• by Torema Thompson.

Elders and Deacons

This is a short article to bring some clarity concerning the roles of elders and deacons in the church today. Do we still need them and what do they do?


WHO IS AN ELDER?

“Elder” / “Bishop” / “Overseer” are interchangeable terms used in scripture to describe an individual in a position of leadership within the church. In today’s church, the term “pastor” has come to carry the same meaning. Individuals in the leadership position of ‘pastor’ may in fact be apostles, prophets or evangelists, and so, how the individual teaches and equips the saints will enable you to recognise what their office actually is. When an individual is publicly ordained as a “pastor” it is a public recognition of the authority God has given them to lead / oversee their own ministry and teach His church.


The fact that Paul lays out qualifications for this leadership position (1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9) shows that even though an individual may be a fivefold minister by function, there is still a level of spiritual maturity and training necessary before an individual is publicly ordained as a leader. 


DON'T FORGET THE DEACONS

Now as we know, the Body of Christ doesn’t just have spiritual needs. We live in a physical world and therefore, the physical needs of the Body of Christ are just as real as the spiritual needs. Those individuals who manage and coordinate the practical needs of the Body, are called Deacons. To be a Deacon is a prestigious position as mentioned in scripture (1 Timothy 3:8-13).


Just as there is a process of qualification before the Lord places an individual into a position of spiritual leadership (i.e. the office of an "elder”), there is also a process of qualification for the Deacon (1 Timothy 3:10). The office of a Deacon is a public recognition of an individual’s authority to lead in practical ministry.


As laid out in the article "Priesthood Office vs. Calling", there are four fivefold callings (Membership, Missions, Movement and Marketplace). Within each of these ministry types, there will be practical and physical needs; therefore, Deacons could be appointed as a ministry expands and grows. Examples of the work Deacons could be appointed to fulfil include: distributing food and clothing needs, taking care of the finances of the ministry, managing ushering teams, volunteers, technical teams, or event planning etc.


So in short, Deacons:

  • May also be fivefold ministers (just a Philip was an Evangelist and Deacon – Acts 6, 8, 21:8).

  • Do not have to be able to teach/labour in the word and doctrine as elders / “pastors” do (1 Timothy 3:2, 5:17).

  • Free up “pastors” / ministry leaders to pray and minister the word (Acts 6:2).

  • Take care of the business of the church / ministry (Acts 6:3).

  • Receive the authority for their role from their ministry leaders (Acts 6:6).

Recent Posts

See All

The Joseph Calling

When it comes to the fivefold ministry, there are four teaching offices that God could place you in (apostle, prophet, evangelist or pastor). In addition, there are also four distinct types of calling

Are you an Aaron?

Through a dream, the Lord showed me that Aaron had to wait longer than Moses to fulfil his calling. He showed me that the first reason Aaron had to wait longer than Moses was firstly because he was th

You Can't Choose Your Family

Everybody knows that you can't choose your family. Your parents, your siblings, grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins and even your children are all chosen by God. We don't get to choose what race we

CONNECT WITH US ON SOCIAL MEDIA

  • RSS Feed
  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Twitter Icon
  • White Instagram Icon
  • White YouTube Icon

© Pura*T International, 2016-2020. All Rights Reserved. | 

Pura*T International is a working name of Pura*T Foundation, a registered trust. Charity No. 1152995 

Website by Pura Track | Privacy Policy 

 

[Some links on this site may be Amazon Affiliate links; thus, qualifying purchases allow a small commission to be earned at no extra cost to you.]