READ: 1 Timothy 3:8-13
- Many churches have a second group of select servants they call deacons. At Madison Park we call these people “ministry team leaders.” The word deacon is not a translation from the original, it’s a transliteration. The word διάκονος was simply given English letters and became deacon.
- The word διάκονος is most often translated as minister or servant and the verb form to minister or to serve. The simple idea is that there are people who lead out in acts of service. They help others serve with them. They are men of character and given responsibility in the congregation for areas of service that can’t be left undone.
- Different Bible versions translate verse 11 in a few ways: “their wives….” or “women must likewise….” or “In the same way, women….” The differences have led to some churches having a position or office of deaconess. In other words, women leading areas of ministry just like men do.
- The text is legitimately translated either way. It’s an interpretive emphasis that chooses to make this about the deacon’s wife or about a female deacon. We’ve chosen to allow women to lead in areas of ministry. That doesn’t mean that servant leaders’ wives don’t need to have exemplary character, they do. But we have chosen to go with an emphasis that it’s acceptable in the church to have women leading in areas of service.
- The only role a woman could not occupy at Madison Park is that of an elder. We are convinced the Bible commends the leadership role of a church as a male role even as the leadership role in a home is a male role. It doesn’t demean any other roles any more than being a wife is a demeaning role. What it does do is give women an opportunity to exercise their gifts in ministry in a capacity where they can more directly encourage others to do the same.
- Why do you think areas of service require such depth of character?
- What is your perspective on women in ministry roles? Why do you suppose God opened the door for ministry leadership to both genders?
- What ministries are you currently serving in? If you are not serving, how can you get involved in a ministry role?
PRAY: Thank God that He doesn’t restrict ministry from us, but that He chooses to use us. Pray that God will lead you into an area of service where you can serve others. Pray that God raises up many more servants in our community.