DEACONS

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Salty, Aug 15, 2003.

  1. Salty

    Salty
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    Many topics mention deacons, usually from the point of view that they are a thorn in the flesh.
    In most churches, Deacons are considered as part of the leadership. Also most deacons are elected for three year terms, even though pastors are normally indefinite.

    It is my belief that deacons are to take care of the physical needs of the congeration. (ie take food to the needy) Spiritual needs should be taken care of by the pastor and elders.

    What is the position of your church on these matters?
     
  2. gb93433

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    Some churches take a single elder position and others take a multiple elder position.

    Paul never emphasized the position but the responsibility and function of the office. The primary responsibility of every Christian is to reproduce themselves in the lives of others. From what I have seen very pastors know how to teach this to others by example. It certainly was not taught to me in seminary. I learned it while in The Navigators in college.

    Deacons can be a source of great joy if they have been discipled. I have experienced this first hand. But others can be nothing more than decisionmakers and mean babies who talk with their wives and friends about everything that goes on in the meetings. I think the problem often starts in between the time when a pastor leaves and another comes.

    A few years ago I wrote one of the past presidents of the SBC about this problem and my personal experience with one church. He wrote back and asked me if I asked some of the tough questions.

    From that point on I have asked a question or two about "Who's living for Jesus Christ because of your life?" It is kind of interesting to see the expressions on their faces when I ask that question.

    When I was in seminary I knew few men wanting to be pastors and only a handful of prefessors who knew how to disciple others. The number of people who actually disciple others one on one is very small.
     
  3. Dr. Gerald Click

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    Deacon comes to us from the Greek word diakonia (Sorry I don't have Greek characters on this keyboard)which means "Servant." The word in the NT is usually connected with the supply of material needs and service. In most cases, there is no technical meaning relating to a specialized function in the church. The qualifications listed in 1Tim 3: show that they were not considered ordinary lay members of the church. "Pastor's Assistant" would probably be the most accurate description of the function.
     
  4. Dr. Bob

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    Used to joke about "board of demons, er deacons" but found that there were many folks out there that had been hurt after serving faithfully for a lifetime.

    Not a laughing matter to have great servants in a church.
     
  5. Roy1

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    This may sound simplistic, but every church ought to be a church full of Deacons, “Servants.” Each member should have the heart of a servant, seeking to help others. But the Office of a Deacon few can fill. Good Deacons are hard to find. Those with a real heart to serve rather than to be served. Those seeking to ease the Pastor of the mundane daily tasks of the church are a real blessing. Although their duties are very practical, there qualifications are spiritual.

    They are not in a leadership role, but by virtue of their spiritual standing they may be used as advisors to the Pastor. When they seek to correct and guide the Pastor in the way that they see the Church should be going, they have missed the point of servant hood, and dishonored the position given to them.

    I have been a Deacon and now a Pastor, so I can understand both sides of the fence. 1Tim 3:13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

    Some have not used the office well. They have seen it as an office standing rather than servant hood.

    To avoid some of the difficulties some churches have with Deacons, they should go over the duties and qualifications of a Deacon yearly or whenever a new deacon is appointed. Only a thought but it may help in reducing conflict.
     
  6. rufus

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    In the church I pastor, deacons are elected for life and serve until they prove unfit Scripturally or until they die. And they help serve both the physical and spiritual needs of the congregation. I get along well with the deacons.

    Rufus [​IMG]
     
  7. David Ekstrom

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    I would respectfully disagree with Bro. Roy when he says that if deacons correct the pastor they are not doing their job. As a pastor I say, if deacons are NOT correcting the pastor, they are not doing their job. We don't need yes-men, zombies, or sychophants in leadership. The Proverbs explain to us that real love is not flattery but truth-telling. I want people to tell me when they think I'm wrong. I've never been criticized without there being an element of truth in it. Now HOW one goes about criticizing, that's another matter. A skill every church member needs is how to gripe properly.
     
  8. Roy1

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    Sorry Bro David,

    You have missed my point, or maybe it was not clear enough.

    My point was that Deacons do not have a leadership role. It is when they come as collective or have their secret meetings that they have missed the point. Their role is an advisory one to the pastor; they have no collective authority over the pastor. You are correct we don't need yes-men, zombies, or sycophants in leadership, but the deacon is a servant of the church not the leadership. Please note that I said “When they seek to correct and guide the Pastor in the way that they see the Church should be going.” It is when they seek to push their personal agenda, rather than seeking to follow and support the leadership of the pastor that God has set in that place. As long as it is not unbiblical or unethical.

    I agree that every church member should be free enough to approach the pastor on any matter that they may feel is wrong. The pastor is not always right and I personally encourage this in our church. But the collective muscle of the modern Deacon Board can be more about a power struggle than service.

    I trust this will help clear up what I meant.
    Roy
     

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