Lesson #1 The Deacon & His Worthiness

Hello TMC Family and Friends,

During the month of July 2023 we received deacon nominations from the congregation. After the Board of Elders prayerfully and carefully evaluated the nominations, we are happy to report that we have two strong deacon candidates and one yokefellow candidate (deacon in preparation) that we believe God has provided to serve The Mission Church of Lexington!

These three men are now being trained to serve in this important Biblical office. If once the deacon training is finished and the deacon candidates as well as the Board of Elders believe the Lord is still leading in this matter, these three men will be presented to the church during the “Information and Celebration Gathering” on December 3rd for church affirmation. The newly established Board of Deacons will begin their tenure in January 2024. Over the next 6 weeks I will be sharing with you through this blog the sessions that I am using to train and equip our deacons so they can be the deacons they want to be and so they can be the deacons that TMC needs them to be! I believe the information in these sessions have spiritual and practical benefit to every Christian and every covenant church member.


Scenario Conversation Starter:

Carlton has served as a deacon in his local church for eight years, a church where many of his friends and family members attend. Needless to say, he was excited when he was first nominated and ordained as a deacon, but in recent years some of the excitement has faded, and being a deacon has become somewhat of a chore. Lately, Carlton has experienced some business setbacks that have motivated him to look for answers that have been hard to come by. As a result of searching the Scriptures for direction and considering his position as deacon, he is coming to grips with some glaring shortcomings in his life, specifically in the areas of foul language, conduct at work, and his example at home. One day while having lunch with a business colleague who is also a deacon at the same church, Carlton shares his concerns and guilt feelings. The fellow deacon lightheartedly dismisses the matter by saying, “You know, Carlton, everyone has faults. You’re no worse than anyone else. We’re all working on something, man. If you’re asking for my advice, I’d tell you to chill out.”

If you had been Carlton, how would you have responded to your fellow deacon?

If you had been the fellow deacon confided in, how would you have responded to Carlton when he shared his concerns with you?


As a pastor, I can assure you that there is nothing much better than serving alongside of men called by God to serve in the Biblical servant leadership position of deacon. These men are to be qualified, willing to work together in harmony, enjoy each other’s company, and take their calling seriously. This is the partnership between pastors and deacons that we will strive to create and maintain at The Mission Church of Lexington.


In Ephesians chapter 4, Paul tells believers how to “walk worthy of the calling” God has placed on their life. These instructions are given to every believer in the church body; however, they apply especially to deacons.


Ephesians 4:1-2 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love.


Here we find 5 characteristics that clearly demonstrate how every deacon is to “walk worthy” of their calling:

          1- By knowing they have been called by God to serve

          2- By being faithful in their service

          3- By humbly viewing service as a privilege, not a right

          4- By exercising patience as they serve

          5- By exemplifying a forgiving spirit


While these 5 characteristics show all believers- including deacons- how to walk worthy of their calling, the Bible goes further by listing qualifications that apply specifically to deacons. As we will see, much focus is placed on the deacon’s character. The church, therefore, should select deacons only after carefully examining their character, conduct, and commitment to the Christ and to His Church.


As an apostle and a pastor, Paul was sent by God to plant churches from Judea all the way to Rome. So naturally, he had a profound love for the churches he began. When he wrote to Timothy, he did so as a loving pastor. Since Paul knew his time on this earth was drawing to a close, he was particularly concerned that the churches he had poured his heart and soul into would continue on, healthy and stable without him.


Paul first lists the criteria for the pastors in 1 Timothy chapter 3:1-7, then follows with a list of qualifications the church is to use for deacons.


1 Timothy 3:8-13 Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, holding the [a]mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. 10 But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless. 11 Likewise, their wives must be reverent, not [b]slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 13 For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.


Note that the qualifications Paul outlines for Deacons are purposely set against the backdrop of the qualifications for Pastors. In addition, the similarities between the qualifications of pastors and deacons underscore the awesome responsibility inherent in both Biblically mandated servant leadership positions.


Careful examination of the Biblical qualifications yields valuable insight about men being considered for ordination as well as deacons being reactivated for service.


1- A Deacon Must Have a Good Reputation

1 Timothy 3:8 Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money,

It has been said that it takes 20 years to build a reputation and only five minutes to destroy it. It has also been said we are all just one poor decision away from stupid. A man’s reputation is what other think of him, and a man’s character is what God knows about him. If we take care of our character our reputation will take care of itself!

