Category Archives: Men

Biblical Guidelines for the Deacon Ministry at Kitwe Church


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I Timothy 3:8-13

The church is a living organism. The church is the body of Christ in whom the Spirit of the living God dwells! In the life of every organism there are growing pains, we welcome them because the goal of every living organism is growth.

The character and effectiveness of any church is directly related to the quality of its leadership. People do not usually rise above their leaders! It has been said that ‘everything rises and falls on leadership.’  Failure to adhere to biblical standards for appointing those to serve the church has caused many of the problems in the church today.

In 1 Timothy Paul is writing to Timothy the young pastor at the church of Ephesus. Problems had arisen in this church because men who were unqualified had found their way into church leadership (1:3, 4:1-3). Some were women (2:12) others were guilty of sin and needed public rebuke (5:20). (Acts 20:29-30).

Paul is giving instructions for the local Church at Ephesus, instructions that apply to our church, Kitwe Church.

In the New Testament there are only two offices in the Church the office of Elder (v.1-7); and the office of Deacon (v.8-13)

The Office of Elder there are three terms used interchangeably for the same office:

  • Bishop – gr. Episkopos = Overseer, responsible for the spiritual well-being of the church (Phil 1:1, Titus 1:7)
  • Elder – gr. Presbuteros = Authority, to teach and rule (I Tim 5:17, Titus 1:5,7)
  • Pastor – gr. Poimen = Shepherd, to lead, guide, provide (I Pt 5:2, Acts 20:28)

The Office of Deacon – Deacon (gr. Diakonos) means minister, emphasizes the attitude of a servant. (12) A deacon is a servant – He is not in a position of authority, decision maker, preacher or teacher.

The Biblical qualification for deacons is found following that of the pastor. This shows the organizational structure of the New Testament church to be pastoral leadership through the support of faithful deacons.

For this reason deacons, as well as pastors, must meet certain qualifications before they can be allowed to serve in a position. In Acts 6 the qualifications were given in general to be “of honest report, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom.”  In I Timothy 3 the qualifications are given in a specific way: “Deacons likewise must be:”

THE NEED FOR DEACONS

Our church is growing and there are genuine needs in the congregation that need to be met. The elders need help so that they can fulfill their primary role to lead in the spiritual life of the Church and to teach the Word of God.  To carry out this the pastors need time to prepare, time to meet with people to share the gospel, disciple, counsel, preach and teach. (Acts 6:1,4)

