In order to understand the office of deacon, one must first understand the definition of the term “deacon”. The two most common Greek words we find for the term “deacon” are diakonos – one who executes a command, and diakonia – to serve or service. The term diakonos translates “minister” 18 times, “servant” 6 times, and “deacon” 5 times. The term diakonia translates “ministering” 3 times, “ministrations” 5 times, “serving” 1 time, and “service” 2 times. In order for a congregation to have deacons, it must have a plurality of men who meet the qualifications as laid out in 1 Timothy 3:8-13.
If we use Acts 6 as a prototype along with the qualifications found in 1 Timothy 3:8-13, we understand that the office of deacon is one of service to God under the oversight of the elders. Deacons must serve the church of our Lord by lightening the load of the elders. This delegation of work allows the elders to shepherd the flock more efficiently. As we consider the above information, we can arrive at an appropriate definition for a deacon and deaconship. A deaconship is comprised of a plurality of men who meet the qualifications in 1 Timothy 3:8-13. The office of deacon is a work of service approved by God. These men are to serve the church of our Lord under the oversight of the elders.