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Mary Fairchild

What is the Role of a Deacon?

By July 17, 2012

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Recently, a reader asked me to explain the role of a deacon in the church. Immediately I thought of an amusing little poem about the perfect church. My favorite lines read:
A church whose deacons always deak,
And none is proud, and all are meek;
If you'd like to read the entire poem, you can find it in this devotional: The Perfect Church.

But the poem doesn't actually explain what deacons do when they're "deaking," so I decided to elaborate on the subject. In short, a deacon is a servant who ministers in practical ways to the needs of church members, freeing pastors and elders to focus on the spiritual care of the body.

This article defines the role of a deacon and shows how the office developed in the New Testament as a response to rapid growth in the early church.

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