Deacons Encyclopedia

Main article: Office
Ministers or Deacons.

Those who occupy the office of a deacon are merely "ministers" or "servants". Overseers care for the spiritual needs of the assembly, but deacons care for the material needs. We get the appointment of deacons in Acts 6:1-6, where the assembly would "look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we [the apostles] may appoint over this business". Deacons would be chosen by the assembly, but could only be officially appointed by apostles. Without apostles or their delegates today, we cannot have officially appointed deacons, but we do have brethren the Lord has raised up to function in that capacity. These ones have the confidence of assembly, to take care of various practical needs. The functions of a deacon are distributing to the poor saints, counting and carrying funds, taking care of practical arrangements, etc. The qualities of honesty and wisdom are especially important when it comes to choosing deacons. Notice that natural aptitude or educational in finances are not required, but rather one who is spiritual; “full of the Holy Ghost”. Further requirements for deacons are given in 1 Tim. 3. There is much in common between the qualifications of a deacon and those of an overseer, but those of the latter are even higher, just as spiritual needs are more vital than material needs. Notice also the plurality of deacons. When the cares of the assembly are involved, it is never just one man deciding for the whole.