Acts 6:1-7; 1 Timothy 3:8-13
Tonight is a very special and holy time in the life of our fellowship and in the lives of our fellow brothers in Christ and their families. The ordination of men to serve as deacons is a longstanding tradition that finds its roots in the very heart of the New Testament. It is my privilege to share concerning the ministry of the deacon and to bring this charge to our deacon candidates as well as to our deacon body and our church family.
When we are looking at selecting men to serve as deacons, we ask them to prayerfully read the two passages of Scripture that deal with the ministry of the deacons, these are the two texts that were read tonight, Acts 6:1-7 and 1 Timothy 3:8-13. I want us to consider aspects of these two passages tonight under the three headings, the character, the calling, and the charge to the men who would serve as deacons.
- THE CHARACTER OF THE MAN WHO WOULD BE A DEACON
A man may possess great charisma and many gifts and talents, but if he is not a man of seasoned character, he will never be used greatly of God. In our world today we might get the impression that character does not matter much. But God says character is the main thing! In the Bible, above all of the qualities of a deacon and his duties is the matter of personal character. The man who is right in his character will be right in his ministry. But the man who is not right in his character can never be right in his ministry.
In Acts 6:3, two character traits are mentioned. All of the qualifications found in 1 Timothy 3:8-13 fall into one of these two categories.
- A Good Reputation (Acts 6:3)
A good reputation is essential in deacon ministry. This is true because a deacon has a very visible ministry and people need to know that he can be trusted. For there to be trust and real ministry, the deacon must have a good reputation within the church and without in the community. Some of the qualifications from 1 Timothy 3 that fall under this category of a good reputation include the deacon.
(1) Not being double-tongued (1 Tim. 3:8). Our speech reveals our character. The deacon is to be right in his speech. He is not to be a gossip, he must be able to keep confidences. He should seek to use his tongue to glorify God and edify others.
(2) The deacon is not to be a person who is greedy for money (1 Tim. 3:8). Honesty characterizes his dealings.
(3) The deacon is also to be proven or tested (1 Tim. 3:10). Paul said to not lay hands on anyone hastily (1 Tim. 5:22). This is why we at HBC require a man to have been a Christian for at least five (5) years and a member in our fellowship for at least two (2) years.
(4) His character is to be blameless (1 Tim. 3:10). Not perfection, but living a clean life, free from accusations.
(5) The Deacon’s wife is also to be considered. Because a husband and his wife are one flesh, the wife should also see herself as being a part of It.