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It is always an exciting time when a church ordains new Deacons. It signals that the church is growing and wants to expand her influence and effectiveness in the work of the Kingdom of God. Of course, Deacons can be a blessing, or they can be a curse depending upon how they see themselves and how they carry out the duties of their office. I know, however, that you, as a church, have examined these men and have found them to be qualified to serve as Deacons in this church. Therefore, I am confident that these men will be a blessing to this congregation and that they will enhance the ministries of this church in a magnificent way. That having been said, let us turn our attention to the word of God this evening for some insight into who and what the Baptist Deacon is supposed to be.

Acts 6:1-7


Intro: The early days of the church were exciting times. After all, 3,000 were saved at one meeting and then another 5,000 were added to the church a short time later. This vast influx of converts proved the validity of their message and it proved that the power of God was moving in the church. Certainly, to see that many souls saved must have been a tremendous blessing.

However, all was not well within the rapidly growing church in Jerusalem. Whenever there is growth in a church, there will inevitably be some growing pains as well. It seems that some of the Grecian widows were being neglected in the daily distribution of food. The Grecians were Jews who were not from Israel, but had returned there to worship and had been converted. Apparently, the charge was made that the Apostles were showing favoritism to the Hebrews. As a result, there arose a murmuring among the people. The conflict had the potential to cause great harm to the young church.

Of course, God had a plan! He moved the apostles to assemble the congregation and instructed them to choose, from their number, seven men who would take care of the business of ministering to the physical need of the church. This, of course, removed the burden of that ministry from the shoulders of the Apostles and freed them up to devote themselves to the ministry of prayer and of the Word of God. More will be said about them in a moment.

What we can see in this passage is that the office of Deacon was created to fulfill certain needs in the church. Needs, which still exist today! This passage also indicates that in fulfilling their role as Deacons, the men selected to serve in that capacity will be part of several special relationships. It is that aspect of the work of the Deacon that I want to zero in on this evening. I would like for us to take a few minutes and explore The Relationships Of The Baptist Deacon. When we understand the relationships the Deacon with which the Deacon finds himself involved, we are able to gain a clearer insight into just what a Deacon is and what he is supposed to be doing. After all, there is some confusion in many Baptist churches this evening concerning the work of the Baptist Deacon. Let's see if we can gain a better understanding of who these valuable servants of the church are, and just what they are supposed to do by examining The Relationships Of The Baptist Deacon.


A. This verse indicates that the church was to select their Deacons from out of their own number. The idea is that these men were to be saved men who were walking in fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ. The Deacon must first and foremost be a man who is saved and living for Jesus.

B. I am sure you have examined these men as to their Christian experience and their character. I am sure you have seen the fruit of their conversion in their lives. Certainly, the church wants none other than saved men to be ordained as Deacon. Other churches have made the mistake of ordaining men who have never been converted and they have regretted their decision. Why? Because a lost man cannot understand spiritual things. As a result, they hinder more than they help. Let the Deacons be converted men!

C. Verse 3 tells us that are to be men of "honest report". That is, they are to be men in whom is seen the evidence of their relationship to the Savior. Paul elaborates on this in 1 Timothy 3:8-13 (Read!). In these verses, Paul spells out the characteristics and virtues that are to mark the life of one who is selected to serve in the office of the Deacon.

A careful reading of Paul's words makes it crystal clear that the Deacon can be none other than a saved man. Therefore, men if you do not know the Lord, let it be known now, before you hinder the work of this church!

D. Men, I charge you this evening that you cultivate your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Spend ample time with him in prayer and in the reading and study of His Word. Let Him grow you into mighty, spiritual giants for His glory and for the good of this church!

I. His Relationship With The Savior


A. The Deacons are always to be men "full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom." Simply stated, Deacons are not to be men filled with themselves, with their own selfish ambitions, with worldliness, with sin, etc. They are to be men that are "full" of the Spirit of God. The word "full" is an interesting word. It means, "thoroughly permeated with; full, complete; lacking nothing, perfect."

Deacons are to be men that living examples of Eph. 5:18 where Paul says, "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit." The idea is that men who are chosen to serve as Deacons are to be men that are controlled by the Spirit of God.

