1 Timothy 3:13
What an amazing verse: deacons who serve well obtain for themselves two things – a good standing and great boldness in the faith. The first of these is easily understood. A man with all of these qualifications who takes care of the benevolence needs of the church and ministers well to the sick, the widows, and the orphans is going to be greatly loved and respected. That is the simple truth! Don’t misunderstand. The verse isn’t promising that you are going to get a personalized parking space at the church, but it does mean that those in the church and outside the church will recognize that you are a man of integrity and have a heart of compassion.
Do you know why this is important? When you are respected for your work ministering to people in need, you gain their trust. They listen to what you have to say. It places you in a position where you can share your faith with boldness and confidence. Not only is the deacon emboldened to share his faith, but also his message has credibility with those who know him. It’s like James stated: ministry is taking care of needs – not just telling people that everything is going to be fine (my paraphrase).
So having said all of this, some of you might still be of the opinion that the work of the deacons is the business of the church. And I would say to you that you are exactly right as long as you realize that the business of the church is ministry. The early church’s deacons understood that. Stephen and Philip were two of these men who because of their faith in God were able to take care of the widows and orphans and were great proclaimers of the gospel who impacted their world and ours. Go back to Acts 6 and read a few chapters. You will be amazed at what God did because these men were men of integrity and filled with the Holy Spirit.