Second Item: Two Deacons Less

Dear friends,

This is the third in a thread of five e-mails attempting to open doors of conversation about key topics for us to consider at our annual family meeting coming up on June 6th. I hope that we can answer questions and raise them, as well, because we want to have time to talk through where we believe that God is leading us.

Two of our faithful deacons have decided to step away from their formal responsibilities. Doug Johnson has served on the board for three and a half years, helping us walk through a painful meltdown in the world economy. Dave Riegel has been on the board for seven years, and has helped so many of our families during that economic quake by overseeing the “Deacons Fund”. These men have helped us greatly and we are very thankful to them.

The Nature of Deacons:

In the Greek, the word diakanos (deacon) simply means “servant”. It is used 29 times in the New Testament, and it generally means “one who serves”. Most of those usages do not speak about a specific role or title, they describe someone who is a servant.

There are only two passages that speak about a specific role – Philippians 1:1 and 1 Timothy 3:8-13. It is proper for us to say that every deacon is a servant, but not every servant is a deacon.

Acts 6:1-4 give us a good picture of what a deacon is called to do. Seven men are selected, not because of their great skill, but because of their great character, and identified as “lead servants”. They were called because the priority of the Apostles was to focus on prayer and preaching and equipping. Interestingly enough, the term diakanos is never used in Acts 6 – so it is jumping ahead to see these men as the first deacons, they are presented as a prototype. Remember Luke begins the chapter with the phrase, “Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number…” (Acts 6:1).

The role of a deacon, then, is to provide practical oversight of the church, under the oversight of the elders. Deacons are selected due to their outstanding character, then their specific skills are brought into consideration.

Where does that leave us?

We are in a great place.

  • Jesus is still the Lead Pastor of Windham Baptist Church – the gates of Hell cannot prevail.
  • There is a strong bond between our elders and our deacons; we are on the same page theologically and philosophically.
  • We are blessed with many servants, those who have been coming alongside of our deacons, helping them to get jobs done.
  • Some of these servants are ready to enter the process to become a Deacon – and we hope some will be recognized within the next year.
  • We are grateful for those who have served well, like Dave and Doug, knowing that they may no longer bear the title of Deacon, but will always continue to serve King Jesus.

What a joy it is to have such hardworking, faithful people – of every generation. May God continue to raise up disciples here, disciples who know how to bring God glory in all things (budgeting, painting, leading a ministry area, leading their friends to find their life in Jesus), who are able to equip others to bring God glory in all things.

I thank God for you all,

Pastor Mark

Some related Resources:

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