Sermon or Lesson:  1 Timothy 3:11-13 (NIV based)
[Lesson Questions included]

TITLE:  Deacon - A Good Manager Of Logistics Within Interactive People Situations

READ:  1 Timothy 3:11-13, with vv.8-10 for context

- - In this section of 1 Timothy 3:8-13, God has laid out the qualification requirements for being a deacon in the church, a server who has a passion for meeting the logistical needs in the church in an accommodating manner.
- - In order to be qualified, a candidate for deacon must have personal integrity, some fundamental spiritual maturity in the faith, and successfully pass a time of pretesting.
- - Let's continue our study of more requirements God has for candidates to be qualified as a deacon.

v.11 - READ

[Lesson Question:  Develop a description of each character quality listed.]

SECTION POINT:  The wife of a candidate for deacon is to have personal integrity and some fundamental spiritual maturity in the faith just like her candidate husband is to have.

"worthy of respect"
- - "In the same way" that the candidate is to be without reproach or faultless in every respect
(v.8), having "nothing [found] against" him as stipulated in verse 10, so too is his wife to hold that same kind of personal integrity.
- - The wife of the candidate must likewise be "worthy of respect", always conducting herself in honorable and appropriate ways that merit and earn the respect of other people. 
(AHD - 'respect')
- - God is instructing here that the wife's demeanor, speaking, and conduct are to come under scrutiny when considering her husband to be a deacon.
- - In other words, the inappropriateness of the wife can disqualify her husband from becoming a deacon in a church.
- - His wife needs to be comprehensively worthy of respect just like her candidate husband needs to be.

"malicious talkers"
- - The candidate's wife is not to be a "malicious talker", never speaking in a way that is "deliberately harmful", "humiliating", "false, or injurious to a person's reputation". 
(AHD - ' malicious', 'slander', 'traduce', from Strong's #1228)
- - She is to have no ill will in her heart, no contempt, no spite, no hatred, no envy, no animosity. 
(AHD - 'malicious')
- - Therefore, she never speaks maliciously in public or in private because they are not in her heart - her personality, her character.

- - Instead of being malicious, the candidate's wife is to be "temperate", always "exercising moderation and self-restraint". 
(AHD - 'temperate')
- - She also is to be "sober minded", being generally quiet, calm, and subdued.  (
from Strong's #3524; AHD - 'sober')
- - Furthermore, she is to be "circumspect", being "heedful of circumstances and potential consequences, demonstrating pragmatism and common sense, practical". 
(from Strong's #3524; AHD - 'circumspect')

"trustworthy in everything"
- - The candidate's wife is also to be "trustworthy in everything", being thoroughly "reliable and warranting of trust". 
(AHD - 'trustworthy')
- - She is also to be thoroughly "faithful", "adhering firmly and devotedly" to believing and living the tenets of the faith with "consistency, steadfastness, and truthfulness". 
(Strong's #4103; AHD - 'faithful')
- - In other words, the candidate's wife is to genuinely possess and model personal integrity and some fundamental spiritual maturity in the faith just like her candidate husband is to possess and model, even though he is the one that is the candidate to be a deacon.

Question:  A pertinent question to ask here is, why are the character and behaviors of the candidate's wife listed here when he is the one that is the candidate to be a deacon?

SECTION POINT:  The character and behaviors of the wife can significantly affect the functioning of her deacon husband.

- - By implication, the character and behaviors of the candidate's wife reflect on him and influences his standing, credibility, reputation, and ability to serve in the church. 
(cf. v.13)
- - People naturally make a connection between the character and behaviors of each spouse of a married couple, especially if one spouse holds a position in a church or ministry.
- - By virtue of his position in the church, a deacon exudes and even projects a model for others to follow, representing the values, teachings, and applications of the faith and of that church or ministry.
- - The character and behaviors of the wife can enhance or can tarnish the reputation of her deacon husband and the effects of his deacon ministry activities.
- - The character and behaviors of the wife also can significantly reflect on his abilities to amicably and appropriately sway and influence people with whom he works and serves as a deacon.
- - So her reputation and conduct can impact and cast a good shadow or a detrimental shadow on the reputation and activities of her deacon husband.

v.12 - READ

[Lesson Question:  Develop a description of each principle listed here, and how do these principles relate to being a deacon in a church?]

SECTION POINT:  Through his marriage and family, the candidate must be demonstrating that he can appropriately manage relationships and logistics.

"the husband of but one wife"
- - Just like for overseers
(v.2), God unequivocally says in this verse that a qualified deacon must have never been divorced.
- - The qualified deacon has been and continues to be faithful to his first and only wife. 
- - And by implication, he is a good husband, getting along well with his wife and being a model for how he treats her and their children.

