Deacons as a Strategic Role

Pastors are responsible to administrate the affairs and care for the needs of a congregation. You find the leaders of the church at Jerusalem doing this by distributing financial and material resources to members in need (Acts 4:32-35). But when these pressing nonspiritual needs prevent pastors from giving proper attention to spiritual needs, deacons become necessary (Acts 6:2). Spiritual needsare those needs closely associated with prayer and biblical instruction (Acts 6:4).

When pressing nonspiritual needs prevent pastors from giving proper attention to spiritual needs, deacons become necessary.

Nonspiritual needs then are those of a physical, material, financial, or operational nature. For instance, the word businessduty, or task(chreia) in Acts 6:3 refers either to a pressing need which is lacking or to an activity that needs to be fulfilled. Caring for widows in the church arose as the first such need (Acts 6:1).

Similar needs today include visiting shut-ins and hospitals patients and handling and disbursing finances designated for church purposes. By extension, we can conclude that deacons should meet whatever needs – whether physical, material, financial, or operational – are causing unrest in a congregation or inhibiting the pastors from meeting spiritual needs adequately.

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