Church Leadership

Does The Bible Allow Women Deacons?

Women Deacons

Can women serve as deacons? Does the Bible have anything to say about women deacons? As a matter of fact, the New Testament does mention a woman who was a deacon:

I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church in Cenchreae. (Rom. 16:1 NIV)

At first glance, one might conclude from this verse that the Bible authorizes women deacons. However, we’d be irresponsible Bible students if we were to jump to that conclusion just from reading this verse.

Most English translations do not use the word deacon in Romans 16:1. Instead, they use servant which is what the word deacon actually means. If English Bibles were consistent in translation, we’d never see the word deacon in the Bible; we’d only see servant. So, was Phoebe a servant in the same sense that all Christians are servants of God? Or, was Phoebe specifically appointed to be a designated servant in the church (like in Acts 6)?

Continue reading →
Posted by Eddie Lawrence in 1 Timothy, Church Leadership, Women

Who May Serve As A Deacon?

Serve As A Deacon

Deacons are servants in the church. While the primary focus of deacons is not spiritual, deacons must be spiritually minded. Just because someone is dedicated to the church and is a dependable, hard working person, this alone does not qualify a person to serve as a deacon. The Bible does not allow just anyone to be a pastor. Likewise, it does not allow just anyone to be a deacon.

1 Timothy 3:8 begins listing the requirements of deacons. The word “likewise” in v. 8 connects the biblical requirements of deacons with the previous list of requirements for overseers. Several of the same concepts and character traits the Bible requires of overseers are equally applicable to deacons. Just as overseers must be dignified and worthy of respect, so it is to be for deacons. In addition, God expects them to have self control in the areas of speech, alcohol, and money.

Continue reading →
Posted by Eddie Lawrence in 1 Timothy, Church Leadership

What Are Deacons And What Do They Do?

Deacons

Deacons are servants. The word deacon is a transliteration of the New Testament Greek word diakonos. A transliterated word isn’t the same as a translated word. Translators “borrow” transliterated words from the source language and spell them with roughly equivalent letters in the target language. When the word diakonos appears in the New Testament it is usually, but not always, translated as servant.

Continue reading →
Posted by Eddie Lawrence in 1 Timothy, Church Leadership

Is Your Pastor Biblically Qualified?

Biblically Qualified

Why did Paul need to tell Timothy that the work of being an overseer (pastor) is a “noble task” (1 Tim 3:1 ESV)? Similarly, why did he need to state that overseers must be above reproach (1 Tim 3:2)? It would seem that pastors in Ephesus were not above reproach and had ruined the reputation of the role of overseer. Church pastors in Ephesus had so tarnished the role that Paul needed to affirm that the job is indeed honorable. Just as dirty politicians ruin the reputation of true statesmen, pastors who are not biblically qualified ruin the reputation of the role of overseer.

Continue reading →
Posted by Eddie Lawrence in 1 Timothy, Church Leadership

May An Unmarried Man Be A Pastor?

Unmarried Man

The church in the United States is facing an epidemic of biblically unqualified leaders. Every week there is a new report of a pastor or church leader involved in some sort of  scandal. There are two reasons for this. First, churches are ignoring the scriptural qualifications for pastors in 1st Timothy 3 and Titus 1. The second reason is that pastors and other church leaders are not being held accountable. I’ll address accountability when we reach 1 Timothy 5 in this blog series. For now let’s focus on the biblical qualifications for pastors. First up is the question, “May an unmarried man be a pastor?”

Paul said, “The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach” (1 Tim. 3:1–2 ESV). In vv. 2-7 Paul gives us a list of qualities that a person must possess in order to be an overseer (pastor). At the top of the list is “husband of one wife.”

Continue reading →
Posted by Eddie Lawrence in 1 Timothy, Church Leadership