There are two offices of the church mentioned in the Bible: elder and deacon. The word deacon comes from the Greek word diakonos, which literally means servant or helper. The deacons, therefore, are the servant-ministers of the church. They are biblically qualified servant officers who are called by God and led by elders. In their role, they relieve the elders of some of the multitude of practical duties by caring for the congregation's physical welfare.
Deacons have the honor of modeling for the local church and the lost world God's compassion, kindness, mercy, and love. As the church compassionately cares for people's needs, the world sees a visible display of Christ's love, which will draw the lost to our Savior. Deacons are to be loving, compassionate, committed men who promote harmony and unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace through their service.
The qualifications of a deacon are outlined in 1 Timothy 3:8-13 (ESV):
Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. 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.
Annually the congregation is asked for recommendations for men to be deacon candidates. The deacon mentoring process involves multiple-week studies, interviews, and the completion of doctrinal questions. Mentoring usually lasts eight to nine months, and candidates are installed as deacons after approval by the elders and a congregational vote. Deacons serve a series of one-year terms as long they continue to be called and qualified.
Care for Widows
Deacons minister to the widows of our congregation in many ways. For example, deacons are paired up and assigned to a particular widow. They are responsible for contacting her regularly to assess her ministry needs and pray for her.
The deacons also host an annual Widows/Widowers Banquet, which honors the widows and widowers of our church. This event is traditionally held in October.
Deacon Benevolence Fund
The first Wednesday evening worship service of every month an offering specifically for the Deacon Benevolence Fund is taken. Administered by the deacons under the oversight of the elders, this fund provides emergency relief funds to members of our church family who request and qualify for assistance.
Deacons are given the opportunity to serve on one or more of the following teams in addition to serving in other areas of the church.