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. While I’ve always been extremely grateful for our deacons, now that I am without a team of fellow elders to serve with me, I am all the more appreciative of having these other leaders provide me with their wisdom and support as they assist me in leading the church.
With that said, I believe the time has come to add to our deacon ranks. This year Alix, while serving so well, has had to rotate off the deacon team for a season due to health concerns. In December, Todd, who has served us with excellence, will be rotating off. (We ask our deacons to take a break for at least a year after three years of service for refreshment and rest.) Therefore, I and our deacons are seeking your help as we pray about expanding the team. In addition to Todd, your current deacons are Mark, Jason, Cary, and Jonathan. Be sure to thank them for their service.
Our deacons play a crucial role in strengthening and furthering the ministry of our church. As you are involved in the day-to-day life in the church, you are in a great position to help us know who you’ve noticed as someone who may particularly be effective in such a service role.
Nomination slips are available in the back of the sanctuary, or for your convenience, you can also email your nominations to me at firstname.lastname@example.org I’d like your nominations by November 11th.
In addition, can you please pray for our deacon search? Pray that God would guide us to find the 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 are, will be very helpful to you as you prayerfully consider whom you might nominate. Therefore, please refresh yourself on the basics of deacon ministry by reading Acts 6:1-7 which I believe details the origins of deacon ministry in the early church. Read also 1 Tim 3:8-13, which describes the characteristics and qualifications of a deacon.
Next, read this brief article from 9marks ministries: The Biblical Qualifications and Responsibilities of Deacons.
Lastly, here is an excerpt from another great article from 9marks I’ve found to be helpful….
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,