QUALIFICATIONS OF DEACONS

  1. He is dignified (8): – The term means: “serious, devout, honorable, and dignified; one who acts in a mature and tactful fashion.” This term normally refers to something that is honorable, respectable, esteemed, or worthy, and is closely related to “respectable,” which is given as a qualification for elders (1 Tim. 3:2).
  2. He is not Double Tongued (8): Those who are double-tongued say one thing to certain people but then say something else to others, or say one thing but mean another. They are two-faced and insincere. Their words cannot be trusted, so they lack credibility. (Prov. 8:7,12:22; Jas.5:12)
  3. He is not addicted to much wine (8): – This means that he is not to come under the influence. A man is disqualified for the office of deacon if he is addicted to wine or other strong drink. Such a person lacks the self-control and discipline to serve a deacon. Not given to excesses, a state of mind which is free from the excessive indulgence of passion, lust, or emotion. He is able to keep his head in all situations. Doesn’t loose his temper, and control of his tongue. William Hendriksen comments, “Such a person lives deeply. His pleasures are not primarily those of the senses, like the pleasures of a drunkard for instance, but those of the soul. He is filled with spiritual and moral earnestness. He is not given to excess, but is moderate, well-balanced, calm, careful, steady, and sane. This pertains to his physical, moral, and mental tastes and habits.”  At Kitwe Church we ask those serving as deacons to voluntarily abstain from beverage alcohol.
  4. He is not Greedy For Money (8): – There is to be no dishonesty in the getting of gain. This applies to unethical business practices, tax evasion, gambling, bribes, extortion, and covetousness. The servant’s attitude is to be “How can I meet the needs of others?” rather than “How can I get others to meet mine?” If a person is a lover of money, he is not qualified to be a deacon, especially since deacons often handle financial matters for the church. (1 Ti. 6:10; Ro.13:9)
  5. He is a man sound in faith and life (9): Paul also indicates that a deacon must “hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.” The phrase “the mystery of the faith” is simply one way Paul speaks of the gospel (cf. 1 Tim. 3:16). Consequently, this statement refers to the need for deacons to hold firm to the true gospel without wavering.
    Yet this qualification does not merely involve one’s beliefs, for he must also hold these beliefs “with a clear conscience.” That is, the behavior of a deacon must be consistent with his beliefs. This would imply that he has first the absolute assurance of his own salvation, and that he is not ashamed to let others know that he is a Christian and seeks to win others to Christ.
  6. He must be blameless (v. 10): “Blameless” is a general term referring to a person’s overall character. There is nothing to accuse him of. If a malicious charge were to be made, to know his character would make the charge absolutely unbelievable. He is an example for the congregation to follow. (Phil. 3:17)
    Although Paul does not specify what type of testing is to take place, at a minimum, the candidate’s personal background, reputation, and theological positions should be examined. Moreover, the congregation should not only examine a potential deacon’s moral, spiritual, and doctrinal maturity, but should also consider the person’s track record of service in the church.
  7. He is the husband of one wife (v. 12): The literal meaning here is “a one-woman man.” There must be no other woman in his life to whom he relates in an intimate way either emotionally or physically. This would prohibit someone from serving as a deacon who was a polygamist or divorced.  It is also clear that the office of Deacon is reserved for men.
  8. He manages children and household well (12): A deacon must be the spiritual leader of his wife and children. Children are not perfect, but they are disciplined and respectful, according to the admonition of Ephesians 6:1,2; and his wife is submissive according to Ephesians 5:22-24.
  9. His wife is a godly woman (11) She must be “faithful in all things” (cf. 1 Tim. 5:10).
  10. Reverent – dignified or respectable.

    Not Slanderers – If you care for others you control the tongue, this means the deacon’s wife does not engage in destructive criticism of others or go around spreading gossip. Such action is so contrary to the ministry of caring for others that a man is disqualified from being a deacon if his wife has this attitude.

    Temperate – The term temperate means “not intoxicated, circumspect, and discreet.” She must be able to make good judgments and must not be involved in things that might hinder such judgment.

    Faithful – This is a general requirement which functions similarly to the requirement for elders to be “above reproach” (1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:6) and for deacons to be “blameless” (1 Tim. 3:10). The wife of a deacon has a very important ministry. She must be loyal and dependable.

THE DUTIES OF DEACONS

Let’s be very clear, the biblical role of Deacon is not the role of spiritual teacher in the church.  There is no qualification listed that requires a deacon to be gifted in teaching the Word of God.

The office of Deacon is that of a servant. The tasks of the deacons is anything NOT related to the teaching and shepherding of the church. Deacons are charged with the physical & temporal concerns of the church, and the duties will vary from one congregation to another depending upon the needs.  Some possible examples of duties that may be attended to by a Deacon:

  • Facilities
  • Benevolence – visit the sick, dispense aid
  • Finances
  • Ushers
  • Logistics
  • Any other task that serves the church and frees the hands of the elders to focus on preaching, teaching, preparing, and praying.

CONCLUSION:

The Scriptural qualifications in this text conclude with a promised benefit:

“They that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

The meaning of good degree is “a stair or step up.” Most people would consider the position of servant to be a step down, but the priorities of God’s kingdom is different!  Jesus taught His disciples that those who are great in God’s estimation are those who serve.  He taught them that the way up is to go down, and that the last shall be first.  The office of deacon demonstrates the priorities of God’s kingdom!

A man will increase in faith by having served as a deacon. As God performs His work through the deacon, his confidence will increase in God’s ability to work through him.

Lest we think that God only requires these character qualities of Deacons, remember, God does not have a double standard he requires all disciples to live blameless lives.

