Deacons are church leaders who have a vital part in the ministry, organization and running of the church body. Each church usually has several deacons, the number depending upon the size of the church. Deacons are appointed by some churches and elected by others. While deacons are male, the other aspect of the deacon board are the female members called deaconesses. Each Deacon Board chooses a chairman or chairperson to lead the meetings.
Because of their position of leadership, Deacons must be men of integrity and good character. They must not be greedy for money or overuse alcohol. They must hold to the Christian faith, live Godly lives and be well spoken of, not only by the church, but also by the community. Deacons are to be positive examples to others in how they live and serve. Deacons also must care for their families as they love the Lord.
Many Deacon Boards today include women as well as men. Deacons and Deaconesses are charged with the care of the church body. They minister to the physical as well as the spiritual needs of church members. They are also involved in church administration. The Deacons deal with the week to week ministries of the church. Deacons and Deaconesses deal with social as well as spiritual concerns.
New Members and Needs
Deacons and Deaconesses conduct new member interviews and follow up with members who have needs. The Deacons recommend member candidates to the church board. They also assist, as required and needed, with communion, baptisms and infant dedications. Deacons are charged with praying for the church, praying for members and praying for those who are sick. Deacons visit the elderly, sick, the home-bound and those with an assortment of other needs.
Deacons and Deaconesses develop the annual budget to be recommended to the church board. Deacons may assist the Financial Secretary in both the counting and the recording of contributions. When the Financial Secretary and the Treasurer are absent, the Deacons and Deaconesses may count and record the contributions for that Sunday.
The Deaconesses work with the Deacons in most functions as part of the Deacon Board. However, it is usually the Deaconesses who prepare communion. Deacons help serve communion.
A chairman's duties include scheduling deacon meetings, preparing the agenda, calling the meetings to order and conducting meetings. The chair is elected from among the Deacons and Deaconesses and, in some churches, may be female as well as male. The chair helps coordinate the ministries of the Deacon Board and makes sure that duties are carried out.
Duties of Deacons may differ from church to church and from one denomination to another. However different the duties, all Deacons are charged with ministering to the spiritual and physical needs of church members and attendees.
- "Bylaws of the Hope Evangelical Free Church of Kearney, Nebraska": The Deacon and Deaconesses Commission, last updated 2009
- Opc.org: A Proposed Job Description for a Deacon
- Baptiststart.com: A Study in the Biblical Role of Deacons
- church image by pearlguy from Fotolia.com