~ A place to find answers to gnawing spiritual questions ~
Question: Please define the difference between a deacon and an elder, and how they differ from a minister.
Answer: The elders of the church are those who are spiritually mature and grown up in the Lord. Specifically, they are apostles, prophets, etc.
Elders also should have years of experience in the ministry. However, that does not mean a person is qualified to be an elder just because he is 40, 50, or 60 years old. He must be spiritual to be an elder. He should be an apostle or prophet, or a pastor or evangelist with spiritual gifts operating in his life. Above all, he must be a man of intercessory prayer like the Prophet Samuel.
Deacons are not the same as elders. The job of a deacon is to assist the pastor in tasks such as dealing with widows, distribution of goods, feeding the poor, taking care of the parsonage, etc., giving the pastor time to spend in fasting and prayer in order to know how to feed the flock. They should also be spiritual and full of the Holy Spirit.
In the book of Acts, the Apostle Paul appointed certain men to be pastors over churches. The pastor should be appointed by an apostle or prophet (elders) and then the pastor should appoint deacons names to the church congregation and have them ratified.