Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Deacons: Sincere

Thabiti Anyabwile @ deals with the often neglected character quality necessary in Deacons of being sincere. He says:
"Not only should deacons be men and women full of the Holy Spirit (Acts 6), it follows that they should also be "sincere" (1 Tim. 3:8). The deacon must not be "double tongued" or "two-faced" or "indulging in double talk." A person may be double-tongued in two ways. They may say one thing to one person and another thing to someone else. Or, they may say one thing and do another. In either case, their tongues are forked and they are not reliable persons for serving as deacons. The deacon's "yes" must be yes, and "no" no (2 Cor. 1:17-18). Bunyan's "Mr. Two Tongues" is not a suitable candidate for this important office".Why sincere?
  • Sincerity reflects the character of Christ. (1 Thes. 2:5) (Ps. 12:2-3; Pr. 26:28). (Rom. 16:18; Jude 16).
Some things to look for and questions to ask:

1. Does the potential deacon have a reputation for keeping his or her word? Do they follow through on their commitments? The deacon should have a track record for completing assignments and tasks in keeping with their words.

2. Does the potential deacon speak consistently to different parties? Is there confidence that what the person says in one setting is what they will say in others? Here, it's helpful to find people who are not overtaken with fear of man. Deacons will be sent into trouble situations, so they can't be vulnerable to the faces of men or the pressure that's sometimes felt in tense situations.

3. Does the deacon speak the truth in love? It's one thing to say the same thing consistently. But that won't be helpful if what's consistently said is harmful to others or said in an unhelpful way. The deacon should clothe all his or her speech in the greatest of all virtues: love.

4. Churches should look for men and women who are known to be fair brokers. Are there men and women who already demonstrate an ability to "stand in the gap" between conflicted parties and serve the needs of both parties? Are there people generally trusted by the congregation as people who are impartial and who speak for justice?

His Summary:
"Our deacons are often the front-line of caring for the body. Given that, we need persons whose words can be trusted and who follow through on their commitments".

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