"must manage his children and his household well"
- - Again, just like for overseers
(v.4), to be qualified as a deacon, the candidate must be demonstrating that he "manages his children and his household well".
- - In effect, he is exerting relational skills in his family, authoritatively watching over and establishing the direction his family is going in life. 
(from Strong's #4291 - 'manage')
- - He is decisive to set values, priorities, conduct boundaries, the atmosphere in the home, condition of relationships, spiritual pursuits, and etc., which he then is diligent to monitor and appropriately implement.
- - He is directly concerned about and engaged in the raising of his children, not leaving that responsibility and workload for his wife to do essentially by herself.
- - And he is exerting logistical management of his household, demonstrating that he is a good manager of time, logistics, and conduct within interactive people environments.
- - The results he is achieving in managing his marriage and his family will be an indicator of how he will manage logistics and people situations in the church as a deacon.

v.13 - READ

[Lesson Question:  What do the principles of this verse mean and what impact would they generate?]

SECTION POINT:  Deacons who serve well can be a blessing to numerous people.

- - The purpose for the listing of these qualification requirements is to weed out those who are not qualified and identify only those persons who have demonstrated sufficient abilities to be a good deacon, one who "serves well".
- - Such qualified and pretested candidates have the most potential for being ones who will serve well as deacons in a church and for being good role models that visibly represent the church and the faith.

- - A benefit for the deacons who prove to serve well is that they will "gain an excellent standing" for "themselves", "a step" or status of "respect, honor, worth, and dignity".
(Strong's #1438 (omitted in NIV); AHD - 'dignity', from Strong's #0898)
- - They will be sought out and appreciated for their excellent serving - the go-to guys who reliably get things done on time, considerately, accommodatingly, and appropriately.

- - Another benefit for the deacons who prove to serve well is that they will "gain... great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus", acquiring much "confidence to boldly and frankly speak freely" about their faith in Christ Jesus. 
(from Strong's #4046, #4183, Zodhiates p.1124 #3954)
- - By implication, being a server in a church or ministry puts that person in an environment and activity conducive to personal spiritual growth.
- - And God uses the exposure to those work environment influences to bring some transformation in the heart of the deacon, making him bold in frankly speaking freely about his faith in Christ Jesus.
- - Notice that this personal spiritual growth simultaneously benefits the deacon, his church as a whole, the people he interacts with, the people his activities serve, and God's Kingdom.
- - Essentially, the good serving of the deacon is a conduit through which blessings can come to multiple people.

BIG IDEA:  A candidate for deacon must demonstrate that he is a good manager of logistics, including within interactive people situations.



- - For those of you who somehow participate in the selection of deacons for your church, from the study in 1 Timothy 3:8-13 have you gained a more thorough understanding of what God expects and requires for someone to be a deacon?
- - If so, then why not get a copy of these expository materials for 1 Timothy 3:8-13 and study them with other people who participate with you in the deacon selection process?
- - God wants blessings to come to your church, in this particular case through the proper selection of qualified persons to be deacons.  And as usual, things have to be done God's way in order for God to be willing to bring blessings.  So why not pursue what God instructs here for the qualification of deacons?
- - In this Bible passage, God has established a process for churches to use in selecting deacons.  So don't ignore it - use His process.
- - Use what God prescribes here to weed out those disqualified candidates who likely will bring disruption, disrepute, and disgrace upon your church, even if those persons are your good friends or relatives. 
(cf. v.7)
- - Select only those candidates God approves of, in accordance with what He has instructed here in 1 Timothy 3:8-13.

- - For those of you who do not serve in a ministry, notice and realize that the qualification requirements for deacons is fairly high but not so high that it is unattainable.
- - Why not start now to make corrections in your life that will move you closer to becoming qualified to be a deacon?
- - Work on making one correction in your life, and after you have mastered that, then proceed to add another correction until you have mastered that, and so on.
- - Slowly over time, make and add improvements in your life that contribute toward one day making yourself qualified to be a deacon.
- - Restructure your priorities, develop spiritual disciplines, carve out time in your schedule, and start establishing for yourself a good track record in the qualification areas prescribed in 1 Timothy 3:8-13.
- - Let the certainty of subsequent blessings from God motivate you to persistently pursue and eventually succeed in becoming qualified to be a deacon.
- - And delight in the surety that people around you will reap blessings from your pursuit to become qualified as a deacon, because you can fulfill many of the functions of a deacon even if you never officially are selected as one.
- - For indeed, nearly all churches and ministries need good servers in some or many capacities.  So get yourself ready and then go and volunteer.
- - Become a good server - and thereby become a conduit through which blessings come to you and to others around you.

[Additional Lesson Questions to ponder (optional, if time allows):
- - To consider the opposite, theorize and develop what kind of results would be expected if a deacon serves badly.  But be careful not to disclose any names or identities if you are recounting situations you have witnessed.
- - What specific steps do you need to take to become a server in a ministry?  Make a list of them and then strive to complete each step on your list within the next 12 months.]


Works Cited:
The American Heritage Dictionary. 3rd ed., ver. 3.6a (CD-ROM). Cambridge, MA: SoftKey International Inc., 1994.

Bible. “The Holy Bible: New International Version.” The Bible Library CD-ROM. Oklahoma City, OK: Ellis Enterprises, 1988.

“Strong's Greek Dictionary.” The Bible Library CD-ROM. Oklahoma City, OK: Ellis Enterprises, 1988.

Zodhiates, Spiros. The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament. Chattanooga: AMG Publishers, 1992.


Scriptures taken from Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®
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Updated:  November 3, 2016