Given the recent rash of pedophiles in the Catholic church, remember that for those remaining who did nothing
wrong, the leadership is still there and we are to refer to them as "sir."
April 28th, 2002, Sunday Morning
"Qualifications of Deacons"
The rules according to GOD--not man
OPENING: 1 Timothy 3:8-13
The deacon ministry is critical to the church and we want to add members who will strengthen
and accomplish the missions of the ministry.
Pastor Branson, at one of the former churches be attended, was a youth group teacher. At his fourth
deacon meeting, he was kicked out because he contested the false doctrine of the church leaders.
- In the youth group, the pastor took the initiative to see how many of his class knew the very basics
of Christ. He passed out a survey to them all. In his returns:
- 23 of 25 said they're 100% sure they're getting into Heaven
- Why are they going to Heaven? 2 said because they trusted Christ, 23 said because "they're good enough."
- Not one could answer what the baptism was.
- In retrospect, the pastor being kicked out of the false doctrine church was a good today because today
the church is abandoned, windows broken, graffiti on the walls, and constant break-in's into the building.
- It was twice the size of Village Parkway Baptist and yet still folded because not only was the doctrine bad--simply, it wasn't GOD's Word
DEACON REQUIREMENTS (1 Timothy 3:8-13)
- 1. Deacons must be of proven Christian character (1 Timothy 3:8)
- In critical, compromising, difficult times (which are the best times to prove a man), deacons needs to
be able to make informed decisions calmly and rationally.
- At one of the churches the pastor formerly was a member of, there was a situation where a five year old
died and the family didn't have the money to pay for the burial of Dalton. The chairman of the deacons declared
the church will not do a thing to help out. The family must take care of itself. Yet a different group in the church:
three people and pastor Branson paid the money required for the funeral. CONCLUSION: it is critical to serve
those in need.
- 2. Must be a man of dignity
- He must walk in a manner pleasing to the Lord and not fold under pressure.
- Must not be double-tongued: to say one thing but do another.
- This is the case when a deacon wants to try and please everybody, all the time. It cannot be done.
- It must be a person who deals with people and issues on a single thought.
- Answers must be straight-forward and in a dignified response (something believers should do, as well).
- What he says he will do--you can count on.
- At deacons meetings, he's a "straight shooter" and not a "YES man"
- 3. He must not be addicted to wine.
- 1 Timothy 3:8: Notice the exact scripture reads " ... not given to much wine ..."
So this doesn't mean a deacon can't ever touch liquor, altogether. The drink simply must not "consume him."
- 4. He must not take advantage of compromising situations
- It's very easy for people in ministry leadership situations to take money or advantage of people's
vulnerabilities. A true test of character and integrity is to do good when no one's looking (of course that's
not possible because GOD is always watching).
- Put these first four requirements together and you'll love the LORD, take care of the people
and follow standards. Note, however, that these are NOT high standards!
- 5. He must understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ
(1 Timothy 3:9)
- Deacons must speak clearly the Gospel if in the church leadership role.
- No one should be leading the church if they don't attend ALL possible bible studies (Sunday school,
morning, evening, and Wednesday evening)
- In those who serve, there must be a hunger for the Word of GOD.
- Those who want the mysteries/truths of GOD's Word revealed won't make trouble.
- In fact, they will be able to still trouble. At a funeral pastor Branson attended, his eulogy
was so moving, the parents thanked the pastor not so much for the content of the speech but for reminding the
family that Jesus is in control.
- Their faith must be so real they have a clear conscience. They must believe their sins are forgiven
and that they are no better/higher than any church member because of their position.
- 6. They must set the example as a good family (1 Timothy 3:12) (not perfect--that is not possible--Romans 3:23)
- He must be the husband to only one wife (Greek translation: "a one-woman man")
- Deacons must never have divorced or treated their wife like dirt.
- 1 Peter 3:7: Paul says man's prayers will not be hindered--those who treat their wife well.
- Must be a good manager/leader of the children and household--NOT a perfect leader.
- Watching over the family, caring, ministering to their needs over his own, 100% committed.
- 1 Timothy 3:5: If he can't take care of the home, how can he be expected to lead a church?
Pastor Branson's dad brought him up with: "I don't care how bad you've been treated by this world. Never
be run off from serving GOD."
We should all strive to be in the position of spiritual leadership so GOD can accomplish great things
A prayer for us all: that GOD would continue to raise these kind of people (church leaders)
1 Timothy 3:13: If the church recognizes/selects you to serve, it is counted upon you
a great honor. Peace will flourish and the ministry will continue to grow.
Yet, temptation will be none the less!