Qualifications for Deacon Nominations
The biblical qualifications for the deacon are found in 1st Timothy 3:8-13 and in Acts 6:3. These qualifications are set against the qualifications of the pastor which are listed in 1st Timothy 3:1-7. The similarities between the qualifications of pastors and deacons underscore the tremendous responsibility deacons have for service. Deacons, as with other leaders of the church, are held to a strict accountability by God and should also be by the local church.
The following qualifications for the position of deacon at First Baptist Church, Atlanta, Texas, are elected by the membership of First Baptist Church. Men who are nominated must be a member of First Baptist Church for at least one year and be 21 years old or older. These men who agree to put their name in for nomination will need to know that they will be held accountable for these qualifications and that they further agree verbally that with God’s help, they will live up to the following qualifications. By verbally agreeing to these qualifications, it will also mean that his wife accepts her role as a deacon’s wife and fits the qualifications listed in 1st Timothy 3:11 for a deacon’s wife. The seven men who are nominated will be required to attend an orientation on the deacon ministry that explains in full the biblical requirements. At some point, two deacons or staff members will interview both the husband who has been elected, and his wife.
If upon seeing the qualifications listed for a deacon in the church, and the man nominated does not feel he fulfills these qualifications, he may remove his name without any questions being asked.
Deacons serve a 3-year term at FBC, after which they must rotate off for one year before serving again. Additional terms of service require the same process of nomination, evaluation, and interview as explained above.
The following are the qualifications that will be required of the deacons of FBC as found in 1st Timothy 3:8-13 and Acts 6:3.
- A deacon must have a good reputation. The phrase “of good reputation” is synonymous with the word “reverent.” To be “reverent” is to be “honorable” and “devout.” A deacon’s reputation should be seen in his home and in his work outside the church.
- A deacon must be a man of his word. A deacon is a man who can be trusted. He must not say one thing and do another. This qualification is one of trust.
- A deacon must try to live above reproach. Realizing our sinful nature is present in all we do, we believe a Deacon must strive to live a life that does not call into question his integrity and growing relationship with God. There are many things of this world that have the appearance of evil, if we as men of God participate in, could cause a Brother to become confused and stumble.
- A deacon must be a generous giver to his church. This is to say that a deacon should tithe. The Bible says that, “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” If you do not give to the service of the church, your heart will not be there to serve.
- A deacon must have a good grip on God’s word. This means that a deacon should be a student of God’s word. When a deacon knows God’s word then he will do God’s word.
- A deacon must be proven. A man is not ordained as a deacon in order to acquire these qualifications. He is ordained because he already has them. A man who is nominated as a deacon should have already been shown to be faithful in his service, church attendance, tithing, witnessing, prayer, and Bible study.
- A deacon should be blameless. Again this does not mean sinless but means that there is nothing someone can accuse him of, and that he lives with a clean conscience.
- A deacon must be a one woman man. Our church recognizes divorce as an unfortunate result of sin in the world, but also understands the ability of God's grace to transform and renew those who have experienced it. The phrase, "a one woman man," means he is not involved in sexual impurity and, if married, is committed to his present wife.
- A deacon must be a good father. This does not mean that a deacon’s children are to be blameless or perfect, but they have been taught and nurtured in the scriptures, guided safely, and disciplined appropriately.
- A deacon must be the spiritual leader of his home. It is in the home that a deacon develops his spiritual leadership by setting the proper example, showing love to his wife and children, resolving conflict, and serving humbly, as well teaching the scripture.
The qualifications of a deacon’s wife are found in 1st Timothy 3:11. They are:
- A deacon’s wife should be reverent. This means that the wife will support her husband as he serves as a deacon and her life demonstrates self-respect in her conduct.
- A deacon’s wife should be responsible. A deacon’s wife will not be a slanderer of others or misuse her tongue in any way.
- A deacon’s wife should be reasonable. A deacon’s wife will exercise self-control in every area of her life, and take seriously her role as the wife of a deacon.
- A deacon’s wife should be reliable. This means that a deacon’s wife will be faithful in all things.
Because the deacons of FBC serve alongside the pastor, they must be held to a high standard and accountability. His personal character, family life and devotion to Christ must come under serious scrutiny of God's word. A deacon must be worthy of his calling.