Acts 6-7 show several qualities required for deacons. Over the next 7 days, we’re going to take a look at each of these displayed in the life of Stephen, one of the first seven chosen as a deacon in the first century church. The first one necessary for deaconship is full of the Spirit. Acts 6:3 says select those, “Known to be full of the Spirit…” Why would anyone need to be full of the Spirit to simply pass out food? Because being a deacon is more than just doing good works; it is a lifestyle of being known as a person who walks in and is becoming more and more full of the Holy Spirit. Did you catch that? They chose those already known to be full of the Spirit. That means their reputation was more than that of someone who did good things and served people. Lots of people do that. Even unsaved people do good things and serve people. But a deacon’s works are preceded with a Spirit-filled and Spirit-evident lifestyle. People can plainly see your motives in your serving.
Deacons are known (have a reputation) as people who are continually being filled and walking in step with the Spirit of God. Deacons are not just full of the Spirit when they are serving (in the moment), but when they are living (at all moments)! It is evident deacons have been with God, and not just doing things for God. Your relationship and love for God is clearly seen and follows you wherever you go!
Being a deacon is more than what you do for God – it begins with your relationship with God, a relationship IN and WITH God through His Spirit. Everybody knows you are a deacon because they see the Spirit all over you in everyday life not just in momentary acts. Doing good things is a byproduct of walking in the Spirit.
Practically speaking, ask yourself a couple questions: “Do people see the Spirit at work in my life when I serve? Only when I serve? What about before I serve? Are my works as a deacon Spirit-filled? Am I known for being full of the Spirit in my speech, actions, etc.?” Spirit-filled deacons model love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control not just when they serve, but at all times.
Be someone “known to be full of the Spirit.” The only way to do that is to spend time with God in prayer, word, and fellowship. Take on His character, reflect His qualities, and allow Him to fill you more and more with Himself. Let His reputation precede yours and be known, not by your works, but by His Spirit’s presence in your life. Thanks for becoming known more and more as a deacon like Stephen, full of the Spirit!
Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.