Elders and Deacons

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by bobbyd, Dec 16, 2004.

  1. bobbyd

    bobbyd
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    I had a talk with the chairman of my deacon board last night about some much needed changes that i feel are necessary at the church i am pastoring; part of it was concerning deacons and elders.
    When i became a Christian a little over 15 years ago, i made the "mistake" of reading my Bible. As an 18 year old new Christian with no real church background, one of the first things i noticed was that the deacons i saw in my church and other churches i went into didn't look like the deacons i saw in Acts 6. Personally, i feel that the office is deacon is being misused, at best in our churches, and the ministry of the deacon (which is to do ministry) is being neglected. For this reason i was suggesting a church leadership structure that includes both elders (serving as current deacons serve) and deacons (doing the ministry that Scripture lays out).
    I know this isn't very "baptistic", so i was wondering what other people thought.

    in HIS grip
    bobbyd
     
  2. JGrubbs

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    I think you are right, I would not be concerned with wether it is "baptistic", but if it is "Biblical".

    The New Testament church was led by a plurality of co-equal elders (also called pastors and overseers) in an arrangement that was completely non-hierarchical. (Acts 14:23; 20:28; Phil.1:1; 1Tim.4:17; Heb.10:17; James 5:14; Titus 1:5-7; 1Pet.5:1-2)
     
  3. Deacon

    Deacon
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    Where I attend deacons assist the pastors in with the work of the church. Deacons oversee maintenance, finances, the day-care, the food pantry, ushers, offering, parking, missions, and a slew of other ministries. They also participate in the process of disciplining.

    Our pastors specialize in preaching, teaching, education, assimilation and worship.

    Both groups (pastors and deacons) meet in a monthy meeting to discuss church business and to seek agreement about how things should be handled. When unity is achived, the decisions are communicated to the congregation for affirmation.

    Rob
     
  4. mioque

    mioque
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    My own church uses the Deacon, Elder, Pastor structure seen in most Protestant churches. In our case it was established that way half a century ago because all of our founding members (most of them Dutch Reformed prior to that) simply assumed that it was the way to do things.
     
  5. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    Ditto for our church. We have a pastor, a 'college' of elders, and deacons; we've just restructured to have the deacons as 'heads of department/ ministries' with power delegated down from them

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  6. All about Grace

    All about Grace
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    Bottom line: you need to decide if this issue is a hill worth dying on in that particular church. Unless you are there for the long haul it is unfair to put an established church through a restructuring of leadership of this magnitude.
     
  7. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    I think that is something you can change over time. Start with a Bible study in your deacons meetings about the role of pastor and deacon. Start with the pastor to put yourself on the spot and show them you are holding yourself to the biblical example. Since, in Scripture, pastor/elder/overseer are all the same office, you can survey all those passages. Then survey hte deacon's passages (there are only two of them) and show what the Bible expects from deacons. Once you demonstrate their biblical function, guage their willingness to carry that biblical function out.

    At all costs, resist referring to your deacons as a "board." That insinuates a ruling function Scripture never gives them. The pastor is the leader according to Scritpure. He may have assistants that help him, but in the NT church, the leading/overseeing function falls to the pastor. Use it well.

    But be willing to change over time. Don't force it.
     
  8. Charles Meadows

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    " At all costs, resist referring to your deacons as a "board." That insinuates a ruling function Scripture never gives them. The pastor is the leader according to Scritpure. He may have assistants that help him, but in the NT church, the leading/overseeing function falls to the pastor. Use it well. "

    I agree with that - but many deacons view themselves as part of a ruling board. That's a pretty big problem in alot of churches around here. It's usually the "ol fuddy duddies" who are proud to tell you they've been a deacon for 40 years. I find that their pride often trumps biblical sense.
     
  9. Broadus

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    Patience, much patience, with biblical teaching is the key. Our church is moving toward a plurality of elders with the deacons serving in a more biblical role. The church is totally on board.

    One resource which is very helpful is A Display of God's Glory by Mark Dever, pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC. This is an excellent small book which lays out, both biblically and practically, the offices in the church. I cannot recommend this highly enough. It is available as a free download at http://content.christianity.com/2/26595/2_26595_ADisplayofGodsGlory.Display_of_Gods_Glory.pdf . It may also be purchased https://secure2.christianity.com/ccnmm/site/PremiumSelector?CAMPAIGN_ID=1046 for $5 each. You may want to take your folks through it, making the book available to each family.

    BTW, a great site is www.9marks.org for issues dealing with the church.

    Bill
     

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