Proverbs 3:3-4 Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, And so find favor and [a]high esteem in the sight of God and man.


The Bible uses the word “reverent” in the first qualification found in the list provided by Paul in 1 Timothy chapter 3. Recalling the initial process that called into existence the prototype of what later became called the office of deacon, the qualification of having a good reputation stood as the first apostolic requirement that the early church observed when me were called and choose to serve.

Acts 6:3 Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business;


The phrase “good reputation” is synonymous with the word “reverent”.  Acts 6:3 brings clarity to the concept of “reverent”. To be reverent is to be controlled by the Holy Spirit and to be compelled by wisdom. A deacon should possess both supernatural and natural servant leadership gifting and ability. A deacon should have Biblical sense and common sense. Wisdom is simply the right application of knowledge. We gain knowledge by looking around, but we gain wisdom by looking up.

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.


If deacons are men who are found to be full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, they will most likely continue to grow in faith and be faithful in service. Finally, it should be noted that a deacon’s reputation is not limited to the church family alone. His reputation must be stellar outside the church as well as inside the church.
2- A Deacon Must Be a Man of His Word

1 Timothy 3:8 Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money,

To be “double tongued” means to twist the truth, to relay a story one way to one person and another way to another person. Men who twist the truth disqualify themselves to serve as a deacon. Deacons must not be men of doubtful words. If they are, people will not believe them or trust them- therefore they will certainly not follow their leadership. A columnist once wrote: “The naked truth is always better than the best-dressed lie”.


Proverbs 12:22 Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, But those who deal truthfully are His delight.

James 5:12 But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No,” lest you fall into judgment.


3- A Deacon Must Be Without Offense

1 Timothy 3:8 Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money,

If we look back at the first qualification of a deacon (good reputation) and compare that to the activities associated with the use of alcohol in our society today, we must conclude that there is no way that the use of alcohol can enhance the reputation of a deacon. On the other hand, it can certainly do irreparable damage. Drinking inevitably brings offense and stumbling blocks both to the believer and to the unbeliever. A deacon must guard at all costs against becoming an unnecessary offense to others to guard the reputation of the Gospel and of the church he represents.

Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker, Strong drink is a brawler, And whoever is led astray by it is not wise.

Romans 14:21 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles [a]or is offended or is made weak.

1 Corinthians 10:23 All things are lawful [a]for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things [b]edify.

Ephesians 5:18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,


4- A Deacon Must Be a Generous Giver

1 Timothy 3:8 Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money,

The only antidote for greed (materialism) is generous giving. The best understanding of “greedy for money” is “an eagerness for dishonest gain”. It is not wrong to earn money, spend money, invest money, or save money. The danger is being so attached to money that a person is motivated to acquire it dishonestly and use it irresponsibility.

It has been said “you will never miss anything you willingly give away”. It has also been stated “we are never more like Jesus than when we give”. The Bible is clear that we cannot love God and money.

Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and [a]mammon.


Here’s the bottom line: Deacons ought to tithe. If deacons do not tithe, I believe they serve the church with an absent heart. The Bible gives us clear warnings about the consequences of being greedy for money, and no deacon serves faithfully who fosters greed in his heart.
Malachi 3:10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.


2 Corinthians 9:7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of [a]necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.

1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
5- A Deacon Must Have a Good Grip on God’s Word

1 Timothy 3:9 Holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience.

This phrase suggests having a clear understanding of basic Biblical teachings. Every deacon should have a clear understanding of orthodox doctrine such as salvation by grace through faith, the virgin birth of Christ, the resurrection, the doctrine of the church, and much more.

2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

If this is expected of all believers, how much more should it apply to deacons who are called to serve the church.

Psalm 119:11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.

If God’s Word works as a deterrent in my heart keeping me from sin, then I want as much of it as I can possibly have! It has been said “the Bible will keep you from sin or sin will keep you from the Bible”. At TMC we often say, “what you do with the Bible will determine what God does with you”.

Having a strong grip on God’s Word produces two indispensable effects in deacons: They will trust in God’s promises, and they will believe in God’s power. A deacon must not only know the Word of God, but he must also do the Word of God.

James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.


6- A Deacon Must Be Proven

1 Timothy 3:10 But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless.

A man is not ordained as a deacon to acquire these qualifications. He is ordained because he already has them. A prospective deacon should be put to the test before he is given the trust to be a deacon.

