The Office of Deacon

In closing, let me briefly mention something about deacons. The office of deacon is the only other office in the local church, and it is not among the five-fold ministry gifts. Deacons have no governing authority in the church as do elders. The Greek word translated deacon is diakonos, which literally means “servant.”

The seven men appointed for the task of daily feeding the widows in the Jerusalem church are usually considered to be the first deacons (see Acts 6:1-6). They were chosen by the congregation and commissioned by the apostles. At least two of them, Philip and Stephen, were later promoted by God to be powerful evangelists.

Deacons are also spoken of in 1 Timothy 3:8-13 and Philippians 1:1. Apparently this office can be filled by a man or woman (see 1 Tim. 3:11).