This week we discussed officers in the church, requirements and qualities. We see that elders and deacons share very similar character traits. However, elders must be able to teach. Their roles are quite different. Elders shepherd the flock, deacons take care of mercy ministries. They are both required to be of good moral character, with a list of specifics in the scriptures. John Stott explains:
Looking back, it is clear that the qualifications for the presbyterate and the diaconate are very similar. There is a core of Christian qualities, which all Christian leaders should exhibit. Putting the two lists together, we note that there are five main areas to be investigated. In regard to himself the candidate must be self-controlled and mature, including the areas of drink, money, temper and tongue; in regard to his family, both faithful to his wife and able to discipline his children; in regard to his relationships, hospitable and gentle; in regard to outsiders, highly esteemed; and in regard to the faith, strong in his hold on its truth and gifted in teaching it. (Stott, John. The Message of 1 Timothy & Titus: Guard the Truth (The Bible Speaks Today Series) (Kindle Locations 1816-1820). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.)
Paul speaks of a significant involvement of women helping the deacons of the church do their diaconal work of mercy ministry. Here is a wonderful article by Jen Wilken on Ligonier entitled Mothers in the Church, discussing the role of women in ministry.