Can Deacons Be Appointed To Their Work Without Elders?
No. There are several reasons why a local congregation should not have deacons without elders.
The first reason is that invariably the congregation would look to the deacons as being the highest office in the congregation and therefore the deacons would indirectly have the same authority as the elders (Hebrews 13:17). Having deacons appointed without an eldership would thwart God's system of organization by reducing the qualifications necessary to be a shepherd of the flock. All a Christian man would need to do is meet the qualifications of a deacon in order to be in the "most authoritative" human position in the church.
There are several questions that would be asked if deacons were appointed without elders. Who is overseeing the work that they are doing? To whom would they be accountable? Who directs them in the work they should do?
The second reason is that we never find authority in Scripture to have deacons without an eldership in the New Testament (Philippians 1:1).
Some might point to Acts 6 where there were seven men that served tables. These men are nowhere called deacons in the text, but it might be the case that they were deacons. However, during that time the apostles were overseeing the flock of Jerusalem (apostolic authority: Matthew 16:18-19). The seven men were serving under them.
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