LeaderLines – from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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Hillcrest Church Office
April 1, 2004

LeaderLines is a weekly “e-briefing” providing valuable information and inspiration to those who serve at Hillcrest Baptist Church.

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Here is this week's LeaderLines. . . .

“Service or Serve Us?”
by Tom Goodman

This past Monday, I met with our deacons and deacon candidates and looked at the role and qualifications of deacons from key Bible passages.  It was a great meeting with a great group of guys!

We learned that the English word “deacon” comes from the Greek word diakonos and its variations.  You probably know that Greek was the original language of the New Testament, and the word diakonos means “servant.”  The remarkable thing is, when you find the word diakonos and its variations in the Bible, it is not always easy to know when the word is referring to the general idea of ministry and when a writer is speaking about the official work of a deacon.  The word diakonos and its variations appear about 100 times in the Greek New Testament, but in only two or three places do our English Bibles translate that word as “deacon.”  In ninety-eight percent of the places where you find the word-group diakonos, it is used to describe everyone’s ministry.

So you see, the first readers who read the Bible in Greek would see the word diakonos and its variations in Scripture telling them what all Christians should be, and they would see that same word diakonos and its variations in Scripture like 1 Timothy 3 to describe people who occupied an official church position.

This point is important so we don’t get the mistaken notion that only a few are called to serve while the rest of the church can be pew potatoes.  One pastor said of his church, “My church is full of willing people:  Some are willing to work, others are willing to let them!”  That’s not the kind of “willing people” Jesus called us to be!

So, be in prayer for our deacon candidates—what a great group of guys!  And be in prayer for all the diakonoi [servants] who serve in so many ways at Hillcrest!  Every week at our church . . . in every decision of our church . . . in every conversation about our church, we have a choice between “service” and “serve us.”  More and more folks are making the right choice more and more often!

Serving the Flock,

P.S.  Pray for our Easter Outreach efforts across the next ten days.  And remember that there will be no evening activities on Easter Sunday.