The New Testament Deacon: The Church’s Minister of Mercy

Great read this week in Strauch’s The New Testament Deacon: The Church’s Minister of Mercy.

Book Overview

Our heartfelt burden is to help deacons get out of the boardroom and building-maintenance mentality and into the people-serving mentality. Deacons, as the New testament teaches and as some of the sixteenth-century reformers discovered, are to be involved in a compassionate ministry of caring for the poor and needy. The deacons’ ministry, therefore, is one that no Christ-centered, New Testament church can afford to neglect. It’s through the deacons’ ministry that we make Christ’s love a reality for many people. A ground-breaking study of all the biblical texts on the subject,¬†The New Testament Deacon: Minister of Mercy¬†will help you build a strong ministry in your church. This book and its companion work¬†The New Testament Deacon Study Guide, are widely used materials for training and equipping deacons.

Favorite Quotes

  1. In many churches, deacons act more like corporation executives than ministering servants (9).
  2. …why the office of deacon was created. ¬†It resulted from a two-fold need: to relieve the shepherds so that they can give priority time and attention to the Word and prayer, and to provide official, responsible care for the physical welfare of needy believers (16).
  3. If any organization is to maintain integrity and effectiveness, good management of funds and resources is essential.  Some Christians seem to equate disorganization with spirituality, but just the opposite is true.  Disorganization and mismanagement always significantly multiples problems and frustrate people (32).
  4. We must be cautious not to impose our ideas of deacons and church structure on the New Testament, for it gives us a great deal of latitude in these areas (50).
  5. Churches don’t need more men to serve on executive boards; churches need loving, hard-working, qualified, skillful overseer-elders (67).
  6. Every local church needs a servant body that will relieve the pastoral body and provide official, responsible care for suffering, needy members (76).
  7. I am convinced that God has given the local church the qualifications listed in 1 Timothy 3:1-12 to protect His people from unworthy and unscrupulous men, of whom there seems to be no shortage (Titus 1:10) (87).
  8. Whenever someone is placed in a position of trust or assumes leadership responsibility in the church, the issue of proven moral character should be paramount (93).
  9. Of course, divine, biblical principles should not be changed in order to be culturally acceptable.  To do that is to betray both our God and our culture (106).
  10. A crucial step in Satan’s strategy to destroy God’s people is to destroy the marriages and families of those who lead the church (136).
  11. Through the deacons, the local church’s charitable activities are effectively organized and centralized. ¬†The deacons are collectors of funds, distributors of relief, and agents of mercy (156).
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