The Offices of Pastor and Deacon

Dr. Steve Viars March 7, 1992

- we're talking about the local church and last week we began
  studying church leadership

- one of the things we stressed was that "leadership" and
  "government" are not synonymous terms
- in many areas, the terms are synonymous and as a result
  some folks have built strong opinions on the subject that
  are then carried into the church
- I'm concerned with those who automatically view the "word
  leadership" or the "concept of leadership" in a negative

- we're saying that we must clear or minds of any "non-
   biblical baggage" and come to this study with an open
   mind, sincerely desiring what God's Word has to say

- in order to understand church leadership, we must
  understand two offices-- pastor and deacon
- last week we began studying the office of pastor
    - my goal today is to finish up on the pastor and also
      cover the material on deacons

- INPUT - We said last week that there were four "sources" in
    the Scripture for information on the pastoral office.
    What are they?

    - the terms used to describe the man and his office
    - the qualifications given for the pastoral office
    - verses that tell us the pastor's responsibility to the
    - verses that tell us the church's responsibility to the

- we studied the first one last week, let's look at the other

II. Qualifications

    - we studied the qualifications a few months ago when we
      studied the pastoral epistles so I'm going to say
      anything else about them here.
    - my purpose in putting them in the notes is so that if
      you pull these out of the file, you'll tell yourself to
      go back and also study the pastoral epistles notes.

III. A Pastor's Responsibility To The Church

    - we've hinted at some of these things as they've come up
      in the passages.  Let's study some of them in more

    A. Take heed - Acts 20:28

       INPUT - who is the pastor to heed?

        1) himself
        2) those in the flock

            - INPUT - if there was something in your life
               that was not pleasing to God and it somehow
               came to my attention (or one of the other
               pastors), what would you want us to do?
               (perhaps better worded - what would God want
                us to do?)

    B. Feed - Acts 20:28

        - dev. - how Bible college/seminary education works
               - develop impact on "home Bible studies"

        - hit issue of - no excuse for not being prepared

    C. Warn - Acts 20:31

        - INPUT - in this context - what does the warning
                   especially have to do with?

    D. Pray - Acts 6:4

    E. Provide leadership

        cf. uses of "rule"

        Titus 1:5 - "set in order"

IV. A Church's Responsibility To The Pastor

    A. Obey - Heb. 13:7, 17, 24

        INPUT - how can we develop this characteristic in the
                lives of our children?

    B. Honor - I Tim. 5:17

        cf. Doc Smith - coat

    C. Meet needs - I Tim. 5:18, I Cor. 9:4-14

    D. Don't accept accusations without witnesses - I Tim.



Intro - the Nt recognizes two offices for local churches.  We
been talking about one (the pastor/ teacher/ elder/ bishop/

- now we're going to study deacons

- let's take a minute and look at a couple of passages that
   show that there in fact, two and only two offices

- Phil. 1:1, I Tim. 3:1-13

- we mentioned four sources of biblical information for the
   pastor, we'll look at three sources for deacons

   1) the actual meaning of the term
   2) the biblical duties of deacons
   3) the rewards of his faithful service

I. The Meaning of the Word Deacon

    INPUT - when folks in the world think of a deacon--what
      kinds of concepts would they think of?

    - often times in our deacons retreats, we go through a
       study which lists every biblical use of the word
       "diakonos" and it's derivitives
    - in that study, we look for three things in the passage:
         - does this refer to the function of a deacon or the
              office of a deacon?
         - does this refer to a physical or a spiritual
         - does this indicate that the deacon is involved in
              a service or a decision-making capacity?

    - when you study the passages that way, you find that the
      best definition of the biblical word "deacon" is

      cf. Matt. 20:26, John 2:5, Matt. 22:13

    - now you might say--but those passages didn't speak
      specifically about the office of deacon

    - that’s exactly the point
       - when God wanted a word that described a deacon--he
         chose the word "servant" - WHY? - because that’s what
         deacons (and their families do)

       - cf - why do we call a mechanic a mechanic?

II. The Biblical Duties of Deacons

    - read Acts 6:1-7

    A. Help meet physical needs of those in the congregation
         - Acts 6:3-"whom we may appoint over this business"

    B. Free up the pastor - Acts 6:4 - "but we will give
         ourselves continually to prayer and ministry of the

    C. Be examples - Acts 6:3 - "men of honest report, full
         of the Holy Spirit and wisdom"


    D. Provide counsel to the pastor

        - I mentioned earlier that as we study the various
          usages of the word "deacon," you'll never find an
          example of deacons involved in decision making as
          part of their office

        - a natural question that flows out of that is:
           - "Isn't it true that our deacons are involved in
              decision making?" (cf. the deacons and pastors
              are recommending..."

           - it is true, but not because that is part of the
             office of deacon

           - it has more to do with our form of church
           - it would be impossible (or at least
             inappropriate) to begin the decision-making
             process for every decision at the floor of the
                1) the time involved (cf. the length of the
                   average deacons meeting)

                2) it's good to "bounce" ideas off a smaller
                   group to look for flaws

    - what's the most natural group to fill that role?

           - as a congregation, we choose the 18 men who are
             most spiritually qualified to serve in that
               - they must be spiritual men
               - they must be leading their families well
               - they must be serving and ministering

           - they are the most natural group to provide
             counsel to the pastors before issues are brought
             to the floor of the church

           - it doesn't mean that everything that the
             pastors/deacons recommend is automatically
             right-but it does mean that 22 of the men that
             the church elected as godly men have thought the
             issue over and are making the recommendation
             after careful thought and study

    E. Not:

        1) not a representative of each "group"

        2) not a member of a "board" that supervises the

        3) not setting the agenda that the pastors follow


III. The Rewards For A Deacon's Faithful Service

    A. A good standing

    B. great boldness in the faith

        - dev. - when you think of our deacons, should think:

           1) these are good men (who, along with their
              wives) provide invaluable service to our church

           2) God has been good to us in the deacons He has
               given us

Dr. Steve Viars


Senior Pastor - Faith Church

Director - Faith Legacy Foundation


B.S.: Pre-Seminary & Bible, Baptist Bible College (Now Clarks Summit University)
M.Div.: Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min.: Biblical Counseling, Westminster Theological Seminary

Dr. Steve Viars has served at Faith Church in Lafayette, IN since 1987. Pastor Viars leads and equips Faith Church as Senior Pastor with a focus on preaching and teaching God’s Word and using his organizational skills in guiding the implementation of the Faith Church mission and vision. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith Church ministries. Dr. Viars serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation. Steve is the author, co-author, or contributor to six books and numerous booklets. He and his wife, Kris, were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and three grandchildren.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

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