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deacons without elders

Posted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 10:08 am
by davidfsims
Can a congregation have deacons without Elders? Is there a principle in the New Testament that requires for Elders to be in office before Deacons, or that requires Elders to be the ones to appoint deacons?

Re: deacons without elders

Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:24 pm
by larry
First of all, the Bible does not address the issue of whether there can be deacons in a church where no elders have been appointed.

The qualifications for deacons are given in I Tim. 3:8-13. It is stated in verse 13, "For those who serve well as deacons..." So, deacons are servants as are the elders and all members. But, the Bible does not say deacons are to oversee a church as it speaks of the elders (I Tim. 3:1; Acts 20:28; I Pet. 5:2). They are to serve but not to oversee.

Some have concluded that in the absence of elders the deacons can be supervised by business meetings of the congregation. They say that deacons serve the congregation and the absence of elders does not dispense with the work.

The question I have is how wise is it to appoint deacons where there are no elders? It may not be unscriptural, but without elders maybe those appointed as deacons would assume oversight for which they are not qualified?

Since all members should be serving as they have abilities (I Cor. 12:12-31), it seems advisable for churches to train men to meet the qualifications of elders so they can be appointed. Then deacons can be appointed to serve under the oversight of the elders.