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Minister of Mercy: The New Testament Deacon | Alexander Strauch

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No one denies that the church office of deacon is biblical, but most churches do not practice biblical deaconship. Yes, many have deacons, but are these deacons servants to the church as the New Testament dictates? Do they stay within the bounds of the authority given to them in Scripture? Many churches in the United States have deacons who operate like elders or like a board room in a corporation, neither of which is biblical. Alexander Strauch, in this book, takes the reader through the biblical passages which talk about deacons and their qualifications (Acts 6; Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:8-15).

Strauch lays the foundation for the responsibilities of deacons and overseers (the latter are also called elders and pastors). He argues that God has given the deacon much more significance in the church than that of a glorified janitor to clean the building. One reason we have deacons is to allow the elders to devote themselves to prayer and the ministry of the word (Acts 6). He explains how the two offices in the church are meant to complement one another. Strauch goes on to tell how the original Greek word for deacon is “servant,” and thus deacons are to be servants in the church. As the title indicates, they are to be ministers of mercy: they are charged with the physical cares of the church underneath the authority of the elders. Strauch then shows that the deacons’ qualifications are important because of the kinds of tasks charged to them.

This book would be a great asset for a church’s pastors and deacons to go through together. A study like this could transform a church by freeing up their elders to focus on prayer and the ministry of the word while causing deacons to see how they can benefit the church more. Too often there is a lack of communication or wrong ideas when it comes to these positions. Again, it would be very profitable for any elder or deacon to study through this book.

Sample Pages: Contents | Chapter 1

My heartfelt burden is to help deacons get out of the boardroom or the building-maintenance mentality and into the people-serving mentality. Deacons, as the New Testament teaches and as some of the sixteenth-century reformers discovered, are to be involved in a compassionate ministry of caring for the poor and needy.

The deacons’ ministry, therefore, is one that no Christ-centered, New Testament church can ever afford to neglect.

Christians today must understand the absolute necessity for and vital importance of New Testament deacons to the local church so that the needy, poor, and suffering of our churches are cared for in a thoroughly Christian manner. This is a matter dear to the heart of God.

Other Details

Alexander Strauch
Lewis & Roth
8.50 x 5.38 x 0.50 inches