The word “deacon” means “minister or servant”. Acts 6:2 says, “So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, ‘It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables.'” The words “to wait on” in this verse come from the Greek word diakonein, which means “attendant, waiter, or one who ministers to another.” Deacons serve!
The necessary task of feeding the poor and widows mentioned in Acts 6:1 was turned over to the selected deacons (Acts 6:2-6). Notice something as you read these verses: feeding the widows is not mentioned again. It is understood that the new deacons just took on this task and continued to do it without being asked again. They were commissioned and served faithfully with this task and, I’m sure, more needed tasks in the early church. Acts 6:7 tells us something big: the tremendous result of faithful Apostles and faithful deacons functioning well was, “The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith.” The product of faithful functioning deacons was not only proper care of widows, but the continued growth of the church!
Stephen, and the other deacons, were not interested the title of deacon but the task of deacons. They understood if they didn’t deacon well, the church would not grow or be healthy. Verse 7 reminds us a healthy church is one that spreads the word of God, makes disciples, and shares the gospel. Deacons understand the condition in which they serve affects the entire growth of the church. Deacons serve well because it causes the church to grow, not just the task to be completed.
Thank you for serving well as a deacon! Be more than a deacon in title, be a deacon in task. In doing so, you will cause the church to grow!