By Dick Blackford
In the introduction to his book on The Deacon and His Work, James D. Bales said: “Some may think that the eldership is so important that there is no need to be concerned about the deaconship. Thus some congregations exercise care in selecting elders, but give little thought to the selection of deacons. However, this office also is important, or God would not have instituted it. One should be as careful to follow God’s will in selecting deacons as they are in selecting elders. In other words, churches should select qualified deacons as well as qualified elders. Thus the church needs to study the deaconship. “
It should be remembered that the wisdom of God is higher than the wisdom of men (Isa. 55:8,9). Our Lord had a real purpose in his provision for deacons in the local church. It has been observed by some that “elders do the work of the deacons, deacons do the work of the members, and the members do nothing but gripe and complain about how the elders and deacons are doing it.” Let us be careful lest we thwart the plan of God. The deaconship should not be overshadowed in our thinking.
Realizing the need for a study on deacons, the editor asked me to put together this special issue. There are many good writers and Bible students among us. The men selected to help in this study are men who are respected by those who know them best for their sincerity, dedication, and ability to provide us with some meaningful material. This study is sent forth with a prayer that the reader will give it serious consideration and will be helped in understanding the purpose and plan of God for deacons in the church.
Guardian of Truth XXXIII: 22, p. 677
November 16, 1989