10 Quotes from Deacons by Matt Smethurst

Matt Smethurst is managing editor of The Gospel Coalition. He has served as both a deacon and an elder at Third Avenue Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky, and is now in the process of planting River City Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia.

Check out the River City Baptist Church here.

Go get a copy of Deacons.

Listen to his conversation about his book with Crossway.

10 Quotes from Deacons

A church without biblical deacons may exhibit signs of health for a while, but over time its health will suffer. (pg. 21)

When deacons flourish, the whole congregation wins. (pg. 22)

Deaconing is not training wheels for eldering. (pg. 33)

Deacons are like a congregation’s Special Ops force, carrying out unseen assignments with fortitude and joy. (pg. 39)

Public ministry is impossible without private service. Had the seven not freed the apostles to focus on teaching and prayer (Acts 6:4), the gospel would not have spread (Acts 6:7). (pg. 56)

Deacons serve at the elders’ pleasure not because elders are ultimate, but because Jesus is. (pg. 80)

No doubt locations and circumstances vary greatly, but the common denominator – the heartbeat – of diaconal work remains the same: self-giving service for the good of Christ’s church and the glory of his name. (pg. 116)

The world has always measured greatness by the standard a person receives, not by what he gives. But Jesus radically reverses our fallen logic. (pg. 122)

Deacon, your office has an expiration date, but your status as the King’s servant will never end. (pg. 127)

Faithful deacons should see their fingerprints in the unity of their congregation, for which Jesus prayed (John 17:22). (pg. 132)

David Platt – “Shepherd the Flock of God”

1. Do you love your ministry more than you love Jesus?

2. Are you content to care for the congregation that God has entrusted to you?

3. Is pastoring a job for you to perform or a passion for you to fulfill?

4. Are you pridefully concerned about what others think about you or humbly consumed by what God has called you to?

5. Are you driven by what you get in ministry or by what you give in ministry?

6. Is your leadership based on intimidation of others?

7. Is your life worthy of imitation of others?

8. Does the way you pastor make no sense on this earth and total sense in eternity?

Book Briefs: Signs of the Messiah

Andreas Kostenberger is research professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology and Director of the Center for Biblical Studies at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has written numerous books, including The Theology of John’s Gospel and Letters, Encountering John, and The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament.

To purchase a copy of Signs of the Messiah, check out Lexham Press.

Given Dr. Kostenberger’s credentials, he is a go-to scholar on the Gospel of John. When he writes a book on the Gospels, it would be a good thing for pastors, seminary students, and lay people to pick it up. This work is especially geared for everyone. Anyone and everyone should be able to pick up this book and read.

Signs of the Messiah gives a great overview of the Gospel of John for a new believer or a Christian who has studied this Gospel for a long time. It is under 200 pages so it is accessible for many.

This work is broken into 3 Parts:

1. Authorship, Prologue, and Cana Cycle (John 1-4)

2. Festival Cycle (John 5-10)

3. Conclusion to the Book of Signs (John 11-12) and Book of Exaltation (John 13-21)

*This would be a great book to use while you are walking through the Gospel of John. The figures/charts in this book are helpful to show the overview of the Signs while also showing their connection throughout the whole Gospel of John. If you miss the signs, you miss major points in this Gospel.

One of the figures on page 35 lays out the 7 Signs in John:

1. Turning water into wine (John 2:1-12)

2. Clearing the Temple (John 2:13-22)

3. Healing the Gentile Centurion’s son (John 4:46-54)

4. Healing the lame man in Jerusalem (John 5:1-15)

5. Feeding the Five Thousand (John 6:1-15)

6. Healing the man born blind (John 9)

7. Raising Lazarus, foreshadowing Jesus resurrection (John 11)

It also contains other figures/charts such as a comparison of Nicodemus and the Samaritan Woman in John 3 and 4. It has discussion questions and other recommended reading as well.

After you read this book and you walk through the Scriptures, it will lead you to rejoice in Jesus! If you need to walk through a concise book on the Signs in John or need a book to read on the Gospel of John, put this on your list.

We only get one life and it will soon pass. Only what is done for Christ will last.

*I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.