I have served as a deacon and I have served with deacons. As a pastor, I appreciated the office of deacon and the men who served in that role. Here are a few of the reasons I really like deacons:
6 reasons I like deacons
1. Deacons are fellow servants. As a pastor, I was a servant of the Lord and a servant of the church. According to Acts 6, my main role as a pastor was to serve the church through preaching/teaching and prayer. Likewise, deacons are servants of the Lord and servants of the church.
2. Deacons are fellow men. I know there are exceptions where women serve as deacons, but in all the churches where I served as pastor the deacons were all men. Men need to be around other men. We need the accountability and the example. Serving with men of God who were deacons helped to keep me on track in my spiritual walk and discipleship path. As scripture says, "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another" (Proverbs 27:17, ESV).
3. Deacons are human. Even though pastors hold an important office and are held to high standards according to 1 Timothy 3, they are not perfect. They make mistakes just like everyone else. Deacons are held to the same high standards and qualifications as pastors, but they are human also.
4. Deacons are leaders. Most churches are desperate for leadership — especially servant leadership. Deacons, along with pastors, are uniquely positioned to provide much — needed servant leadership modeled after Jesus' example in John 13.
5. Deacons are partners. Former pastor of FBC Orlando, Jim Henry, referred to his deacons as "partners in ministry." That is the perfect title for a deacon. No pastor or staff can carry out all the ministry needed in a local church. We need to partner together to serve God's church.
6. Deacons are friends. Some of my closest friends have been deacons with whom I have been privileged to serve. They were friends then and they remain friends today.
As we strive together in the work of the Lord in the local church, may God raise up men who will partner together, encourage one another, provide accountability, and be true friends for life. May this partnership strengthen our churches for His eternal glory.
Steve Rice is team leader of Church Consulting and Revitalization of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.