Lessons for leaders (part 2)

In my previous blog I dealt with Elders in 1 Timothy 3:1-7.  Elders are suitably qualified men who serve the people of God primarily by teaching the word of God.  Now we look at deacons (v8-12).


In v8 we come to a new category of people, called deacons.  Greek word is diakonos, which simply means servant.  In the Christian life servanthood and spiritual service are very important.  We should all be serving in some way, we should all be servants.  The church does not only need pastors, overseers and elders, it also needs administrators, organizers and workers to implement what’s being taught from the Word of God.  These people are known as deacons in the official sense.    It’s not that they can’t teach, but that is not their primary function. 

v8 – 12 tells us the requirements for deacons are very similar to elders:

Worthy of respect,


Must not be double tongued,

Not indulging in much wine,

Not pursuing dishonest gain,

Not a greedy person,

Morally pure,

And according to verse 10, have a good record of serving in ministry.

“Their wives” vs. “the women (deaconesses)”

Verse 11 says, “In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.” 

The best way to translate this verse is, “In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect”.  Let me tell you why.  The word there for wives is the word for women “women” and there is no possessive pronoun.   It simply says, “In the same way, women…”  The simple point is that although eldership is reserved for men, suitably qualified men and women can serve as deacons.

Women servants are to be worthy of respect (just like the men), not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything (just like the men).  And according to verse 12  the deacon’s home life must also be in order, just like elders.

These then are the qualification for deacons, which are almost the same as for elders.  We should all seek to maintain this standard as the church of God.  Of course none of us is perfect and we all need to work on different areas in our lives. 

Are you serving in ministry?

We were born for something bigger than ourselves.  We were born to bring glory to God!   We were born to serve the Lord Jesus Christ and his church.  We were created to find our joy in Jesus!  God has put you in your church for a reason.   Are you serving or are you an integral and essential part of the pew-warming, not-involved, non-committing mediocrity?