A Deacon is one of the ministry offices of the church
and literally means a servant (Greek, DIAKONOS). Besides bishops and other
offices, the early church valued the ministry of the Deacon. "Paul and
Timothy, servants of Jesus Christ, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are
in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons" (Phil. 1:1).
It is believed that the office of deacon developed out
of the need for the Apostles to delegate many of the increased
administrative tasks that overwhelmed the growing church. This was first
seen when complaints were brought to the Apostles that some of the Greek
widows of the church were being neglected in their care. So in order that
they would not be distracted away from what God had really called them to do
— to be men of prayer and of the Word — they selected qualified persons to
look after these affairs. "...It is not desirable that we should leave the
word of God and serve tables. Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you
seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we
may appoint over this business; but we will give ourselves continually to
prayer and to the ministry of the word" (Acts 6:2-4).
This follows the administrative function of how the modern church should operate. The pastor should be the spiritual overseer, devoting his attention to the higher priorities of prayer and ministering the word, while delegating the load of administrative tasks, details and responsibilities to other ministers, elders and deacons.