How our church organizes the deacons

Discussion in 'Church Office' started by BGF, Apr 14, 2018.

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  1. BGF

    BGF Puritan Board Sophomore

    I want to follow up on Ben’s request in this thread. I’m starting a new thread in hopes that we can begin a robust discussion on how we perform our duties as officers in Christ’s Church. I opted to post this outside of the Deacon’s Only forum because I want to hear from teaching elders, ruling elders, and laypersons, as well as other deacons.

    I’ll start by outlining the way our church has organized the areas of responsibility entrusted to the deacons. Then I’ll go into detail. I’ll answer questions you have and ask a few of my own. I hope that some of you will share your models and methods.

    Our board divvies up diaconal duties into four broad areas:

    1. Mercy (or benevolence)

    2. Worship operations

    3. Facilities

    4. Finance

    Mercy.

    I explained my responsibilities as the deacon that oversees mercy ministry in our congregation in the other thread but I’ll repeat it here: This includes receiving and assessing financial assistance requests from within and without the church, establishing and strengthening external ministry partners, assessing and facilitating benevolence programs, working with the elders to assess and meet the care needs of our congregants, and encouraging the active participation of our congregants in mercy and care ministry.

    Worship Operations.

    These deacons oversee the many of the circumstances that are necessary or useful for the Lord’s Day services. For example, unlocking the building, opening and checking the classrooms, checking and adjusting environmental controls, scheduling and communicating with ushers, ensuring that the elements for baptism or the Lord’s Supper have been prepared, etc. They also facilitate for building use outside of the worship service.

    Facilities.

    Our church employs a facilities manager. He reports to the deacons that oversee facilities. They work together to make sure the building and property are maintained properly. They will develop long term strategies for dealing with major repairs and updates. Safety and security also fall under the responsibility of this team.

    Finances.

    The deacon in charge of finances works with the treasurer, book keeper, and staff to review and implement the annual budgeting process. The pastoral staff and session generate the church’s budgetary needs and the deacons review and suggest potential adjustments. The deacons will also review the budget status throughout the year.

    Each deacon lead has teams that help them carry out their duties. These teams consist of “inactive” deacons, staff, and godly and gifted men and women of the congregation.

    I’m happy to answer questions and hear comments. I also want to hear how your congregations organize their deacons or ideas you have for organizing.
     
  2. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    That's roughly how we organized things when I was a deacon in a PCA church. What you call "worship operations" was included under facilities, but that's just a small difference. We met as a full board at least twice a month, once for business and once just to pray. Sub-groups might meet more often.
    Mercy/benevolence tended to take the most effort and expertise. As part of the "mercy" category we had a team of people who would assess needs within the congregation and work closely with those who received aid, helping them with family budgeting and financial skills. That took highly trained and wise deacons. We carefully and intentionally groomed men to become part of that team. Finding guys with both the spiritual maturity and the financial acumen to train for that team was always on our radar.
     
  3. BGF

    BGF Puritan Board Sophomore

    I agree, however I came in very unskilled and unprepared for the effort involved. My mission has been to fix that problem and make sure others don't come in like I did.
     
  4. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    I became convinced that while the whole deacon board needs to take up matters of major importance, that specific job of working on budgets with struggling families and holding them accountable need not be one every deacon takes on. When the church is fairly large and has a good-sized deaconate, such specialization is possible, and some deacons can come in without that skill and still be fine doing other work. But it's also good to have many that can do the work, and it does take some intentional training in most cases.
     
  5. KSon

    KSon Puritan Board Junior

    Thankful for your expounding on this from the earlier thread, Brett, and I am thankful for your chiming in, Jack. This is very helpful as we ask the Lord to make our deacon board both more intentional and effective in the work of the ministry.
     
  6. BGF

    BGF Puritan Board Sophomore

    I'd be very interested to hear about your progress. I'm always looking and learning.
     
  7. BGF

    BGF Puritan Board Sophomore

    Any other perspectives. How about from laity or elders?
     
  8. JimmyH

    JimmyH Puritan Board Junior

    I am one of two men in my congregation ordained a deacon on March 11 of this year. We are a small congregation and elders and deacons had passed away, relocated, or resigned. Our session consists of elders from other congregations.

    So I'm new at this as is my fellow deacon, and we are learning as we go. Both of us had been involved in ministering to the elderly and the sick, maintenance of the building and grounds, for quite some time before we were elected.

    So I don't have much to contribute as far as ways and means. When something comes up we do it to the best of our ability. I appreciate this thread as it is instructive and as time goes on may be helpful to our efforts.
     
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  9. BGF

    BGF Puritan Board Sophomore

    Jimmy, may God bless your efforts to serve. I'd like hear your experiences on a continuing basis.
     
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