Qualifications of Church Officials 1Ti 3:8-16
Younger men, referred to as deacons, were appointed to subordinate tasks, especially the relief of the poor, Act 6:1-15 . Though their service was less important, their character must be of the highest quality. The strength of a church is as much in the godliness of those who fill subordinate offices, as in its acknowledged leaders. The caretaker of a church should be a man of as high ideals as its chief pastor. Nothing is common or unclean, nothing trivial and unimportant, where Christ’s honor and glory are concerned. In the prophet’s vision the very snuffers of the candlestick were of gold.
The women mentioned here are deaconesses, Rom 16:1 . Governor Bradford, describing the church of the Pilgrim Fathers, says of a deaconess: “She honored her place and was an ornament to the congregation. She did frequently visit the sick and weak, and would gather relief for them. She was obeyed as a mother in Israel.”
The Church is the earthly dwelling-place of God. It lifts up and maintains the standard of truth in the midst of men, therefore it is hated. It is most necessary that Christians should bear witness to the truth, collectively as well as individually. The facts given us to witness to are enumerated here in the six clauses of an ancient antiphonal chant.