Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Deacons Per Capita?

I'm reading through The Acts of the Apostles these days. If nothing else, Luke tells us that the church was growing in that day.
  • 2:41 "... and there were added that day about three thousand souls."
  • 2:47 "... and the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved."
  • 4:4 "... many ... believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand."
  • 5:14 "... more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women."
  • 6:1 "... in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, ..."
  • 6:7 "... and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly ..."
I have no idea how large the church is by the time Acts 6 comes to pass, but I think it's safe to say that it's somewhere between seven and ten thousand.

When the church got above five thousand, the apostles began to lose track of who was getting cared for, and who wasn't. They needed help 'serving tables.' But also interesting is the fact that they felt they only needed seven deacons.

This would not work in our churches these days, but it appears that they set up a 1:1000 ratio of deacons per members. Maybe if we'd set up the same standards for the deacons as to whom they were to take care of, 'the burden on the church' might be eased.

But that would also mean that family members would need to step up and actually care for their own. (see 1 Timothy 5 for further reflection)

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