Deacons at Jubilee
Hi Jubilee Family,
Why do we have deacons?
Elders, as “overseers,” make directional decisions guided by our vision, while deacons, as “servants,” facilitate congregational involvement so that this vision becomes a reality. This role of leading the church in service cannot be overestimated. Thabiti Anyabwile states, “The Lord has not established the office of deacon as an extra to the church. The office does not exist as some obsolete appendage. Rather, deacons serve the table of the Lord in order to facilitate the advance of the gospel, the health of the body, and the rejoicing of the saints. Deacons are indispensable in the Christian church.” (Finding Faithful Elders and Deacons)
Why are we making such a big deal about the character of the men we are voting on to be deacons?
“The New Testament makes the uncontested point that God’s paramount concern is not with buildings or programs but with the moral and spiritual character of those who lead and care for His people. Godly leadership makes the true, spiritual difference in the local church. In fact, almost all the instruction on deacons in the New Testament relates to their qualifications.” (Alexander Strauch, The New Testament Deacon)
How does Jubilee define what a deacon is?
A deacon is to be a spiritually qualified servant-leader of the church who provides compassionate, Christ-like care for people with practical, material needs and gives oversight to the logistical, physical concerns of the church so the elders can focus on the Word of God and prayer.
Can Women be Deacons? Yes, we believe so. Here are a few of the reasons why.
The Greek word for deacon can be masculine or feminine. So the word does not settle the issue.
In the middle of the qualifications for deacons in 1 Timothy 3:8–13, Paul says, “The women likewise must be serious, no slanderers, but temperate, faithful in all things.” This could be the wives of the deacons, but could also be the women deacons. The latter is suggested by the fact that the elders’ wives are not mentioned in 3:1–7.
The deacons were distinguished from the elders in that they were not the governing body in the church nor were they charged with the duty of authoritative teaching. So the role of deacon seems not to involve anything that Paul taught in 1 Timothy 2:12 is inappropriate for women to perform in the church.
In Romans Phoebe is very probably called a deacon. “I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deaconess of the church at Cenchreae, that you may receive her in the Lord as befits the saints, and help her in whatever she may require from you, for she has been a helper of many and of myself as well.”
What does all this mean for you?
Pray for our diaconal candidates and current deacons, that they would be walking in a manner worthy of the Lord.
Come to the deacons when you have practical needs that are beyond what those closest to you can provide for.
Let a deacon know if you see someone with acute needs, who may not feel comfortable personally approaching him or her with their own need. In order to be biblically faithful, we will seek to take care of members in need first (Gal 6:10)
If there is a practical, logistical need in the church, or an area of ministry that can use administrative attention, let a deacon know.
Even though deacons hold a special office related to service in the church, we are all called to serve one another in love! (Gal 5:13)
Get to know our diaconal candidates and current deacons! Click here.
Grace to you!
Jubilee Community Church