Deacons are in a service position. As noted in previous articles in this series, the word “deacon” is a transliterated word (not translated) from the Greek “Diakonos”. “Deacon” translated is “minister” or “servant”. So that is what deacons do; they serve. They are serving the Lord (I Timothy 3:13), His church, and in particular the shepherds within His church. (Acts 6:1-6)
“How do they serve? What are the things they are doing?” - They are doing the tasks that are needed in service to the brethren so that shepherds might focus more fully on their spiritual obligations. (Acts 6:1-6)
An example of how deacons have historically served in congregations are as follows:
· Finances - Ensuring checks are written and books are maintained
· Maintenance and Cleaning - Ensuring the building is properly maintained and in good working order.
Duty Rosters - Making sure men are informed and available to serve at each service.
· Class Organization/Material - Ensuring there are teachers and material ready for each class quarter and class
· Food Distribution - For those who may be in need
· Rides - For those who may be in need
· Special Projects - Like updating the directory or organizing a work day
· Security - Of the premises at large and specifically when we are assembled
· Opening of the Facilities - Ensuring everything is setup and ready for worship services. (Lord’s Supper Prepared, Handwashing station ready, lights on, a/c on, etc.)
· Closing of the Facilities - Ensuring everything is closed down properly after worship services (door locked, lights out, trash removed, etc.)
· A/V & Technology - Ensuring all of the A/V equipment is operational, on, and ready in time for services
· Website - Ensuring everything is updated and working properly
May it be noted, the deacons may not be personally fulfilling these duties; but at the very least, making sure they do get done. There are obviously other things that go beyond this scope, but one can see that there are many responsibilities that need to be taken care of. Every single one of these demands the attention of someone. If that burden falls upon the Shepherds alone, hopefully you can easily see and sympathize with how overwhelming that could be, and how much time it could distract from the spiritual work to be done.
These are the sorts of duties, that if the church here had deacons, they could assist the shepherds in doing. They could help relieve some of the burden. Of course, we have members who already work to do just that, and we are very grateful for that. However, the Lord’s design within His church is for the church to find capable trustworthy men who desire to nobly serve in this capacity in the church. (I Timothy 3:15) May we be blessed to have such men.