- Parent Category: FAQs
- Category: Bible Questions and answers about the Church
- Published on Thursday, 19 November 2009 12:20
Paul addressed both bishops (elders) and deacons in the Philippian epistle (1:1). In his writing to these believers, he is concerned that the assembly is endangered and needs to be saved from the spiritual condition of "murmurings and disputings" (2:12-14). By addressing the bishops and deacons, he seems to imply that together they carry a responsibility for the assembly’s spiritual condition. The elders are responsible to care for the condition of the sheep, while the deacons were to communicate healthy food for the spiritual strengthening of the believers.
Although someone observing our usual practice might not think we believe this, but not all elders are deacons and not all deacons are elders. Elders are responsible to the Lord for the guidance of the assembly (Hebrews 13:17) and for the state of the flock (Acts 20:28). They guide the assembly to recognize the capabilities of certain individuals and they entrust spiritual responsibility to them. Those to whom they entrust such responsibilities are deacons, serving the Lord and the assembly and they are accountable to those elders.