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Qualifications of a Deacon

"To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons" -- Philippians 1:1

A deacon is an important role in the Lord's church. It's more than just an office, a title or someone who's a figurehead. There's something special about the service rendered by deacons.

The definition of a deacon is simply a servant. While all Christians are to be servants, deacons are men appointed to a particular role of service within a local congregation. Paul lists the qualifications of a deacon in I Tim. 3:8-13.

Reverent/grave: Serious, trustworthy and dependable. An honorable man who is respected for his good character and he reveres God. He's aware of his influence. He takes the responsibility of serving the congregation very seriously.

Not double-tongued: Not a liar, hypocrite or deceitful. A man of his word who can be trusted to tell the truth. He does not talk out of both sides of his mouth. The elders must be able to trust him.

Not given to much wine: Possesses the ability to practice self-control, to be alert, to have a clear, sober mind. A man who controls his flesh, not be controlled by it. His personal desires are sacrificed for the benefit of others.

Not greedy for money: Honest in his dealings. Not guilty of using unrighteous methods of gaining and increasing income. A generous, hospitable man. Deacons are men who want to give, serve and sacrifice.

Holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience: Does not waver in his faith or compromise the truth. He holds closely and dearly the Word of God. Although he does not have the authority or responsibilities that elders have, a deacon is a man of positive, Godly influence in the congregation.

Let these also first be tested: Not on-the-job training. He must be pre-qualified. A man who’s established a good track record of honesty, self-control and faithfulness. He should already be a great asset to the church. He is an "exclamation point," not a "question mark."

Being found blameless: Not sinless or perfect, but his conduct is honorable. He has a tender, soft heart; he helps unite the church. When sin is found in his life, he’s quick to get rid of it. He must get along with the other deacons, elders, the preacher and members. Deacons help solve problems, not be the problem.

Husbands of one wife: A one-woman man. He does not have a wandering eye, nor does he seek companionship or emotional support from other women. His eyes, his mind, his heart, his life are only for his wife.

Ruling their children and their own houses well: A father, a family man. Demonstrates good leadership at home. He’s attentive to their needs—spiritually and physically. His children submit to him, obey him and respect him. Children are extensions of their parents. Are the children interested in spiritual things?

The qualifications of a deacon’s wife (I Tim. 3:11) need to be considered as seriously as those of her husband. They are: reverent, not slanderers, temperate and faithful in all things. She, too, must be a strong, faithful Christian.

The man who is qualified to serve as a deacon has a Godly, reliable wife by his side. In fact, a big reason why that man is being considered as a deacon is because of the support and influence of his wife. It truly is a team effort.

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