The Origin and Nature of the Diaconate

The Origin and Nature of the Diaconate
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Problems gave rise to solutions; that is how the diaconate was formed. A group of widows raised complaint and the apostles led by the Spirit of Christ responded with the solution of the diaconate. The result was that the ministry of Christ’s mercy was amplified through word, rule, and service and the church’s missionary fruitfulness was multiplied.

Now at this time, as the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint developed on the part of the Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food. So the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables. Instead, brothers and sisters, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” The announcement found approval with the whole congregation; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch. And they brought these men before the apostles; and after praying, they laid their hands on them. The word of God kept spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith.

Acts 6:1-7

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