Baptists > Distinctives > Pastor & Deacons
       When working in harmony, they have the potential to turn their communities upside down for Christ.
      When not fulfilling their positions Scripturally, they can tear a church up and split it "fifty-two ways from Sunday."
   Those men who are called to be pastors do so only with a deep sense of God's moving in their lives.  To enter the ministry without the clear leading of the Holy Spirit would be tragic.  Only those who are definitely called of God should venture to go forth into the pastorate.
   The qualifications for a pastor are very well defined in the Scriptures.
   1st Timothy 3:2 makes it clear that a pastor (bishop/overseer) must be blameless.  Having a lifestyle that is without blame is by no means an easy task.  To do so, one must be totally reliant on the Spirit and Word of God.  Furthermore, he is to be a married man who is faithful to his wife.  Added to that are the characteristics of being watchful, clear minded, being well behaved, hospitable to all with whom he comes into contact, and one who is well studied so that he might be a good teacher of the Bible.
   Titus 1:7 goes on to say that a pastor must also be a good steward with all that God has blessed him.  Whether it be the ability to communicate through preaching or a tender soul that draws others to a stronger commitment to Jesus Christ, being a faithful servant is a necessity.  Furthermore, the man of God must not be selfwilled, quick to become angry, one who is given (unable to control) what he takes into his body, a man who resolves issues with violence, or is in it for the money (and being a Baptist pastor will definitely not assure one of becoming independently wealthy any too soon).
  The Baptists have been blessed with many a good man who truly loves God and God's people.  These men have gone on to build ministries that reached their generations for Jesus Christ.
   "...not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called (1st Cronicles 1:26)."  Therefore, the church that seeks only young handsome rising stars with natural charisma are doing God a great disservice.  Wonderful preachers of God come in all shapes and sizes and varying degrees of personality.  Yet, all who are called and yielded to him are more than useable and will be a blessing to any church who is wise enough to call them to minister to the flock.  Barring those who are truly "wolves in sheeps clothing," a truly committed pastor will uplift and build a ministry in a community with a strong evangelistic outreach, effective discipleship teaching programs, and opportunities for all to serve as God has given each one abilities and talents.
  "When a man is on fire for God, people will come from miles around to watch him burn."  ~ Dr. Jack Hyles
   "This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work." 
                                                                                                           ~ 1st Timohty 3:1 
   The Greek word "diakonos" is simply translated as "servant" in English.  In fact, the word "waiter" would be just as accurate.
   A group of godly men who love the Lord, are approved by the church, and determine to suppor their pastor as the leader of the church are a huge blessing to any congregation.  Every pastor blessed with such a group of deacons will find that his ministry is enhanced ten-fold if not a hundred-fold by having such men to assist in the work of the local church.
   Conversely, any man or group of men who holds the office while refusing to be a true "servant" can be an absolute curse and scourge upon the pastor, people, and ministry of any church so inclined to allow them to continue to hold the position.
   If there is any strength in the leadership of a church, it is because a group of truly spiritual men are in total support of the man God has called to pastor the congregation.  On the other hand, if there is any weakness the Baptists have endured, it is their tendency to allow deacon "boards" to run the church and, consequently, relegate the pastor to second fiddle.  Nothing kills the potential of a church for both spiritual and numerical group more than a handful of men who consider themselves to be the end-all of whatever happens in the life of a congregation.  Even sadder is a church membership that allows such men to conduct their business.  Deacons who do not see themselves as true servants should immediately resign their positions and seek God's forgiveness in having given into the sin of spiritual pride.
   A deacon who is truly yielded to God will find total fulfillment as a servant.  By simply making himself available to support, pray for, assist, and be loyal to the congregation and the man God has chosen to be the pastor, such a man is a blessing indeed.
   May God raise up a new generation of "diakonos" so that His work might go forward and reach many for Jesus Christ!
   "For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus."   ~ 1st Timothy 3:13 
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Slippage Questions: Two Offices of the Church

   "Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip."  ~ Hebrews 2:1

Do you understand what the Bible says in regard to the offices of the church?  The pastor?  The deacons?  Their qualifications?  Their responsibilities?
Is your church more inclined to follow the leading of the pastor or the deacons?
Does the pastor truly love the Lord and is tender toward the flock as a caring shepherd or does he manifest traits that are inconsistent with God's Word in regard to the office of the pastor?
Do the deacons truly love the Lord and are they tender toward the flock as caring servants or do they manifest traits that are inconsistent with God's Word in regard to the office of the deacon?
Do you support your pastor by encouraging, praying, and making sure that he is more than able to support his family?
Are you and your church caring enough about your pastor to make sure that he is well provided for, has time to be with his family, and is not hindered by tasks that can be better left to deacons so that he can devote himself to the spiritual ministry of the church?
When was the last time you prayed for your pastor and his family?
When was the last time you took your pastor out to lunch just to let him know how much you appreciate his ministry to you and those you love?
When was the last time you sent your pastor an e-mail or a note to let him know that he is appreciated?  His wife?  His children?  What have you personally done for them?
Are the deacons in the church you attend supportive of the pastor?  If not, then why?
Are the deacons in the church you attend committed to the Biblical teaching of servanthood?
If so, do you pray for and encourage them?
If not, what measures is your church taking to deal with deacons who are overlording God's flock and doing so unscripturally?
Can you find one verse in the entire Word of God that supports the concept of a deacon board that leads the church?
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