As we have been studying Acts and the formation of the church, we came across the story of the proto-deacons chosen to serve widows and ensure the distribution of church resources was fair and considered everyone in the church. The Apostles, as elders of the church, were focusing time and energy on preaching and prayer, the spiritual oversight of the movement of Christ followers.
In our church as we have been laboring to replant these last few years we have relied on every member to accomplish our purpose and as we move into the future that won’t change. We do have in place however structures that allow us to grow, flourish, and ensure everyone is cared for in the body.
We began with elder leadership. Our church is led and shepherded by a team of elders appointed and affirmed by the covenant membership of the church. We have also made provision in our Book of Church Order for deacons to be commissioned to carry out ministry and lead teams toward our goals.
Here is what the BOCO says:
Deacons, under the oversight of the Council of Elders, shall administrate service––whether in financial matters, ministries of mercy, or other areas of service in church life. Deacons do not have any special governing authority in the church, and are submitted to the oversight of the Council of Elders.
There is no minimum or maximum number of Deacons to be commissioned. The number of Deacons and the job description of each Deacon may be determined by the Council of Elders in consideration of the gifts and needs of the congregation.
To this end the elders of Reservoir Church have prayerfully determined that we will begin to appoint Deacons for strategic ministries that match our priorities and purpose as a church; primarily in Children’s Ministry and Special Needs Ministry.
One question that may arise is exactly who can serve as a deacon? Again the BOCO:
A Deacon must be a Member in good standing (including faith in Jesus Christ, subscription to the Confessional Statement, and the other expectations noted in Section 3.02) whose life consistently conforms to the qualifications for deacons presented in 1 Timothy 3:8-13.
We have considered and studied Scripture and we believe this includes women as those capable of serving as deacons. For more insight we relied on a paper prepared by Grace Church of East County, which you can read here.
This is an exciting time of ministry focus at our church and potential new opportunities for redemptive work in our community. Please continue in prayer that we would follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit and humbly know Jesus and make him known.