The New Testament writers knew the human heart. They knew that people need to be motivated, and incentives and promises will do just that.
Anyone who reads 1 Timothy 3:13 will find the promise that those who serve well as deacons will “gain a good standing for themselves.” That’s an appealing incentive, right?
If you serve as a deacon, you will gain a good standing. In other words, through the process of being tested and serving as a deacon, it will yield a respect and appreciation for your service to the body. People will notice that the lights are on, the coffee’s hot, the sound works, everything happens. People notice that things are taken care of, and that it’s being done out of the generosity and servant-heartedness of deacons and deaconesses. And they will be grateful.
But there’s even greater incentive than a good standing with people. Paul says that deacons who serve well will gain “great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.” Qualified deacons are called to serve in hard places, and they can serve with confidence that God has placed them there. So they can serve boldly and immovably, with confidence in the one they ultimately serve.
Serving and leading as a deacon is a big deal. It comes with recognition from others and confidence before God. So, take this passage of 1 Timothy 3:8-13 and use it as a mirror to examine yourself. Lord willing, what you see in the reflection will look a lot like the Servant himself, the Deacon who is the Lord.