  The deacons who meet the qualifications of 1 Tim. 3:8-13 are a specific type of servant in the church – they serve the eldership (Php 1:1).  Deacons are given authority by the elders to oversee various responsibilities within the church.  These responsibilities might be building maintenance, the treasury, benevolence, etc. – whatever tasks the elders need help doing are the tasks deacons are to fulfill.