B. Of course, it stands to reason that a man who is filled with the Spirit will exhibit the fruit of the Spirit, Gal. 5:22-23, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." When the Spirit of God is in control of a life, that life will be a blessing to all who behold it in action.

C. For a Deacon, the Holy Spirit and His leadership are indispensable! The word "wisdom" does not necessarily mean that Deacons must be highly intelligent, that might be helpful, but it is not absolutely necessary. It does mean, however, that Deacon must be a man who has spiritual knowledge. The kind of knowledge that only comes by communion with the Spirit of God, "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.", John 16:13.

D. Be Spirit-filled and Spirit-lead men and you will be a blessing to this church! Get out of God's will and walk in your own spirit and you will be a stumbling block to this church!

E. I charge you to examine your lives this evening. See where you stand in relationship to the work of the Spirit of God in your life. When you got saved, you got all of Him there was to get, 1 Cor. 12:13; Rom. 8:9. I wonder how much of your life does He have tonight? If you want to be good Deacons, then be men willed with the Holy Ghost!

I. His Relationship with The Savior

II. His Relationship With The Spirit


A. By Shepherd, I am referring to the Pastor of the church. You will notice in our text that the primary reason the Deacons were chosen was because the Apostles, or the shepherds, simply could not do everything by themselves. There were some very important ministries being neglected. Therefore, the Deacons were selected to carry out some of the duties within the congregation, which freed the Shepherds to devote their time to that which God had called them. Primarily, the Deacons were chosen so that the Shepherds would have more time to devote to prayer and to the study of the Word of God.

In this context, the Deacons in the early church were a valuable asset to the men God had called to lead the church. As such, the Deacons and the Shepherds worked closely together, each ministry enhancing the other. As a result, the church prospered and all the needs of the ministry were met.

B. Sadly, many Deacons in our day have forgotten what their function is within the church. Far too many see themselves as men appointed to "run" the church or to keep the Pastor in line. Too many Deacons see themselves in the role of "church boss". However, while this is true in many churches, it is not a scriptural method of doing things.

C. There is just one Head of the church. It isn't the Pastor and it isn't the Deacons. The Head of the church is the Lord Jesus Christ, Eph. 5:23. However, the primary leadership role within the life of the church has been assigned to, and vested in, the office of the Pastor, Heb. 13:7, 17. In these verses, we are reminded that the Pastor, not the Deacons will stand before the Lord one day to give an account for the church. While the Pastor, like everyone else, will have much in his personal life to account for, one of his duties that day will be to relate the conduct of those over whom he was given the rule.

Whether you like it or not, whether you agree with it or not, whether you submit to it or not, the fact still stands: there is much authority placed in the pastoral office. Deacons, on the other hand, have been assigned a less authoritative role in the church.

C. You see, the idea of a "Board of Deacons" is foreign to the Bible. The Deacons have no authority to run the church or to police the Pastor. They have been given the role of servants in the assembly, v. 2-3. The Deacons were chosen to "wait tables." They were chosen to carry out the nuts and bolts of the ministry within the church thereby freeing the Pastor to spend his time in spiritual pursuits.

The word "deacon" comes from a root word which means "to kick up dust." The image is of one so actively involved in his services to others that he kicks up the dust as he moves from one task to another. While we in the modern church have given some authority to our Deacons and placed them over many of the financial decisions and business decisions the church makes, their primary duty is to serve the people so the Pastor can be free to give himself to the greater spiritual ministry of the congregation.

D. Therefore, you men that are being ordained this evening have the potential to be the best friends this Pastor has ever had in his ministry. You have the potential to lift from his shoulders some of the burdens he hears from day to day.

I charge you, therefore, before this congregation and before the Lord God that you fulfill the scriptural mandate assigned to the deacons and that you be a friend to the man of God. Check on him from time to time. Be sure that his needs are met. Ask him if there is anything you can do to help him in the ministry. Look at the tires on his car. Be involved in his life as a friend and as a fellow-servant in this ministry.

Fellows, neither you nor this Pastor are here by accident, but by the providence of God. God has placed you here as servants that you might work together to carry out His kingdom work in this community. You are not enemies! You are not on opposite sides of the issues! You are brothers in Christ, who want the best for the church. You are servants together who want to see God honored in this place. What you do with your relationship with this man will determine, to a large degree, just how the Lord blesses this church in the days ahead. Cultivate your relationship with the Shepherd of the flock of God!

