What is a Deacon?
“Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, ‘It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables.’” (Acts 6:2)
The early church did a great job of sharing the Gospel and reaching many people for Christ, both Jews and Greeks. All those new converts presented a challenge to the church – how are we going to effectively minister to all those that God has entrusted to our care? Initially, the church didn’t do such a great job because the Greek widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of resources. I’m sure the leaders of the church must’ve felt like something needed to be done quickly to avoid a conflict.
For that reason, they said, “It is not desirable that we should leave the Word of God and serve tables.” The apostles sympathized with the Greek-speaking widows, but God did not call them to serve tables – He called them to preach the Gospel. So God granted them a wonderful idea – select able-bodied men out of the church who can serve the material needs of the congregation. That way, the apostles would be able to dedicate themselves to “prayer and to the ministry of the Word” (Acts 6:4).
The church set aside seven men to meet the needs. The seven men (Acts 6:5) are called deacons. The word “deacon” comes from the Greek diakonos, which literally means “through the dust.” Just picture a person kicking up the dust by rushing around from person to person. God has blessed the church with deacons who are supposed to minister to the needs of the congregation so that pastors and ministers can fulfill the calling God has placed on their lives. When deacons serve the church faithfully, they are a tremendous blessing to the Body of Christ! Please pray for the deacons in your local church.