1 Timothy 5:22 Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure.

To be “tested” means that his walk is to be examined for evidence of faithfulness to the responsibilities that he will be assigned as a deacon. No man should be elected to the office of deacon if he has established a pattern of unfaithfulness in areas such as church attendance, tithing, sharing his faith, prayer, and Bible study, etc. Instead, he should be proven in all these areas and many more.

Matthew 25:21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’


7- A Deacon Must Be Blameless

1 Timothy 3:10 But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless.

The term “blameless” implies that the person has not been accurately accused. That is, there are no valid accusations being circulated that might indicate or point to problems with his character or conduct. The word “blameless” also implies a conscience that is clear of conflict between himself and others.

Acts 24:16 This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.

A blameless deacon has nothing in his life that Satan, the unsaved, or even the carnal Christian can use to criticize or attack him or the church. This does not mean that a blameless deacon is a perfect deacon; instead; it means that he is consistently seeking to live above reproach and to not bring embarrassment upon the cause of Christ.

Philippians 2:14-15 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,



8- A Deacon Must be a One-Woman Man

1 Timothy 3:12 Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

The “husband of one wife” is a man who is sexually pure and whose marriage commitment is to one woman only. The deacon is to be morally and sexually pure. A deacon is to be a man who has brought his sexual desires under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. A man who is not faithful to his wife should neither serve nor continue to serve as a deacon.

Matthew 19:9 And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for [a]sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”

Hebrews 13:4 Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

Matthew 5:28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

1 Corinthians 6:18-20 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

1 Thessalonians 4:3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality;


9- A Deacon Must Be a Good Father

1 Timothy 3:12 Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

I believe that men who are known for leading, training, and discipling their children well have an excellent background for which to serve as a deacon. The implication here is not that their children must be perfect or without struggle, but that they have been nurtured correctly, instructed Biblically, guided safely, and disciplined appropriately.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.

Proverbs 20:7 The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him.

Ephesians 6:4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.


10- A Deacon Must Be the Spiritual Leader at Home

1 Timothy 3:12 Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

Since the home is the basic, God-ordained unit of society, it is in the home that a deacon develops his spiritual leadership by setting a godly example, and by encouraging, understanding, loving, and serving his wife and children. It is within the context of leading his family that a deacon will develop important skills such as conflict resolution, unity and conscious building, unconditional love, healthy confrontation and forgiveness, and sacrificial service.

Here is a simple, yet profound maxim: If you can be a good Christian at home, you can be a good Christian anywhere. It has also been said a light that shines the furthest should shine the brightest at home. Therefore, struggles in the deacon’s house will be reflected in struggles at the Lord’s house. It is crucial, therefore, that churches ordain and install only men whose homes reflect the peace and unity the church must have to flourish.

Ephesians 5:23-27 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

As we have seen, being a deacon is an awesome responsibility. I believe this is the reason that Apostle Paul sets the qualifications for being a deacon in the larger context of being a pastor. In a real sense, deacons are partners with and assistance to a pastor- by faithfully serving alongside him and supporting him as he leads the church.

Because a deacon serves with the pastor, he must meet the Biblical qualifications required for honorable service. His personal character, family life, and devotion to Christ come under the serious scrutiny of God’s Word. This is only right because the church, after all, is the Body of Christ. Those who serve as deacons must walk worthy of their calling.


Discussion Questions:

1- Before beginning this training, how did you view the importance of the deacon ministry in the local church?

2- Have you ever been the recipient or a participant in a vibrant deacon ministry in another church? If so, what made that experience so effective?

3- How do you see a deacon’s ministry at home informing and impacting his ministry at church? Why does a deacon’s leadership at home and his relationship with his wife and kids matter?


If this blog post has grabbed your curiosity and you would like to know more please pursue any/all of the below options:

1-              Contact me at pastor@missionchurchlex.org

2-              Check out our church website Misisonchurchlex.org

3-              Visit us for Community Celebration and Worship every Sunday at 9am and 11am (Facebook livestreaming available at                   9am) and Mission Groups each Wednesday at 630pm. We are located at 3288 Beaver Creek Drive Lexington KY 40515.

4-              Follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/missionchurch.lex

5-              Continue to read this weekly blog- “Find your Why with Pastor D”

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