Each July and August FBC prayerfully selects five deacons who will serve a three- year term. The following is brief explanation of the “heart” of deacon ministry in the church.
Deacons are leading servants who through deeds of love and mercy, show the church what it means to tangibly love one another.
Pastors are servant leaders who oversee and shepherd the church by the authority of Gospel-Word and their Spirit-led example.
Deacon ministry and pastoral ministry are meant to work in partnership with one another for the flourishing of the local church and its mission. Whereas a pastor’s primary leadership is Word-based, a deacon’s primary leadership is service-based.
The Scriptures tell us that the first deacons who were selected were “full of the Holy Spirit.” Deacons are to be worthy of respect and without hypocrisy in their character, motivated by the gospel and not greedy desires, faithful to their spouse, and attentive in their home.
Consider the following passages for the biblical qualifications of a deacon:
• Acts 6:1-6 (ESV): Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. 2 And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. 3 Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. 4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” 5 And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. 6 These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them.
• 1 Timothy 3:8-13 (ESV): Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. 9 They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. 11 Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. 13 For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.
Deacon service at FBCFP is a ministry of:
Deacons are servants. The word for deacon in the New Testament is diakonos—literally “servant.” The New Testament does not spell out every detail of what their service was, but we know deacons are meant to serve their church and meet needs that arise in their church. Deacons in FBCFP may be called upon to meet particular spiritual or physical needs of the church body, to provide practical support for church ministries and church staff, and to lead in spiritual matters through prayer, teaching, or counseling. Deacons serve the church on a rotating basis to provide a secure ministry setting by locking/unlocking doors and security monitoring.
Deacons are raised up for service by the congregation as those qualified from among the congregation. Their reliable presence communicates their support of the vision and mission of the church, makes them available to see and meet needs, and sets an example for healthy discipleship. Deacons need to be truly present in the local church and to belong to a weekly Sunday school class/discipleship group.
Deacon service is a ministry of mercy for people in challenging circumstances or in crisis. They offer help in assessing their needs and help meet those needs financially, emotionally, or physically. Deacons in FBCFP are assigned widows and vulnerable elderly people from the congregation to know and care for them. Deacons may also be called upon for prayer ministry, for visiting those hospitalized or in emergent situations, and for benevolence and assistance to church or community members.
Deacons serve the pastor and staff so that the ministry of the Word might thrive. They support the vison of the pastor for accomplishing the ministry and mission for the church. Deacons are available to the pastor and staff to pray for them and discuss spiritual needs. They may be called upon to provide counsel for overseeing the church well. By their service to the congregation, deacons allow the pastor and staff to properly devote themselves to the ministry of the Word.
Deacons serve by attending to the fiscal and practical management of the church in line with the mission and vision of the church. Deacons are called upon to participate in monthly deacons’ meetings, to serve and/or chair committees, to make recommendations to the general church body in regard to financial matters and ministry initiatives, and to be proactive in maintaining the church’s facilities.
By virtue of serving in a visible manner, deacons help set the culture of the church. Deacons’ lives are meant to be tangible demonstrations of the gospel at work among us. Deacons show the congregation how to love God and love one another. Deacons are to be the concrete illustration of how gospel doctrine produces gospel culture.