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What are Deacons?

DEACONS

The Board of Deacons at Wellington Community Church is made up of men who meet the qualifications mentioned in Acts 6:3 and listed in I Timothy 3:8-12. The Deacon Board is responsible for the ongoing administrative management of the church. Scripture suggests that deacons are those who are given the responsibility of managing the administrative tasks of the local congregation so the elders are free to fulfill their primary responsibilities of the ministry of the Word of God and prayer (see Acts 6:1-7). The deacons of WCC meet at least once each month to pray and discuss the financial, facility and program issues that face the church.

DEACON NOMINATION PROCESS:

The Deacon Nomination process should be approached with prayerful care and consideration. In Acts 6:3 the word for “select” was “episkepsasthe” meaning “to choose or select on the basis of having investigated carefully.”

Deacons must be called by God and meet the qualifications in 1 Timothy 3:8-13; likewise they are to have a good reputation and be full of the Spirt and wisdom (Acts 6:3).

Nominees will undergo an examination process (1 Timothy 3:10) after which they will be presented to the congregation for a vote of affirmation.

Nominees must be a member of WCC for at least one year.

Nominees must be a man at least 21 years of age.

The following process is intended to help nominees discern their calling:

  1. Nominations will be accepted from members in good standing from January through Labor Day.
  2. The Chairman of the Deacon board will give nominees a copy of the book by Thabiti Anyabwile titled, Finding Faithful Elders and Deacons, chapters 1-6 to read.
  3. When the reading is completed, if the nominee desires to continue the process, he will attend an Elder/Deacon meeting with his spouse (if married) to learn about the roles and responsibilities of a deacon.
  4. If he desires to move forward in the process, he will be given:
  • A service-oriented ministry of at least three months to validate his calling by God to servant-leadership
  • A copy of the WCC Policy Manual to read
  • An application to be completed by October 1st
  1. After completion of the above items, nominees will submit their application and be formally interviewed for endorsement.
  2. The names of endorsed nominees will be presented to the church in the bulletin for congregational consideration. The bulletin notification should include a short bio of the candidate, his call to ministry, and a listing of the biblical qualifications. The membership should be encouraged to bring any concerns to the candidate privately prior to the vote.
  3. Finally, nominees will be voted upon at the next congregational meeting. They must have at least 75% of the congregational vote approval.
  4. If approved, they will serve a three year term.

QUALIFICATIONS FOR BEING A DEACON:

The qualifications for being a deacon are mentioned in Acts 6:1-7 and specifically listed in I Timothy 3:8-13 and it should be noted that these character qualities and abilities are not merely goals for deacons to aspire to but they are qualities that are to be present in the life of one who would be a deacon. He must possess these qualities prior to becoming a deacon. The biblical qualifications are as follows:

  • He must be worthy of respect (he must lead an honorable life).
  • He must be sincere (he must not be hypocritical; he must genuine).
  • He must not indulge in much wine (he must not be addicted to alcohol or other such substance).
  • He must not be pursuing dishonest gain (all his business dealings must be above reproach; there must be integrity in his employment and in all areas of his life).
  • He must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience (he must understand and embrace the fundamental truths of the Gospel, without insecurity or serious doubts).
  • He must be tested (he must be known to be faithful).
  • He must be the husband of one wife (he must not be a flirt, if married he has eyes only for his wife).
  • He must manage his children and household well (he is meeting the needs of his family and is loved and respected by his children).
  • He must be full of the Holy Spirit ( he must be a man who is led by the Spirit of God and manifests the fruit of the Spirit as expressed in Galatians 5:22).
  • He must be full of wisdom (he manifests the ability to see life from a biblical perspective and he lives accordingly).

 

Other qualifications:

  • In addition to the biblical qualifications listed above, those who desire to serve as deacons at WCC must be a member in good standing for at least one year and must have demonstrated that they are willing to serve the church.
  • A man may be nominated to the office of deacon by anyone in the congregation and, if he has completed his year as a member, he will be examined by the current deacons and elders. If he passes the examination, his name will be presented to the congregation as a nominee to the office of deacon two weeks prior to an officially called meeting for an election.  Deacons generally are elected at the annual meeting.
  • A deacon must receive at least 75% approval in the election.
  • Deacons are elected to three-year terms and may serve up to three terms, at which time they must step down for a least one year. After their year sabbatical, deacons must be again nominated and undergo the application process again (though abbreviated) to ensure their calling and desire.