Becoming A Man After God’s Heart


A Man After God's Heart.001Today is Father’s Day – we salute fatherhood.

Some of you have happy memories of your relationship with your Father, others like me have other kind of memories.  One thing that is consistent for all of those who know Christ, through Him we have a perfect father! One who loves us, redeemed us, calls us His own special children.

In honor of Father’s Day and in honor of father’s everywhere, today I want to encourage and challenge the men!

Ladies before you tune out, there is something here for you too! The qualities that God wants men to display in their lives are the same qualities that God wants for you too.  As you consider God’s word to the men today, I pray that you will be encouraged to pray for the men in your life that they will be what God has called them to be!

Our goal at Kitwe Church is to see a generation of men step up and be the spiritual leaders in their homes, a generation that will teach their sons how to love their wives one day, a generation of men who will demonstrate to their daughters how a man should respect and treat women. We are the men that must step up in our communities and in our world to make an eternal difference.  This will be accomplished by men who understand the Word of God and recklessly abandon themselves to obey it!

And that is why Kitwe Church exists to: Teach Adults and Children to know and obey God’s word.

Are you a man after God’s own heart?  Perhaps to help answer that question we could ask this question:  What do you value?

The things we value shapes our vision and our vision determines what we will give our life for. We all want our life to count, none of us want to waste our life!

There are two men in the Old Testament whose lives give us insight into what it means to be a man after God’s own heart.  These men: Saul and David.

In 1 Samuel 13:14 God is speaking to King Saul through the prophet Samuel and said,

“But now your kingdom will not continue. The LORD has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be commander over his people because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.”

Saul:  An illustration of what that man does NOT look like.

In our text the people demanded a king like the nations around them. (I Sa. 8:5) They did this after the prophet Samuel’s children became materialistic and corrupt (I Sa. 8:3).

At Saul’s coronation a warning was given: Don’t rebel against the commandments of the Lord. Obedience was demanded (12:13-15). This obedience would be reflected in their service to God. “Serve the Lord with all your heart.” (12:20)  And then God concluded with this thundering warning: “Don’t go after empty things that cannot profit or deliver!” (12:21)

What things do people value in themselves and in others? (1 Sa. 10:22-24).  So often it is the external things that we value so highly.

Saul had the external qualities that drew people to him.

  • Saul was physically attractive: He was handsome and a head taller than everyone else.  Saul looked like a king! (1 Sa. 10:23)
  • Charming personality: He appeared to be modest and self-demeaning, when they were looking for him to crown him king he was found hiding among the equipment (1 Sa. 10:22).

But what did Saul value?  To answer this question let’s reverse it:  What did Saul NOT value?

He did not value obedience to God.

  • He valued personal success – Saul was willing to cut corners with God’s commands for personal advancement – offering the sacrifice instead of waiting for Samuel as commanded. (1 Sa. 13:11-13). All of this was done with spiritual reasoning.
  • He valued personal gain – Saul was willing to disobey God’s orders with the Amalekites because of personal gain. (1 Sa. 15:8-9)

He did not value honesty before God

Saul was not willing to accept personal responsibility for his wrong doings. He pointed to the actions of the people as excuses for his disobedience on both occasions. (1 Sa. 13:11, 15:15,21)

He did not value service to God

Saul was willing to pursue and seek the death of an innocent man (I Sa 19:2). God had said that David was the chosen replacement for Saul on the throne of Israel. Jonathan the heir to the throne, accepted God’s decision and willingly chose to serve God and David (20:13-14).

He did not value God’s wisdom (28:3-19)

Ended his life visiting the witchdoctor. What we value will lead us eventually to make decisions we never dreamed that we would consider!

The people were attracted to Saul because of his external attributes!  But Saul had heart issues that God clearly saw and the people eventually came to see.

  • Saul was unfaithful
  • Saul was self-centered
  • Saul was concerned with self-preservation
  • Saul was jealous

When we come to 1 Samuel 13:14 we come to a CRITICAL TRANSITION POINT IN THE NARRATIVE!

