1 Timothy 3:8
Diakonosmeanshumble servant and we translate it asdeacon.Particularly for we Baptist, but for more stringent congregationalist churches in general, we’ve made the deacon role something it was not intended to be. Deacons serve underthe elders’ oversight, not above them. In the Baptist world, the senior pastor is viewed, in the Biblical translation at least, as interchangeable with the elder or overseer. Practically that hasn’t been how many churches have treated the role. The pastor is an employee of the church who report first to deacons rather than the under-shepherd serving under Christ. The deacons often rule over the pastor, and that is not biblical. Deacons are to carry out assigned duties in the church to free the elders up to focus on what they need to do as modeled in Acts 6. Really, many church staff and a lot of volunteer leaders are deacons in this sense and deacons tend to operate more like elders. This list really applies to all church leadership roles. Deacons must be dignified or respectable. People see them as leaders in the church and their character should reflect such as it reflects on the LORD and His Church. The BKC says they should not be clowns. I like a good clown, but there is a time to be silly and a time to be more dignified. The next requirement is that they be me dilogousor literally not double-tongued. I like the NET translation, not two-face. Ooh that is such a hurtful and dangerous trait for anyone in a church, particularly someone in leadership. Leaders must be trustworthy. They can’t present one face to some and another to others. They can’t say one thing to one group and something totally different to others. I’ve been hurt by that to the core. It’s like being stabbed in the back. Another interpretation is sincere and unhypocritical. It’s easy to talk about what Scripture teaches and apply that to others, but it can be another thing to live it out when tested yourself. Deacons should do both. Deacons also shouldn’t be drunks and shouldn’t engage in any dishonest means of financial or other gain. That goes along with being respectable and having integrity. These are really just a list of Christian characteristics. It’s modeling the fruit of the Holy Spirit. We just have to be extra sure people in leadership exhibit those traits.
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