Everyone who has become a follower of Christ should seek to serve Him in every way possible. The Scripture gives two official positions in the church: pastor (also called elder or bishop interchangeably) and deacon (meaning “slave, one who cares for the needs of others, [or] a helper”).
Because the primary function of the pastor/elder/bishop is to “equip the saints for the work of the ministry” (Eph 4:12) and to dedicate himself to preparation in the word and prayer (Acts 6:4), many of the other functions of the church must be delegated to faithful men called deacons.
Deacon denotes not only an official position but also a style of serving ministry. Jesus identified Himself as one who serves in Mark 10:45. The common designation for a leader in the New Testament is “minister” or “servant”: “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers [or servants] through whom you believed” (1 Cor 3:5). This term also shows an overall philosophy of ministry. Leaders must be servant–leaders.
Paul begins this section with “likewise deacons.” Just as bishops must have qualifications, so must deacons (1 Tim 3:8–-9, 11–-12).
Those who serve “well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith” (1 Tim 3:13). The word standing means a “step or grade,” from a word for an elevated footrest, which is appreciated for its relief and comfort.
The first command in 1 Timothy 3:10 is for anyone desiring to serve in a higher level of responsibility. He must “be continually tested” (meaning to “examine, or [be] proven”) to determine if he is reliable and trustworthy and not seeking personal benefits. Is he a servant, or is he seeking power?
The second command is to “let them continually serve as deacons” (lit. to “act as go–between[s]”). Every adult should strive to qualify as a deacon or the wife of a deacon and hopefully serve His church body as such. Interested?
“No one likes to be tested, Lord, but You are testing us all the time. Keep us honest with ourselves by sending exhorters and encouragers into our lives to serve together.”