Skip to content

What is a deacon? And what to they do?

June 15, 2015

Janna and I were just ordained as deacons in the Anglican Church. We’ve been congratulated by some of our friends and family members—but many are still asking questions like, “What is deacon? And what do they do?”

So here’s an explanation.

One of the Three: the Threefold Ministry

Deacons are ministers (i.e. servants) of Christ who have been set apart for service in his Church and his world. While “every Christian is called to follow Jesus Christ, serving God the Father, through the power of the Holy Spirit. God calls deacons to a special ministry of servanthood directly under their bishop. In the name of Jesus Christ, deacons are to serve all people, particularly the poor, the weak, the sick, and the lonely.”[1]

Since her earliest days, the Church has set apart certain members to lead in special capacities. We first learn of the “threefold ministry” of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons in the Bible:

Bishops (episcopoi) are mentioned in Phil 1:1; 1 Tim 3:2; Titus 1:7; 1 Pet 2:25,

Priests[2] (presbuteroi) in 1 Tim. 5:17; Titus 1:5; Jas. 5:14, and

Deacons (diakonoi) in Rom 16:1-2; Phil 1:1; 1 Tim 3:8.

During the time of the Apostles, these terms were used with fluidity.[3] For example, Paul refers to himself as a diakonos  (deacon) and Peter calls himself a presbyteros (priest) although both were Apostles—an office of much higher rank.[4] However, when the Apostles died, they left a system in place with their disciples in which the functions of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons were more specified.[5]

The First Deacons

In Acts 6, the Apostles realized they couldn’t do it all. The Church was growing. More people were being changed by the gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit—which meant more people where sharing their possessions and food….Read the rest of the article at

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: