Recently the CBC has been working on a Deacon Manual. It has brought up some interesting topics. Deacons were first called in the book of Acts to allow the Apostles to devote their time to spreading the gospel.
Larry Dentler describes the deacon position as the first official level of ministry within the church. What we are discovering is that churches approach the position of deacon differently. Some churches appoint a deacon for a lifetime; some for a term of service. Some churches have deacons serve as Elders; some keep the two positions separate.
I want to share a little bit about my congregation, but not to criticize other churches.
Chiques is a Free Ministry church with six ministers and twelve deacons. Both are called from the congregation and serve from their calling until they are emeritus at age 70. A special council meeting is held to call a minister or a deacon. The official board consists of the ministers and deacons; they are the Elders.
I am entering my 21st year of Ministry as a deacon. In recent years we have called four young couples to serve as deacons. They are my children’s age. One of them used to sleep over at my house all the time when growing up. Looking back, they are about the same age as I was when called. They are busy with little children and the lives of young married couples, but they willingly serve. After many board meetings with them, working at Love Feast together, and having some of them help me with external benevolence needs in the community, I am encouraged and excited about these young deacon couples.
Our newest Minister grew up with my daughter and I am amazed and encouraged to see how God is using him and his wife.
God is raising up the next generation of Leadership. Chiques shared a role in this responsibility also. We nurtured these new Church Elders as they were growing. There was always some way for them to serve the Lord when growing up. The Truth was always taught to them.
I am also amazed at the Leadership that has developed in our CBC churches outside of the USA. God has raised up and called leadership in almost every country and they are serving the Lord, planting churches, training pastors, and spreading the Gospel. This was all God.
Our Church does have a shortage of ministers & deacons. We need to pray for God to continue to call the next generation of Leadership. We also need to be faithful and do our part. We need to create and encourage ways for all our brothers and sisters to serve the Lord. We need to stay devoted to teaching the Truth. I believe our Statement of Faith is a great foundation. We must not drop the baton, but pass it along to the next generation.
Jim Nolt – Executive Board