Deacons

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Salty, Feb 24, 2015.

  1. Salty

    Salty
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    Quoted from a different thread.
    DHK brought up some very interesting points.

    So lets talk about Deacons. Many Baptist churches are set up that put Deacons as leaders of the church. DHK states that is incorrect.
    So here are some questions:
    1) Should be deacons be the leaders of the church
    2) Is it unbiblical for the church to have the Deacons be leaders -in addition to be servants.
    3) Is it Biblical for a female to be a Deacon
    ...A) if the position is only as a servant
    ...B) if the position is also as a leader
    4) Should the pastor be considered in a leadership position - if so is he to be a dictator
    5) If the church has multiple Elders - and they are consider as leadership - should an Elder also be voted/appointed as a Deacon
    6) Biblically should Pastors/Elders/Deacons be
    ...A)voted on by the church as a whole
    ...B) appointed by the Pastor
    ...C) appointed by the Elders
    7. Any other pertinent points....
     
    #1 Salty, Feb 24, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2015
  2. PreachTony

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    DHK is certainly entitled to his opinion, but what is meant by "leader?" Do we mean someone exercising control over the congregation? Or do we mean someone acting in a position of authority via example and solemnity?

    I'm not against this, so long as they are not claiming authority over the flock. Christ is the head of the church, but these offices (bishop/pastor, deacon) exist for a reason. You can argue the Deacon office came into existence in Acts 6: "Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business." (Acts 6:2-3)
    Paul's direction to Timothy seems to hold the Deacon to higher accountability than just serving tables. Paul says the Deacon should hold "the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience"(1 Timothy 3:9)
    How can a deacon be the "husband of one wife" if the Deacon is a woman? (No offense, ladies.)
    I've always thought of the Pastor not as a leader in the sense of a dictator, but as an under-shepherd to Christ, watching over a flock and guiding them toward safe haven in the Lord.
    Often times a church might not have enough male members to account for all necessary offices. You pray this is not the case, but if it is, what then?
    The Bible says a man can "desire" the office of a bishop (KJV) but that can probably be heavily debated. My church votes on a Pastor as a church body. The Deacons tend to lead the search, but other members are often contacted for input on the direction the deacon board feels lead to go in their search. Deacons, should a new deacon be appointed, are brought up for vote by the deacon board and voted on by the church body. An ordination service is held later. My church has "elders" in the sense of elder members, but we do not have "Elders" as other churches do.
     
  3. Tom Butler

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    Not every church does it the same way. For instance, in the church I serve, the deacons consider themselves servants, not bosses. But because the deacons tend to be the most spiritual and wisest men in the church, the congregation naturally looks to them for some leadership.

    Basically, the deacons don't run anything. Since they do meet regularly, and keep tabs on church life, their views carry considerable weight. But any action desired by the deacons comes to the church as a recommendation.

    In our church,, we have one elder--the pastor. We could call him Elder So-and-so, but it's mainly Pastor or Brother. The church gives the pastor power and authority commensurate with his responsibilities. Within parameters, the pastor has extensive authority. The congregation also delegates some authority to its staff, and leaders of the Sunday School and other organizations, depending on their responsibilities.
     
  4. Rebel

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    I look at this as referring to the non-acceptability of polygamy, and not having anything to do with gender. Either that, or Paul was contradicting other scripture and practice because there were women deacons in the NT.
     
  5. ShagNappy

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    It had nothing to do with a deacon having to be married, and to a woman. IF this is true, explain deaconess. A deacon is a servant, plain and simple. Go to the Greek. This is simply a prohibition against having multiple wives. A wife was not going to have multiple husbands at that time and in that culture so it did not need to be addressed.
     
  6. Reynolds

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    A biblical deacon is to be a servant. Biblically, it is obvious that the role of servant also consisted of a degree of administration. Today, for Churches to maintain tax exempt status with the IRS, they have to have some type board of directors. Most churches use the deacons to fill that obligation. If you tell the IRS that the deacons are the administrators, then the deacons are the administrators.
     
  7. Revmitchell

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    Most churches do not use deacons as the board of directors. Nothing in scripture indicates that the deacons should be admins of the church. In fact that is the exact opposite of what they should be doing and is the source of much conflict in the church.
     
  8. Salty

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    Found this in the Constitution of the Latham Bible Baptist Church:(page 26- Article IX Section 2) )
    The corporate business meeting shall be held following the annual business meeting.
    It shall be held in accordance with the laws of the State of New York, relating to the
    conduct of Baptist Churches. The congregation shall by vote of those 21 years of age
    and over, pass a resolution declaring the deacons to be the trustees of the church.
    One of these deacons shall be elected as the “chair
     
  9. Deacon

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    Our elders distributed a letter last week informing us that they will begin the process of allowing female deacons.

    I've been nominating a few women each go-round anyway, even before the decision, so I'm not unhappy about it.

    Your questions: ...relating to how the church body I attend is run.

    1) Should be deacons be the leaders of the church
    Deacons should be leaders IN the church. Elders are leaders OF the church.

    2) Is it unbiblical for the church to have the Deacons be leaders -in addition to be servants.

    The bible isn't particularly clear on the point so a lot of differences are to be expected.
    They are expected to have leadership abilities - they are to be 'tested' in similar ways to an elder.

    3) Is it Biblical for a female to be a Deacon
    ...A) if the position is only as a servant
    ...B) if the position is also as a leader


    Again, a bit unclear, arguments can be made for both positions.
    However in the NT women often held prominent positions in the church.
    You'd think that their subservient role in a household and the multitude of tasks that needed to be performed in ancient times might have held them back but apparently it didn't. A strong argument can be made for differences between the male and female deacon based upon gender roles; women can certainly lead women.

    4) Should the pastor be considered in a leadership position - if so is he to be a dictator

    Churches are to have elders (plural)! Dictators don't belong in a church family.


    5) If the church has multiple Elders - and they are consider as leadership - should an Elder also be voted/appointed as a Deacon

    Interesting question! Once an elder, always an elder. The church body votes on who will be leading elders every two years. They meet regularly to deal with the decisions and direction of the church.

    I'm one of a few non-voting elders in my church. I stepped down from the leadership role for health and scheduling-related issues about two years ago. Currently I may perform as a deacon (servant) in some roles and as an elder (teacher) in others. But I have no say (no voting power) in the direction of the church.

    Still, one of the things we agree to as an elder is that we can disagree with each other in our meetings but once a final decision is determined, we all are of one mind.

    Biblically should Pastors/Elders/Deacons be
    ...A)voted on by the church as a whole
    ...B) appointed by the Pastor
    ...C) appointed by the Elders


    Acts 6 appears to give the congregation some role in choosing how some people function within the body of believers.

    The "Pastor" is an elder with distinctive gifts that should be recognizable to others.

    In my church, the elders define what tasks need to be performed and select out from the body someone that they believe may fulfill that role. They interview them and go through a process similar to that of an elder, just not as vigorous. Then they present them to the church for approval. Their term is indefinite at the discretion of the leading elders.

    Rob
     
  10. Salty

    Salty
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    Opps - did not see the un-smiley in my post (# 8)
    too late to delete it now. Not sure how it got there.
     
  11. Reynolds

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    Who does your church use for the governing board that the IRS requires a 501 (c) (3) to have?
     

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