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character qualities of a deacon

The following character qualities found in 1 Timothy 3:8-13 are things that all believers should aspire towards, however with deacons there is a higher level of accountability. 

8Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. 9They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. 11Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. 12Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. 13For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.

Here we see that deacons “likewise” need to meet the same qualifications as elders with only one exception: being gifted teachers. At Gospel Community Church, deacons are responsible for assisting the elders in helping them implement the
overall mission of the church. It is important to note that some teach the Office of Deacon is reserved solely for men, however at Gospel Community Church we believe this office is open to both men and women. The Apostle Paul who penned this letter
to Timothy under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit also wrote to the church in Rome commending Pheobe who was a deaconess at the church in Cenchreae (Romans 16:1).

The following is a more detailed description of the character qualities found in the Scripture mentioned above:

Qualifications for Both Male and Female Deacons:

1) Dignified: Worthy of respect, without any blatant character defect, holy. Not double-tongued: You are honest, you do as you say, people can trust that your “Yes” means “Yes.”

2) Not addicted to much wine: You are free of all mind-altering addictions; you are self-controlled and can maturely enjoy alcohol and/or can abstain without judging.

3) Not greedy: You are not a lover of money, financially you are stable, content and all of your monetary transactions are handled with integrity.

4) Hold to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience: You have sound biblical theology. You would take a bullet in the defense of the core orthodox teachings of the church.

5) Tested: It is evident by your life that you have been functioning like a deacon over a period of time (minus the title).

Additional Qualifications for Female Deacons:
1) Not Slanderers: You do not engage in any form of gossip. You do not speak falsely or maliciously of any individual thus damaging their reputation.
2) Sober-minded: You are temperate, not prone to emotionalism. You are considered by others to be thoughtful, levelheaded and rational.

3) Faithful in all things: You are considered by others to be very trustworthy in all areas of life. You are devoted and consistent in all life roles in which you engage (i.e., wife, mother, daughter, sister, employee, etc...).

Additional Qualifications for Male Deacons:

1) Husband of one wife: You are a one woman man, sexually pure and abstain from any form of pornography.

2) Manages his children and household well: You are a godly husband and father who leads, manages and provides for his family. 

Rewards for Those Who Serve Well as Deacons:

1) Gain a good standing: Deacons who serve well in this office, will naturally be honored and respected by God’s people in the church.

2) Great confidence in the faith: Deacons who serve well in this office, will naturally grow in their confidence in the power of the Gospel and in the security of their relationship with God.

Expectations of all Church Deacons


  1. All Deacons must be Covenant Members of the church.

  2. Deacons are required to attend all Deacon meetings.

  3. Deacons must regularly attend weekly Gatherings (Hebrews 10:24-25).

  4. Deacons are required to be intimately involved in a Community Group.

  5. Deacons are expected to serve the ministry in a high capacity by either:

    • Being the primary leader of a Community Group;

    • Leading, directing or coordinating a ministry;

    • Serving in at least 2 ministries through the church

    • Serving in a ministry that requires a considerable amount of time during the week (i.e. playing in a worship band).

  6. Deacons are called to give financially to the ministry of the church in a sacrificial way. What this looks like will be different for all deacons, and the specifics are between the deacon and God. While the specifics of what is given are left to the deacon’s discretion, confirmation of one’s regular giving will be verified by our accountant and/or deacons appointed to the task based on the principle found in Luke 16:10-13.

  7. All deacons are expected to place themselves under the authority of the elder and lead deacons of the church (Hebrews 13:17).

  8. All deacons should be familiar with and understand the purpose, mission, and beliefs of the church. (These are laid out in our Statement of Faith, Core Values, and Philosophy of Ministry documents)

  9. All deacons should plan on attending training events when they arise.

  10. All deacons are to attend all main ministry events. These events include things like barbecues, retreats, baptisms, and church-wide service projects.

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