Jesus said, ” The greatest among you shall be your servant. (Matthew 23:11)
If that’s true, then surely the deacons of our church are among the greatest in our midst. The very name, “deacon”, carries the idea of selfless service. The elders of HCBC want to express our ongoing gratefulness to the men that have served as deacons past and present.
Because the role of a deacon demands constant “above and beyond” service, it is important to make sure we are regularly providing opportunities for deacons to have seasons of rest, while replenishing the ranks with more servants who are ready to give themselves to ministering to the flock.
With that said, I want to remind you that the elders of HCBC are seeking your help as we pray about expanding our deacon team. HCBC deacons play a crucial role in strengthening and furthering the ministry of our church, and they help Pastor Steve and myself shepherd and care for you better. As you are involved in the day-to-day life in the church, you are in a great position to help let us know who you’ve noticed as someone who may particularly be effective in such a service role.
You can write down your deacon nomination and put it in the box hanging up in the back of the sanctuary. For your convenience, you can also email your nominations to Jeff Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition, can you please add our deacon search to your daily prayers for the next few weeks? Pray that God would guide our church to find that right people to serve in this important role. We can do nothing without His help.
Knowing what a deacon is and does, and what the qualifications for such a role is, will be very helpful to you as you prayerfully consider whom you might nominate. If you are unsure about the role of deacon and the necessary qualifications, or if you just need refresher, let me commend some the following thoughts from 9Marks Ministries to you. Below I’ve provided a very helpful link detailing the biblical qualifications and responsibilities of deacons. I’d advise reading that first if you can. After that, beneath the link, I’ve shared some brief excerpts from a good article from Benjamin Merkle that reminds us that beyond raw administrative ability, we need deacons who will help promote peace and unity in the church.
Deacons: Shock-Absorbers and Servants
WHAT IS A DEACON?
According to the New Testament, a deacon is two things: a shock-absorber and a servant.
Deacons are shock-absorbers: the seven men chosen by the church in Jerusalem to care for widows, who seem to be precursors to deacons, were chosen to preserve unity at a time when botched administration was creating fissures in the church (see Acts 6:1-7).
And deacons are servants: their very name means servant, and their precursors in Acts 6 were chosen to handle the practical needs of the church. That way, the apostles could devote themselves to leading the church through prayer and the ministry of the Word.
DEACONS AS SHOCK-ABSORBERS
God has always intended to display his glory to the nations, in part, through the unity of Jews and Gentiles within the church (Eph 3:10), and yet it was exactly at this juncture that disunity was erupting in the early Jerusalem church.
The Greek-speaking Jews began to complain “against” the Hebrew-speaking Jews concerning the distribution of food. The church therefore chose seven men to distribute food equitably, yes, but, more than that, to restore unity where there was division. Unity-building was their primary goal; good administration was the means.
It’s notable that, when laying out qualifications for deacons in 1 Timothy 3, Paul focuses on issues of character rather than administrative skills. Accordingly, our churches should select deacons primarily for their track record of peacemaking, and only secondarily for administrative expertise.
DEACONS AS SERVANTS
The elders are called to “direct the affairs of the church” (1 Timothy 5:17), and deacons are called to support that direction. In our churches, then, elders should make directional decisions while deacons facilitate congregational involvement to make that vision a reality.
Elders lead ministry, deacons facilitate ministry, the congregation does ministry. That, I believe, is the New Testament model, and that biblical clarity in deacons’ role and function is invaluable for promoting peace and unity in our congregations.
I hope the above information can help you as you consider what individuals would be a great fit for the role of Deacon at HCBC. Thank you in advance for your involvement in this process.
Grace and Peace,