1. “Must be grave”—He must be serious minded about (a) being a Christian (b) doing the work of a deacon (c) life in general. This character trait would cause others to respect him.
2. THE WORK IS NOT IMPORTANT: The very fact Paul placed the qualification of deacons in the same chapter with elder’s qualifications indicates the work is important. In its own way and place it is as vital as the work of elders, and both are vital to the church fulfilling its mission. The second problem in the church (Acts 6) came about because there were no men doing the work deacons are to do. Something was being neglected. The apostles had more than they could do. There was a need in the church that was met by these men. 1 Corinthians 12:28 “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” And Thayer says the word “helps” refers to deacons in caring for the sick. The deacons had miraculous endowments (Acts 6:8) and one can see the class deacons are placed here in 1 Corinthians 12. Deacons are not just to have someone to turn out the lights and shut the door. We have preachers are doing the work of elders and elders doing the work of deacons and the deacons are doing nothing. But the work deacons do is very important.
4. “Not greedy of filthy lucre”—He is not to be more interested in gain than in godliness and the glory of God. He is not to live in order to get but in order to give. (Ephesians 4:28) One of the primary works of a deacon has to do with benevolence. He is to be one that is generous in life and heart that lives for the good of others. He labors in order to be able to give. How can they expect others to give, if they do not? A true leader would not expect anything out of his followers that he himself would not do. (What kind of a deacon would Ananias (Acts 5) or Judas (John 12:4-5) have made? What kind of influence would they have had on the church?) So from the “work” of deacons we can see the influence they would have over the growth of the church. And with that kind of attitude and influence their work is comparable to the work of elders.
The office of deacon is vital part of a local church. They relieve the spiritually focused elders and evangelist from the routine business and physical needs of the church. Though anyone may serve the church in a general sense, only qualified men may be scripturally appointed to this office. The spiritual overseers of the local church, the elders, are responsible for the final appointment of the deacons. The elders also determine the specific work of deacons, relevant to their local congregation. It is essential that we understand the qualifications and work of a deacon, so that we may properly fill this position with godly men who will assist the church. Perversion of their work or qualifications will only lead to further straying from God's pattern, will, and approval.