Many congregations have various ideas as to what the characteristics of effective deacon leadership looks like? What deacons do and how they function is as varied as the denominations within the United States.
The book of Acts has one of the best descriptions of strong deacon leadership (Acts 6:1-11)
1. Effective Deacon Leaders Help During Periods of Growth?
“In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.” ~ Acts 6:1
Every healthy congregation will need deacon leadership because problems evolve in any growing church. These problems happen
– because of rapid growth (v.1)
– because of cliques or different groups (v.1)
– because of little help (v.1)
– because of lack of organization (v.1)
– because of favoritism (v.1)
Key: Deacons are ministers, not administrators!
2. Effective Deacon Leaders Grow From a Church’s Need for Leadership
“So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables.” ` Acts 6:2
Recruiting a good leadership team of deacons
– involves the whole church (v.2)
– frees up pastors to preach and teach God’s Word (v.2)
– encourages others to become ministers (v. 2)
Key: A congregation without the “teaching” of God’s Word is a weak fellowship. Deacons are absolutely necessary.
3. An Effective Deacon Leader Shows Character
“Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them…” ~ Acts 6:3
A good deacon leader has three unique characteristics.
1. They have an honest reputation (v.3a)
2. They are full of the Holy Spirit (v.3b)
3. They are full of wisdom (v.3c)
4. And Effective Deacon Leader Provides Help for the Pastor
“We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.” ~ Acts 6:3b-4
Every group of Christian believers that has a spiritual leader needs to provide them with
– Time to pray (v.4a)
– Time to study the Word of God (v.4b)
True deacons understand this as their basic calling.