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Deacon vs. Pastor: Do you know what the difference is? (2024)

Deacon Vs. Pastor: Do You Know What the Difference is?

The main difference between a Deacon and a Pastor is the office of a deacon implies ministering to a local church. The Pastors calling includes that but also the gift of evangelizing and teaching people that don’t know God to become God’s Children

Deacon Vs. Pastor: Do You Know What the Difference is?

We hear some titles used to refer to church leaders, and many times we don’t know the difference. Two such titles are a deacon and pastor. To know the difference between these two, we have to go to the Bible and find out what it says about each.

Who is a Deacon?

Philippians 1:1 says, “Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons.” This Scripture shows us that a deacon is recognized biblically, and is not a name that the modern church came up with. The Apostle Paul was recognizing that there were deacons in the church and was addressing his letter to them as well as the congregation. For Paul to acknowledge the saints, who are believers, as distinct from bishops and deacons, we can see that a deacon is a church leader.

A passage of Scripture that describes the qualities of a deacon is 1 Timothy 3:8-13.

Leader of integrity

A deacon is one who is charged with providing leadership to the church and must be one who does so with integrity. This means that he avoids anything that may ruin his reputation, knowing that his behavior reflects on his God. He should behave in a way that is above reproach and should not be one who is a heavy drinker or one who is dishonest with money (vs 8).

Committed to the gospel

The deacon is a church leader who is committed to the gospel of Jesus Christ and maintains a clear conscience at all times. If he is to lead the church in living according to their Christian faith, they he needs to be at the forefront of ensuring that the church understands the gospel. To maintain a clear conscience, the deacon needs to live a life of righteousness and one that honors God.

Deacon Vs. Pastor Do You Know What the Difference is 1
Deacons – Servants of the Church

Faithful to his wife and a good father

A deacon is expected to be married to one wife and be faithful to her in their marriage. This shows that he takes his marital vows seriously and adheres to the word of God in marriage. In this day and age when divorce is rampant, it is important for church leaders to be extra careful to keep their marriage vows.

The church also expects a deacon to be one who manages his children and household well (vs 12). If he is to manage the house of God, then he needs to demonstrate that he can do so by how he leads those in his home. If his home is in order, then the church can put their trust and faith in him to give direction and leadership in accordance to God’s Word.

Deacons should carry themselves in a manner that shows they are faithful servants of Jesus Christ. We see that their role is more of leadership and management of the church as opposed to preaching or teaching the Word of God on the pulpit. The pastor is the one most people are familiar with because he preaches every Sunday.

For the above Scripture to emphasize the leadership ability of the deacon, it means that they may not be known by most people in the congregation, though their impact is felt across the church.

Who is a Pastor?

We see the pastor mentioned in Ephesians 4:11, “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers.” A pastor bears the name because of the gift given to him by Jesus Christ. Pastors are by nature shepherds, and they tend to the flock of God that comes to church to listen to the Word.

He feeds them with spiritual food that nourishes their spirits. The role of the pastor is to equip the saints for the work of ministry and edify the church. He undertakes this responsibility with the others that have the other four gifts above.

By preaching to Christians every Sunday, the pastor prepares them to do the work that God has assigned them. We are each to serve with our spiritual gifts, and the pastor helps us to do so by caring for our spiritual needs and preparing us.

You will find that in most churches, it is the pastor who preaches and delivers the Word of God to those who attend services. Through the pastor, God desires that the church will grow in the fullness of Christ and become a formidable force in the world.

Pastors are recognized as shepherds who feed the flock of God. In Ezekiel 34:2, God was giving a prophetic word to the shepherds who were feeding themselves instead of the flocks (the people of God).

This shows that those who shepherd God’s people today are the pastors and their work is to feed us God’s Word. They are to do this without looking to get rich at the expense of their congregations. Not all pastors adhere to this directive today, and it is unfortunate when we see pastors taking advantage of their church members in different ways.

Final Thoughts – Deacon Vs. Pastor: Do You Know What the Difference is?

We find that most times, deacons are appointed by church leaders or elders while pastors are given their gift by God. 1 Timothy 3:1 opens by saying that anyone who desires to become a bishop, has desired a good thing. Then the following verses go on to give the requirements for a bishop and deacon. Not every church leader desires to become a deacon, but a pastor is one who is charged with his role by God and must undertake it.

Different churches have different ways they appoint deacons, but they always go by what the Word of God says. Pastors will usually go to Bible school to learn how to deliver the Word of God because they are required to preach, something that deacons do not necessarily do. Whether one is a pastor or deacon , they are to commit themselves to advancing the gospel of Jesus Christ and providing leadership and guidance in the church they serve.


  • Greg Gaines

    Father / Grandfather / Minister / Missionary / Deacon / Elder / Author / Digital Missionary / Foster Parents / Welcome to our Family https://jesusleadershiptraining.com/about-us/

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