Post by Josh Fenska
This autumn, we have nominated Greg U, Matt V, and Tom B to serve as deacons. In the years to come, we want to see a number of church members commissioned as deacons—to administrate servanthood for the upbuilding of the church to the glory of God. (See the previous post about the Bible’s teaching on deacons, and look for more posts to come on this blog.) Today’s post will focus on the next steps we see for us at Redeemer related to deacons.
Some churches organize different ways. Among evangelical churches, the two most common approaches to deacons are either to create a “deacon committee” (addressing administrative issues through committee meetings), or to commission “task-specific deacons” (who focus on specific areas of interest and expertise). Neither model is inherently more Biblical. Both have advantages. But we plan to commission task-specific deacons.
(And if that idea is brand new to you, you may be interested to check out this article on “The Committee-Free, Task Specific Deacon” from a very good 9Marks eJournal about deacons.)
Finding task-specific deacons may work one of two ways:
- As we watch people serving in our church body, we may identify an individual who is effectively administrating servanthood. Maybe someone who is leading a ministry team, or who is organizing and stirring others up to serve in ministries of mercy. This person could be nominated and commissioned to serve as a deacon.
- We may see an area in need of administration and guidance in church life, and go to the congregation asking for nominations of people whose character and gifts would position them to effectively steer that area of church life.
In either case, we envision commissioning deacons with clear job descriptions. Maybe one would focus on church finances, one on business administration, another on ministries of mercy, and another focusing on how we welcome newcomers. These are just a few examples. The point is that we want to see deacons commissioned to administrate servanthood in a variety of areas of church life, so that in the power of the Sprit they can strengthen the body of Christ to the glory of God.
What steps will we take in that direction?
Phase #1: The first phase (this autumn) is that we as elders are recommending several members to be commissioned as deacons in December. We are recommending several members who are already “deaconing”—members who are already obviously administrating servanthood in significant ways, and whose commissioning would appear to be a “no brainer” for us as a church.
Phase #2: The second phase is to invest time before next summer preparing the church to commission more deacons. This involves enriching our church’s understanding of the importance of deacons. And it also involves equipping some potential leaders through the Redeemer Church Leadership Course.
Phase #3: The third phase is to consider together as a church who else God is calling to serve in this significant way, with the goal of commissioning several more deacons in key areas in the summer or autumn of 2016.