Are overseers failing to do their work because of the burden of deacon work they assume?

Are overseers failing to do their work because of the burden of deacon work they assume?

Overseers bear a heavy responsibility, given to them by the Lord (Acts 20:28; Heb 13:17). To handle God’s Word in a way that discourages them would displease the Lord (1Co 12:7). Overseers, sharing the same weaknesses that we all have, may unconsciously fall into counterproductive habits. Being able to step back and view their habits objectively could be helpful.

While qualifications for overseers are listed separately from those of deacons (1Ti 3:1-13), this does not eliminate the possibility that an elder could also be a deacon. Since spiritual service is the primary responsibility of deacons (1Ti 3:9, 10), overseers who are "apt to teach" likely serve as deacons. The question, however, likely deals with deacon service noted by the apostles as serving tables (Acts 6:2).

The priority for overseers is protecting and shepherding the flock (Acts 20:28). If the Lord has given them this work, He will not also give them work that interferes with this service. He never presses us beyond our limits (1Co 10:13; Psa 103:14), but gives us the needed physical help to fulfill our responsibilities (1Ti 4:10, "Preserver of all . . ." JND).

Perhaps some overseers need to make adjustments in their scheduling. The shepherds need to "know well the face of thy flock" (Pro 27:23, YLT), to visit with them, and to have appropriate food that will meet specific needs.

D. Oliver