Keith Hunt - Comparison - Elder and Deacon Restitution of All

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Comparison of Elders and Deacons

They are not the same Function


A study by the late Carl Shaeffer (1983)

I was pleased to know and work with (for a short time before his
death) Elder Shaeffer. I am pleased to present to you his
comparison study on Elders and Deacons. Many today are saying
there is no difference, and they try to go to the Greek words to
prove their point. But such is useless arguing over meanings of
words. As Mr.Shaeffer shows in this study outline, the NT clearly
tells us the differences between Elders and Deacons in the church
- Keith Hunt.

     Some churches, without realizing it, are not knowledgeable
as to what is expected of an Elder, his qualifications, or his
Scriptural knowledge.    
     Nevertheless, many men are ordained each year, being saddled
with an office they truly cannot handle.
     Often they will go through the motions, stumbling through
what they hope will pass as a sermon, hoping no one will notice
it. Or, they will push on ahead, thinking everything is great,
"my congregation is growing Spiritually", until sometime later
they will realize the truth, as they see their congregation
dwindle away, and not from normal causes.
     Who is to blame in these cases, who is responsible?

     Both parties are to blame, the Elder, or Elders,
representing the church, as well as the man who is being ordained
are to blame equally.

     The Elders who ordained the man did not look into the total
character of the man, the sum total of his Spiritual gifts of I
Cor.12, as well as the fruits of the Spit of Gal 5:22.
     Man times a man will be ordained because he has been in the
church a long time, has hung in, and hung on, during times of
crisis, and is somewhat of a speaker. This is not to say that
good, sound Spiritual speaking cannot be obtained by patience,
practice, perseverance, and classwork, together with extra help
from God---God loves this attitude in a man.

     What does God say regarding this? What are some of the
requirements God is looking for?

     The following are only a few, but it will give some idea of
what is expected of an Elder.

     This list is one of comparison of the qualifications of an
Elder, as opposed to that of a Deacon.

     This is, in no way, a put down for those who are Deacons, as
they hold a dignified and meaningful office. 
     This list is taken from Scriptures of instructions and
requirements of Paul's Pastoral Letters to the ministry, of I
Timothy 3, and others.

     But before this list is read, I Cor.13:1-3 should be
acknowledged as heading the list; because without deep love for
the congregation, and a willingness to put them before your own
interests, the rest of the requirements are useless.
     If a man has a reasonably high score of all these
requirements, and possesses even some of the Spiritual gifts of I
Cor.12, and has love, he will make a good Elder, as this office
is a seevice of love.

Carl M. Schaeffer



2 -- Blameless 2 -- One wife
2 -- Vigilant (I Pet.5:8) 
2 -- Sober (I Pet.5:8)
2 -- Good behavior 
2 -- Hospitable
2 -- Able to teach
3 -- Not given to much wine 
3 -- No striker
3 -- Not greedy for money 
3 -- Patient
3 -- No brawler 
3 -- Not covetous 
4 -- Rule well house
5 -- Take care of church 
6 -- Not novice
7 -- Good report (character)



 8 -- Not given to much wine None
 8 -- Not greedy for money None
10 -- Blameless
10 -- Be proved first
Honest report (Acts 6) Holy Spirit (Ants 6) Wisdom (Acts 6) 
12 -- One wife 
12 -- Rule well house None

In comparing there is MUCH that is NOT required for the office of



20 -- Rebuke those that sin 
22 -- Don't ordain quickly 
11 -- Follow righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patienee,
14   Keep these commandments 




 1 -- Be strong in grace
 2 -- Teach men to be teachers 
 3 -- Endure hardness-hardship 
 6 -- Be a husbandman
10 -- Endure all things
15 -- Study to show yourself 
15 -- Correctly divide Word 
16 -- Shun profane babbling 
22 -- Flee youthful lusts
22 -- Follow righteousness 
22 -- Follow peace
22 -- Follow love
23 -- Avoid foolish, unlearned questions
24 -- Elders not to strive
24 -- Be gentle
24 -- Be able to teach 
24 -- Be patient
24 -- Continue in things learned

DEACONS - Not mentioned - none


2 -- Preach Word in season 
2 -- Reprove, rebuke
2 -- Encourage others-doctrine 
5 -- Endure afflictions
5 -- Do work of Evangelist 
5 -- Prove your ministry (Service)

DEACONS - Not mentioned - None



6 -- Governable-not unruly 
6 -- Peaceful-no rioting 
7 -- Blameless as steward 
7 -- Not selfwilled
7 -- Not soon angry 
8 -- Love goodness 
8 -- Just, Holy
8 -- Temperate (controlled) 
9 -- Holding fast the Word
9 -- Exhort by sound doctrine (teach)
9 -- Convince gainsayers (know Scriptures)



 1 -- Speak (Preach) sound doctrine
 7 -- Be pattern of good works 
 6 -- Exhort young men
 7 -- Incorruptible in doctrine 
 7 -- Gravity-serious,sincerity 
 8 -- Sound speech
 8 -- Encourage servants
15 -- Encourage, Rebuke with authority



 1 -- Teach to obey Magistrates 
 2 -- Be gentle
 2 -- Be meek
 9 -- Avoid foolish arguments 
10 -- Reject heretic - if no change

DEACONS - Not mentioned - None


Qualifications and Requirements - ELDERS


 2 -- Feed flock of God
 2 -- Feed flock - not by compulsion
 2 -- Feed flock - with willing mind
 2 -- Feed flock - not for money  
 3 -- Rule - but not as "lords" 
 3 -- Good example to flock
 5 -- Younger - submit to older 
 5 -- Subject to one another 
 5 -- Be humble
10 -- Be willing to "suffer" for strength

DEACONS - Not mentioned - None



Studying Acts 6 we see what DEACONS were ordained to do. There is
no specific mention of any "spiritual" work they needed to
perform towards the brethren. Yes, of course, they were to be
spiritual, and sometimes God did gives powerful gifts of the
Spirit to some of those who "waited on tables" - but then God
can, if He wills, give any gift of the Spirit to any person in
the body of Christ.

More in-depth study on this subject of Elders and Deacons you
will find in my studies under "Church Government."

Entered on this Website January 2008 

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