When Opportunity Knocks

Title: When Opportunity Knocks

Bible Book: 1 Timothy 3 : 8-13

Author: Vince Hefner

Subject: Deacon; Deacon Election


[Editor's Note: To see material on creating a solid deacon ministry, click on the following link: The Biblical Deacon ]

What makes any event in your life an opportunity? Opportunity is “a favorable combination of circumstances.” Throughout the Bible opportunity is presented to individuals by God.

i. You will note that some Opportunities were seized:

Moses seized opportunity when God revealed it to him, Exodus 3

Isaiah seized opportunity when God revealed it to him, Isaiah 5:8-9

Peter and Andrew seized opportunity in Matthew 4:18-20

ii. Some Opportunities were forsaken:

Saul hid from his opportunity as king in 1 Samuel 10:21-22 says, “But when they looked for him, he had disappeared! So they asked the Lord, ‘Where is he?’ And the Lord replied, ‘He is hiding among the baggage.’”

Jonah ran from his opportunity in Jonah 1:3, “But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord.”

Demas deserted his opportunity in 2 Tim. 4:10, “Demas has deserted me because he loved the things of this life…”

There are a number of wrong ways to deal with opportunity, but only one right way! To be found faithful in their calling!

I. God Gives The Opportunity of being a Deacon to a Person

What kind of person serves as a deacon?

A. A Man of Respect

Respect is what others have to so about you from the outside community. It is important that a person who serves as deacon has a testimony in the community as to his love for Jesus and the local church.

B. A Man of Integrity

Integrity is what one knows about himself. This is something that one has on the inside - in his own heart. Each man knows whether he is a man of integrity. Long ago someone said that character is discerned by knowing what you will do if no one is looking and you know that no one will ever find out about it. Deacons ought to be men of integrity.

C. A Man of Faith

Faith is knowing and trusting what Christ has done, said and promised to do. Faith is that part of man that looks up and believes God. A deacon must be a man who believes the Bible, and makes every effort to know it, live it and share it.

D. A Man with a Clear conscience

A clear conscience means getting things right with man and God when you are aware that they are not what they should be in your life. A deacon is a man who is humble, and looks at his heart closely. He desires to get his heart and soul right before God. A clear conscience does not mean that a deacon is free of any sin, but it does mean that a deacon will not live in sin and hold that title and serve in that position.

II. God Gives The Opportunity of a Deacon for a Purpose

What is the purpose of the deacon ministry?

A. Serving the family of God

The first deacons were used by the Lord to serve in material and spiritual ways. The first martyr of the Christian Church was a deacon named Stephen. He was stoned to death for sharing a message from God's Word. The first deacons helped serve the Church by making sure the food was distributed evenly to people of different ethic cultures. Deacons are to serve. The task is not just a title, rather it is a job. It is not easy, but it is honorable and it promotes the glory and kingdom of God.

B. Freeing up the Ministers of God

In Acts 6 we learn that the first deacons were chosen because the pastors (apostles) of the Christian Church at Jerusalem were being diverted from prayer, study of God's Word and preaching because of divisions within the church. In many churches today, when a problem arises between members of the church, the pastor or staff is expected to correct it. The opposite was true in the early church. The pastors had deacons to help them handle those problems so that things did not get out of hand. Ministers are more than mangers of a local church - they are to be men of prayer, and to immerse themselves in God's Word. They need to be available to those who are hurting spiritually, psychologically and physically. When the pastor is dragged into every controversy in the church, the entire church suffers. When a pastor has godly deacons to address issues of division, the entire church prospers. Also, the deacon help minister to people in times of need, in times of grief, and in times of hardship. Thank God for faithful deacons - they help the church honor the Lord!

C. Being an Example

Deacons are to be examples of the Christian life. They are to exercise self-control in all areas of their lives and to set an example by doing so. It is easy to see this when one studies the scripture. The reason the Bible places such great emphasis on the deacons moral behavior is because part of the task of a deacon is to live a godly life before others.

III. God Gives The Opportunity of a Deacon with a Promise

What are the promises to a deacon?

A. Increased Respect

God promises an increased respect from the people who know the godly life and ministry of the deacon. The title of deacon means nothing, but the ministry when faithfully executed brings with it honor and appreciation from God's people. Faithful deacons gain to themselves respect and we ought to show that to them.

B. Increased Faith

Deacons who serve God faithfully gain increased faith and faith pleases God. You see, when a man serves as a deacon, God gives him greater and greater faith as he accepts bigger challenges and involves himself in new ministries. Some fear to serve as a deacon. They don't want to face the challenges. This creates a decrease in faith. Those who do serve, and do so honorably, loving, faithfully and with humility, are granted new opportunities to glorify the Lord and assist in the building of His church.

IV. God Gives the Opportunity of A Deacon to the People of God

A. Pray about Electing Deacons

Members of a local church must pray about the issue of voting for deacons. This is an important matter and a spiritual one. You don't vote for friends or family members simply because you want them to have the title as deacon. You must choose men who meet God's conditions for the task. Electing deacons is an opportunity for you to pray and listen to God in this matter. God's people must be careful and prayerful in this issue.

B. Participate in Electing Deacons

Some members may say that they really don't care who is elected. That is an improper attitude. You are a part of God's Church universally and this Church locally. It is your responsibility to consider this matter as important and to participate. Take time to pray and consider God's will regarding those who ought to serve. One must never choose a deacon as if voting in a political election. You don't choose deacons as senators to represent you in the meetings. You choose deacons who meet God's conditions and men who will assist the pastor and staff in carrying out the ministry of the local church.

C. Promote those who serve as deacons

As a church, we ought to honor those men who serve faithfully as deacons. That means that you don't just elect them, you pray for them and remain positive about them. They take on this task in addition to all other responsibilities in their church, homes and work. It subtracts from the time they have to do other things in life. They are making a sacrifice. Let us always have a positive attitude toward our deacons.
You need to be positive toward those who serve as deacons


A deacon selection process is an opportunity. It is an opportunity for some to decide if they will be available to serve. It is an opportunity for all of us to decide in the matter of voting for deacons. Opportunity is knocking - opportunity to honor the Lord and His work. What will you do as opportunity knocks? Open the door and meet the privilege and duty that is yours today.

Of course, the greatest opportunity to accept a knock at your door is for you to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior. Revelation 3:20 states clearly that God knocks on the door our the human heart to seek entrance. You must open that door and allow Him to come into your life. Someone today is hearing the rap of God's loving hand on your heart's door right now. As we sing our invitation hymn, you will decide. You will either decide to keep Him out or you will decide to allow Him in. What is your decision?

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