I. His Relationship with The Savior

II. His Relationship With The Spirit

III. His Relationship With The Shepherd


A. These verses teach us the truth that the Deacons are to be servants of the Lord first and then servants of the people. As I have already mentioned, you are not being set aside to be little bosses around here. You are being set aside this evening to serve this church with humility. Your duty is to see that the needs of this congregation are met.

B. In the early church, the call was clear. The Deacons were chosen to be sure that all the widows were properly cared for as each day's distribution of food was given out. They were chosen to ensure that every saints needs were met.

C. Fellows, the needs have not changed this evening. The Deacons should still see themselves as servants of the people. Now, the question that comes to mind is: How can this ministry be carried out? The answer is simple! Just keep your eyes and ears open and the Lord will show you enough ministry within the church to keep you busy for a lifetime!

You see, the Lord is more interested in helping His people than you are! After all, they are His people! If you will be sensitive to His leadership, He will show you how to meet their needs! (Ill. John 5:19-20, "Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.") God will show you just like He did with Jesus!

D. Fellows, the bottom line is this: every duty in the church shouldn't rest upon the Pastor's shoulders! When there are sick people, get out and visit them! When there are needs in people's lives, get out and meet them. When there are situations that arise in the church, handle them under the Pastor's supervision. Remember, you function here is two-fold. First, you are to guard your Pastor's time. You are to lighten his load so that when Sunday, Sunday night and Wednesday night comes around, he has a word from God. And, so that every other day of the week, he has the time to pray for you and your family, to seek God's will for the direction of the church, to fight the spiritual battles for you. Be this Pastor's best friend! Second, you are to be over the business of serving the people of this church with a servant's heart. Not looking for personal gain or influence in the church. But, merely serving others as the needs arise. (Ill. By the way, those Deacons who do it right, will be honored by those they serve, 1 Tim. 3:13! That is not the motive, but it is a fringe benefit!) With that in mind, I charge you to be servants!

I. His Relationship with The Savior

II. His Relationship With The Spirit

III. His Relationship With The Shepherd

IV. His Relationship With The Saints


A. Did you notice what happened in the early church when the spiritual leaders were free to seek the Lord, and when the needs of the people were met? The result was that the membership of the church was "multiplied".

The Lord didn't just use addition, but He used multiplication! The church and her ministries flourished because of the combined ministries of the Apostles and the Deacons.

B. Fellows, let's face it this evening. You have a good Pastor. He loves you and he preaches the Word of God faithfully. The good Lord willing, he will serve alongside you for many years to come. However, none of us knows the future. There may be a time when he is gone and you are still here.

Therefore. I charge you this evening to remember that the ministry of this church is bigger than your Pastor. It is bigger than you as a Deacon. The ministry of this church is even bigger than the people that make it up. The ministry of this church is a direct reflection upon the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ and upon the character of Almighty God.

With that in mind, I beg you to carry out your duties with and eye to His glory, 1 Cor. 10:31. I challenge you to conduct yourself as a man of God. I challenge you to carry yourself with gravity and soberness. I counsel you to be a good reflection on Jesus and upon the name of this great church. Be God's men and He will bless His church as a result of your ministry here!

C. I charge you this evening to walk with Jesus, lead by His Spirit, to be a friend of the man of God and a servant to the people. If these things are done, you will have proven yourself a friend to the body of Christ, which is His church. When that happens, rest assured that God will bless greatly and that there will be a great reward awaiting you on the other side!

Conc: What else can we say? There are good Deacons who understand their office and execute it well. There are bad Deacons who think they are God's gift to their church and hinder much more than they help. I close with this question to you men: What kind of Deacons will you be? I hope to hear the report that you love Jesus Christ, and live by His Spirit, that you lift the burdens of the shepherd and the saints of God and that you are playing a great part in God laying the richest of His blessing upon this church.

God bless you as become Baptist Deacons this evening. It is an office of great service and much work. However, it affords you the opportunity to be a greater blessing in the Kingdom of God than you have ever been. It offers you the opportunity to serve this church and to enhance the ministry God has established in this place. May the Lord bless you and use you for His glory!

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