Biblical Basis for Deacons
Deacons free the the pastoral staff to focus on prayer and the ministry of the Word, promoting unity within the church, and facilitating the spread of the gospel.
The Bible documents Paul’s letter of instruction to his young apprentice Timothy in the evaluation of candidates to serve as deacons.
As early as A.D. 60, the office of deacon was well-established, as evidenced by Paul’s opening address in his letter to the Philippians.
Acts 6:1-3 details how the Apostles, busy with the growth of the new church, called for the selection from the church body of seven men of good character to take over the benevolence ministry – the caring ministry – visiting the sick, feeding the hungry, providing for the needs which are presented to the church, and in general being alert to the spiritual needs of the congregation.
1 Timothy 3:8-11:
(8) Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;
(9) Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
(10) And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.
(11) Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
(1) Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:
The nearest word we have to the original diakoneo is “servant.”
(1) And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.
(2) Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.
(3) Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.