The Role and Importance of the Deacon

Hello Church Family

   On Sunday morning the 28th we are having a special service in the life of South Harriman.  It is a Deacon Ordination Service that we will be performing for Bro. Edwin Underwood.  I hope that you will all be there for this wonderful occasion.  
    In thinking about that, I wanted to explain to you a bit about what is the role of a deacon and what the Bible says their duty is in the life of a church. In our church, deacons serve many roles.  They wear many hats.  But their ministry can be characterized by one word: Servant.  These acts of service can be things like making hospital visits, assisting the widows of the church, taking someone to a doctor’s visit.  These are duties that aren't going to land them the prestige of having their picture on the front cover of the newspaper.  They aren't going to be rewarded monetarily or ceremonially but this type of service is part of the “job description" of a deacon.  But it is not the rewards that a deacon seeks.  
    For a deacon at South Harriman, they have a high calling.  The way that our church is organized, it is the deacons that serve as sort of a governing board.  Not to lord over the people or the staff of the church, but to be there if difficult situations were to arise and offer sound, Christ-like leadership in those situations.  With that sort of responsibility, deacons are also held accountable by the members of South Harriman and ultimately they are accountable to Christ.  
    In 1 Timothy 3, Paul gives us the qualifications of a deacon.  He says first of all, that they must be dignified.  Meaning a deacon cannot be dishonorable in their dealings with their family, their careers, their finances, or their Lord.  Next, Paul says that deacons cannot be double-tongued.  Meaning they cannot be deceitful.  They must speak truth without any mixture of hypocrisy.  Paul goes on to say that deacons cannot be addicted to much wine.  This means that they are not drunkards.  They don’t allow the things of this world, in this case alcohol, to impede their judgment and harm their walk with the Lord and their reputation with others.  Paul then states that deacons “must hold to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience”.  This means that while no deacon is perfect in their walk with Christ, they are not allowing sin to continue to invade them and cause them to stumble.  That the deacon is striving to cling to Christ more than the sin in their life.  
    Paul ends this section on the role and qualifications of a deacon by saying this: “For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.”  The “good standing” is talking about how the church should view their deacon.  He is a man who is respected and appreciated for the work that he performs.  The “great confidence” is a direct result of the work of a deacon.  We see him live and walk with the Lord.  We see him selflessly serve and give of himself.  The church sees that this man puts the Body of Christ before his own wants and desires.  And because of this humble approach to ministry, it gives the church confidence.  Confidence in the faith, in the Gospel message.  Confidence that we as a collection of believers can see through the mission that we have been given.  And that we as individuals can make it over the steep hills of adversity and through the rushing waters of trials all the way to the Other Side to the place that the Lord has prepared for us.  
    So, as we prepare for this special service, the ordination of a South Harriman Baptist Church Deacon, I hope that you will take special notice of what this role means.  The significance that it holds in the life of our church. 

- Matt