Pastor's Blog: Deacons Who Serve Well
Lord willing, we will continue our study of Daniel 5 this Sunday, looking at the reality of the “Handwriting on the Wall.” Here is what we should understand – judgment day is coming. It was at the door for Babylon in Daniel 5. But the same mercy and grace that is available to you and me in salvation was available to King Belshazzar. He rejected it, what is your response? [If you miss a sermon please remember that all of our sermons can be accessed by audio here: https://www.tbcmacon.com/sermons]
“For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 3:13, NKJV) Over the years of my ministry it has been my task to teach, train, and serve with men called to the office of deacon. I had the privilege at the young age of 24 to be ordained as a deacon in the First Southern Baptist Church of San Diego, CA. Those few years of service as a deacon taught me much about the role and function of deacons. I was mentored by good and godly older deacons in my church.
I learned early on that a deacon is servant of the church. The word deacon, in its most literal meaning, is a someone who waits on a table. The position is not glamorous and is a calling from God. The election of deacons in a church should never be based popularity or secular achievements. The deacon is not a “church boss,” he is not the supervisor of the pastor or staff, he is not a part of ruling board that “runs” the church. He is a servant of God’s precious people, he is an assistant to the pastor and staff in the work of the ministry, and he can be a valuable asset to the church by serving with wisdom and grace. In studying carefully the biblical instructions on deacons, I wrote the following some years ago:
Interestingly, there is very little in the New Testament on the duties of deacons. The specifics of their responsibilities must be determined by each local congregation. Since needs differ from church-to-church, this would make a great deal of sense. On the other hand, the caliber of persons selected for service is critical, and whatever they actually do they are required to be models of spiritual strength and benefaction. The seven chosen in Acts 6 were men of good reputation or honest report (KJV). This is a characteristic required of elders in 1 Timothy 3:7 and is the word martureô, to be a witness, bear witness, testify, signifies, in the passive voice [as here], to be well testified of, to have a good report. Deacons should be men of strong conviction and spiritual maturity who are well respected by others. Further, the apostles wanted men who were full of the Holy Spirit, meaning that they were saved and spirit-filled (Eph. 5:18). Full is pleres, of the soul, thoroughly permeated with, hence controlled by. Deacons should live under the control of the Holy Spirit by being godly examples to others and willing to serve the people for Jesus’ sake. Deacons must also be men full of wisdom. The word is sophia, wisdom, broad and full of intelligence; used of the knowledge of very diverse matters; skill in the management of affairs; devout and proper prudence in intercourse with men not disciples of Christ, skill and discretion in imparting Christian truth; the knowledge and practice of the requisites for godly and upright living. Wise, Spirit-controlled men of good reputation will make the finest deacons and will fit the qualifications outlined in 1 Timothy 3:8-13.
I am grateful that the deacons of Tabernacle Baptist Church fit the description above. They are good and godly men who want the best for TBC. I want to express my appreciation to them for their faithful service to our church. This past Sunday the deacons elected new officers and brought on some additional men to become part of the serving body of deacons. I am so grateful for the leadership of our outgoing Chairman, Scott Bennett, and Vice-Chairman, Ronnie Griffin. They have led well through some very difficult times. Our new Chairman is Steve Hardison and the new Vice-Chairman is Chris Johnson. John Holland will continue in his roll as Secretary. Please pray for these men in their work and service to the Lord and our church. Our current serving deacons are: Steve Hardison, Chris Johnson, John Holland, Scott Bennett, Jerry Carter, Rick Canipe, Terry Connell, Ronnie Griffin, James Kimberly, Terry Roberson, and David Tucker.
Sunday School is on! Join us each week at 9:15 am! Please pray for your teacher and plan to be present with your family.
As always, I am looking forward to what God will do at Tabernacle this coming Sunday. Please be present with your Bibles in hand as we worship the Lord together!
Blessings, YFJS, Bro. Tom