Acts chapter six gives us the origin and meaning of deacons in the church context.
I Timothy 3 gives us the spiritual qualifications for elders and deacons.
Deacons and Elders are pared ministry teams. They work hand in hand. They
compliment one another.
It is important that each elder and deacon have a prayer partner from among
these men with whom he shall meet each week for not less than 30 minutes of
prayer. We are all in the school of prayer and the only way to learn is to pray.
The more we pray the more we learn and grow. Let us pray together. The more we
discipline ourselves to pray together the more we will more effectively pray
with those in need.
The church is about people, not programs and policies. People last forever,
programs and policies are temporary and will quickly be forgotten. Let us
prioritize the needs of the body of Christ. Let us prioritize ministries that
help people and assist in creating a rich worship environment. Everything from
the benevolent offerings, to van, to greeters, to ushers, and to the sound
system are support ministries to people. It helps them. It serves them. It
ministers to them. It blesses them.
"Shepherding" is caring about people. It neednít be a laborious task of
extensive visitation. We are working on arbitrarily dividing up segments of the
congregation for elder and deacon oversight. The focus is mainly on the new
attendees, forgotten people, and neglected families. Often people attend the
church for more than a year without establishing any network of friends within
the congregation. We are asking our elders and deacons to set the example for
friendliness and encouraging fellowship. This involves 1) getting to know every
name and face on your list (they need not know they are in your group) 2) make a
point of greeting them and noticing when they are missing for more than 3 weeks.
3) encourage friendship and fellowship by introducing them to other people that
might be of like backgrounds. 4) periodically promote fellowship by having a few
of the newer families into your home if and when possible.
Each deacon-elder team will be assigned the care and oversight of a shut-in.
They shall make every effort to visit, encourage, and assist the elderly in
their distress. Usually one visit per month is adequate to serve communion as
requested. This should be done as a ministry team. We have recommended to the
deaconesses since most shut-ins are women who feel uncomfortable being visited
by strange men, that their assistance in systematically visiting the shut-ins
will be greatly appreciated by all. When a visit is not possible (or welcomed),
sending a card, letter, or phone call is an encouraging contact. Always pray
with the shut-in on every possible occasion.
During this year we will conduct a training program for deacons and elders so
that you will know exactly what is expected of you in your work for the Lord.
When everyone shares their part in the work the work is more enjoyable and
light. With this in mind each deacon should willingly volunteer to oversee some
aspect of the deacon ministry. This does not mean that you have to "run" the
program yourself, on the contrary, it is far better that you delegate work to
other able men and you oversee that ministry. Giving oversight means that you
encourage those who serve in that capacity. "Deaconing" is about "doing" not
"sitting" on a board. Our desire is to make the task of "deaconing" a joyful and