We are told that God is going to replace Saul as king and the man coming on the scene will be a man after God’s own heart.

The following story is the unfolding and revealing of who that man is and what a man after God’s own heart looks like.

This is not a list of qualities, it is a life being lived out in real-time!  The man is David.

David – an illustration of what that man DOES look like.

When God sets out to do a work and bring himself Glory, God reveals that He does not choose like man chooses.  God does not value what man values.  Man looks on the outward appearance of things, but God looks on the heart! (I Sa. 16:7)

What does God look for in a man after His heart?

  1. A man after God’s own heart is faithful in the little things, the unexciting menial tasks assigned to him.  He carries them out faithfully and completely.  Hours, days, months as the last born tending sheep, long hours and days with little to do. (1 Sa. 16:11)
  2. A man after God’s own heart is necessarily someone who would be chosen because of particular position or physical attributes.  David was a red-faced youth who wore simple clothes and smelled like sheep and smoke. (1 Sa. 16:12)
  3. A man after God’s own heart lives in humble submission to the authority of God and the authority of those God has placed in his life:  Obediently watching the sheep.  Obediently carrying the lunch to the brothers serving in the army. (1 Sa. 16:19, 17:15)
  4. A man after God’s own heart has a heart for God cultivated by meditation on the Word – Shepherd boy (Ps. 23).
  5. A man after God’s own heart handles discouragements and perseveres.
    • Accused of pride, insolence and self-serving motives by those closest to him.  This came from his own brothers (I Sa. 17:28)
    • Told that he can’t do the job because of his youth (I Sa 17:33)
    • Others tried to force him into their armor, he saw it as a hindrance to doing what God was calling him to do. (I Sa 17:38-39). NOTE: This was not astonishing bravery – it was the outworking of what David really believed.
    • When threatened by the enemy, he did not stop, but picked up his pace to pursue what he was convinced was for the glory of God. (I Sa 17:43-44)
  6. A man after God’s own heart has a heart that beats with a passion for God and His glory. Is there not a cause? Facing Goliath (1 Sa. 17:29)
  7. A man after God’s own heart has an unwavering confidence in God’s power and ability:  Lion, bear, Goliath (1 Sa 17:33-36)
  8. A man after God’s own heart is not without times of fear and doubt, yet he returns again and again to his faith in God’s nature, character etc.:  Acting like a madman in front of King of Amalekites. (1 Sa. 21:12-13)
  9. A man after God’s own heart is not perfect but he faces his failures with honesty and true heart repentance:  Numbering the people, Bathsheba (Ps. 51).

What we are passionate about controls our perspective and orients our priorities.  David’s passion was God!  

What we are passionate about will control how we spend our time, talents and treasure.  So we are back to our opening question: “What do you value?”

Let’s answer four questions that help us evaluate where we are:

  1. How does a man after God’s own heart respond to his authority?
  2. How does a man after God’s own heart respond to crisis?
  3. How does a man after God’s own heart respond to criticism and accusations?

How does a man after God’s own heart respond to failure?

A man after God’s own heart is someone who will do ALL the will of God:

Acts 13:22 22 But God removed Saul and replaced him with David, a man about whom God said, ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart. He will do everything I want him to do.’

A man after God’s own heart is one who has a heart inclination to obey the LORD!

Ps. 89:20 I have found My servant David;With My holy oil I have anointed him,

David fulfilled his purpose by skillfully shepherd God’s people because:  He had integrity of heart, and skill of hands!

Ps 78:70 He also chose David His servant, And took him from the sheepfolds; 71 From following the ewes that had young He brought him To shepherd Jacob His people, And Israel His inheritance. 72 So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, And guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.

MEN, THIS IS WHAT EVERYONE OF US OUGHT TO DESIRE!  So how do we get there?  Run to Christ – He is the perfect man, the perfect husband, the perfect father.  He will fill us with Himself and make us like Himself!

This is why he came!  This is why he died! This is why he calls men to come!

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