Deacon duties?

Discussion in 'Church Office' started by earl40, Jan 4, 2018.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Where is the biblical warrant for deacons to take care of the needy, outside of the context of the congregation? I ask in that of course we all should be looking out for our neighbor, but so far as the office of deacon where is his warrant to officially labor outside the congregation?
     
  2. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Junior

    Is an official warrant needed?

    "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith."
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Amen Amen x 1
    • List
  3. JimmyH

    JimmyH Puritan Board Junior

    Members of your home congregation have first priority. For those outside of your congregation professing Christians have priority. Discovering whether they are church members would be a next step. Last would be those who are unbelievers. Any financial deaconal help would have to be examined and approved by session. At least that is the way I have been instructed by my session.
     
  4. jwithnell

    jwithnell Moderator Staff Member

    See Acts 6, in the institution of the office to ensure equitable care of the widows.
     
  5. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    It appears that these widows were part of the church, as per my question, where in scripture is the warrant for deacons to care for those outside the church.
     
  6. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    This is indeed a call for all of us, if so are all deacons?
     
  7. Gforce9

    Gforce9 Puritan Board Junior

    Here is a "Deacon" that played a mighty mean bass.......;)

    rs-118873-d8574da3b335cec3caef37b4f35df55883784cd9.jpg
     
  8. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Junior

    Earl,

    You use strange logic.

    Whether a deacon helps unbelievers as a deacon or as a believer makes no difference to me.
     
  9. BGF

    BGF Puritan Board Sophomore

    The deacons in Acts were commissioned by the church for the church. The stated reason was for the distribution of the material goods of the church to the widows in need within the church.

    Of course a man ordained to the office of deacon may use his own resources to privately help those in need outside the church, but he may not use the church's resources unless directed by the church leaders.
     
  10. jwithnell

    jwithnell Moderator Staff Member

    Ah, I missed the outside part. Sorry.

    You have examples of an outsider, like Ruth, being permitted to glean, and the church through the ages has engaged in benevolence. The context, however, is redemption. That was one of the major differences as the OPC founders refuted the social gospel in missions.
     
  11. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    Well, technically, that wasn't your question. The original question was "outside of the context of the congregation" not "outside the context of the church". Two quite different questions.

    "Q: What is the visible church?

    A: The visible church is a society made up of all such as in all ages and places of the world do profess the true religion and their children"
     
  12. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    Do you mean using the church's resources to care for the community that isn't part of the church?
     
  13. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    The invisible church is found within the visible church as were the widows as "seen" in Acts 6. So we may use church and congregation interchangeably in my opinion.
     
  14. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Yes. Where is the scriptural warrant for this is what I am asking, so far as the duty of the deacons.
     
  15. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Were the crops owned by the OT church? Of course I do believe the practice of benevolence by us in the church (or congregation) is commanded.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
  16. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate


    At what point is the direction of the leaders to help those outside the church too much? I ask because I know of a church that is heavily in debt because of such endeavors along with other reasons.
     
  17. Southern Presbyterian

    Southern Presbyterian Moderator Staff Member

    Perhaps this specific situation has more to do with the church leadership as a whole being financially responsible than it does with mere diaconal overreach.
     
  18. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    The church does not need a specific warrant before it may get involved in godly endeavors. If the leadership deems an effort to be a wise use of resources, the church may fund that effort. Of course, a situation like the accumulation of heavy debt sounds like it may be an unwise use of resources in that instance, but this does not mean it is never appropriate for the church to be generous to the poor. Generosity is godly.

    Given the general duties and expertise of the deacons, it makes sense for them, rather than the elders, to provide oversight/leadership of such an effort.

    And the maintenance of activities more central to the mission of the church, such as the preaching of the Word, always ought to be a priority.
     
  19. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Not in the church I an acquainted with. :) The "outreach" to the community is a huge drain on the financial resources.
     
  20. Southern Presbyterian

    Southern Presbyterian Moderator Staff Member

    You know the situation, I don't. But I still say it's irresponsible of the entirety of their leadership to let one part of their ministry (outreach) drag the entirety of the ministry into financial trouble. The Deacons don't get appointed and then go off and do whatever they want, do they? They are accountable to the rest of the local leadership, or they should be. in my opinion.
     
  21. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Of course I agree. Though in my opinion the Ministry (Capitol M) of the deacons is to be kept inside the local congregation, and as I asked in my OP I have not seen one instance of the duty of the deacons to help those outside the church without accountability to those giving. This I want to add we, as the laity, would be permitted to help our neighbor anytime with the resources we have at our disposal as stewards of God good gifts.
     
  22. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    In the PCA, the Session approves the budget. So if one has a problem with budget priorities, it should be on the session, not the diaconate.

    And if the session is guilty of mishandling the funds, that should be dealt with.

    As far as the question of those outside the church as well as outside the congregation, a group of us met with Randy Nabors and another gentleman back in November for a discussion of what that might look like and how it should fit into the broader mission of the church. I recommend Nabor's book https://www.amazon.com/Merciful-Opportunity-Challenge-Discipling-Poverty/dp/1508434522 for those interested in the subject.
     
  23. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    We have an annual budget meeting where everything is laid out before the congregation. The floor is open for any questions as to how and why our money is being spent the way it is. This would be a good opportunity for anyone in the congregation to ask why the leaders are hurting the church financially in order to serve those outside of it.
     
  24. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    One may ask though I suspect the answers may not be to ones liking.
     
  25. JimmyH

    JimmyH Puritan Board Junior

    The OPC body I am a member of just had our annual budget meeting this past December 17th. The budget is presented in hard copy to the members with the past few years alongside for comparison. It is discussed and voted on for approval.
    Our small congregation does not generate a substantial income to afford the body helping folks outside the church on a congregational level, though individuals are certainly free to give as they see fit.
    In any case, the deacons, nor the pastor, never have access to the money. Deacons review requests and bring them to the session. The session has the final say and the treasurer and trusties sign the check and disperse the funds.
     
  26. Gforce9

    Gforce9 Puritan Board Junior

    Jimmy,
    I think you will make a fine Deacon! You exercise wisdom, are temperate, and are compassionate....all good things for that office. May your congregation be blessed by your service to them and to God.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page