RESPONSIBILITIES:

The specific duties of the deacons include (but are not limited to) overseeing the physical and material needs of those within the congregation, engaging in acts of compassion within the Body of Christ, and maintaining the physical facilities of the congregation. The application of these principles for WCC would be for the deacons to assume the following responsibilities:

  • Oversight of and responsibility for the finances of the church and for the annual budget.
  • Oversight of and involvement with the Barnabas Project, seeing that the physical and material needs of those in the congregation are met.
  • Oversight of the building and the grounds. That is, maintain and upgrade the facilities and equipment as necessary so as to enhance a fruitful ministry within the church.
  • Oversight of the use of the facilities. The deacons implement the Building Use policies and control the usage of the facilities.
  • Oversight of the congregation’s missions support.
  • Assist with worship services (lighting/HVAC systems ready, A/V, coordinate ushers, have offering bags ready, collect the offerings, count the offerings with two deacons present at all times, etc).
  • Facilitate all all-church functions (e.g., potlucks, picnics, special meetings, etc.)
  • Help oversee and facilitate meeting special needs within the congregation such as funerals, care for the sick or shut-in, etc.
  • Handle any legal matters in conjunction with the elders.
  • Ensure that church records are being kept in order and preserved and accessible for future generations. Kinds of records to be kept include:
    1. Annual Reports
    2. Minutes of Congregational Meetings and Elder/Deacon Meetings.
    3. Congregational votes and the actual ballots collected
    4. Baptisms
    5. Membership changes
  • Annual Reports are to include:
    1. Overview of the body life of the church by the elders
    2. Overview of each ministry by the ministry leaders
    3. A copy of the church budget and expenditures
    4. Minutes of congregational/business meetings plus copies of handouts and ballots
    5. Lists of Baptisms/Marriages/Deaths
    6. Leadership changes

From among their members they elect a chairman, a vice-chair, a treasurer and a secretary.  Their duties are as follows:

  • Chairman:
    • Develop an agenda for regular monthly meetings and conduct such meetings
    • Represent the Deacon Board before the congregation in all congregational meetings
    • Develop the agenda for all congregational meetings. Conduct such meetings and represent the Board of deacons at these meetings.
    • Delegate responsibilities to members of the Deacon Board, including responsibilities for administrative oversight according to the church organizational chart.
    • Initiate and conduct evaluations of non-pastoral staff members.
  • Vice-chairman
    • Assume responsibilities of the chairman in his absence.
  • Treasurer
    • Maintain close attention to the financial matters of WCC.
    • Lead in the development of an accurate chart of accounts and annual budget.
    • Prepare and present a financial report for the monthly meeting and the Annual meeting.
    • Oversee the timely entering and acknowledgement of receipts and payment of all expenses.
    • Ensure the integrity of the church’s financial transactions and records.
  • Secretary
    • Take notes of all official business decisions of the Board and maintain such records
    • Forward a copy of all minutes to each Board member in a timely fashion following a meeting of the Board

The deacons are under the authority of the elders and so carry out their duties in conformity with the spiritual direction and rule of the elders.

EXPECTATIONS:

  • Maintain a personal walk with the Lord Jesus and meet the criteria required in I Timothy 3:8-13 and Acts 6:1-7 and in the constitution of WCC.
  • Notify the Board and elders if he ever finds himself in disagreement with the WCC doctrinal statement or philosophy of ministry.
  • Be faithful in attendance at worship services (75%).
  • Be involved and faithful in attending Sunday School.
  • Meet monthly to pray and conduct the administrative business of the church.
  • Be faithful in the discharge of all assigned duties or tasks
  • Attend all all-church functions.
  • Facilitate the physical aspects of church events (e.g., setting up chairs and tables when necessary).