To avoid friction between members, to promote happy pastorates, and to develope the grace of liberality, nothing is more important than a good deacon, one who can be patient, who can smile at unreasonable people, and speak a soft word to turn away wrath, one who is willing to give time and take trouble on himself, and make himself “all things to all men” in order to promote the interests of his Master’s cause.
A good deacon is the pastor’s most valuable ally. Officially he is worth two good elders. The one trouble about a good deacon is that the church, desiring to compliment him, will very soon elect him an elder, and thus place him on the retired list. His splendid gifts will at once fall into innocuous desuetude. “For they that have served well as deacons, gain to themselves a good standing, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
Happy is that church which has such deacons, and whose deacons decline to give up that “good standing” for another office in which their talents will probably not be so usefully employed.
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