After detailing the qualifications for a pastor, Paul then writes Timothy regarding the qualifications of a deacon, one who serves under the leadership of the church. These people were responsible to do whatever was necessary to assist the leadership in making the church an effective place of ministry. Some of the qualifications given to the deacons are identical to the qualifications of a pastor, but we’ll explore each one. 1 Timothy 3:8-9 reveals that deacons are to be reverent
(take important matters seriously), not double-tongued
(hypocritical in speech), not given to much wine
, not greedy for money
(handle money properly), and they must hold the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience
(remain true to Scripture). There must be a consistent examination of the character of deacons, as called for in verse10, and each time they must be found blameless
. Paul then turns to the wives (can also be translated women) to give them advice. There are two views on who is being referred to as the wives. One view says they are the wives of the deacons and the other view says Paul is addressing the character of women deacons. Whichever view you take, the qualifications are the same. The women must be be reverent
(serious-minded), not slanderers
(watchful, alert to danger), and faithful in all things
(dependable). Like the pastor, a deacon must be a one-woman man (husband of one wife
) and rule their children and their own houses well
(3:12). “For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus” (3:13). Referring to the first three chapters thus far, Paul lets Timothy know he has written these things so the people know how to conduct themselves in church. Obviously there were some major problems in their behavior and Paul wanted Timothy to direct the congregation in the right way. Let Paul’s letter to Timothy also serve as a reminder to the modern day church as to how a church should function, remembering that it is God’s church (3:15-16).
Dear God, may the church function by the instructions you have set forth in the writings of Paul.