FrBC Deacon Nominations/Qualifications

FrBC Deacon Nominations / Qualifications:

Dear Friends,

It is that time of year again when we begin looking forward to the leadership postings for the next calendar year.  The Nominating Committee is currently making calls and securing commitments for committees and ministry teams.  Let me urge you to pray about how God would have you serve the church and His kingdom in this coming year.  We all have different skills, talents and passions that the Lord has graciously gifted us with.  Please don’t be guilty of allowing another year to pass without speaking up or stepping up to serve the body of Christ.  If there is a role you would like to fill or that you have a passion about, let us know!  Likewise, if you are in a role that you are not passionate about or are not gifted to serve in, allow someone else the opportunity to fill that role while you move into something more suited to you.

Our church bylaws provide for the nomination and election of deacons every year.  The process is this; all active members are given the opportunity to nominate men that they feel are qualified and befitting to be part of our deacon team.  The deacons of Frederica Baptist Church hold a special place and purpose in this body.  Collectively, they do not wield any administrative leadership power.  The name “deacon” comes from the Greek word for servant and that is a large part of what they do.  They are servants of and in the church.  Furthermore, the deacons act as an extension of the pastoral staff, caring for the flock and assisting the pastors in matters pertaining to the spiritual well-being of the congregation.

This is not a popularity contest.  Not every man in our congregation is well suited to this type of ministry.  Please be prayerful in making your nominations.  Below is a look at qualifications for the position of deacon that you should be aware of before nominating.  After the nominations are collected, the pastors will consider them in light of these qualifications and other known considerations and form a list of those to be asked to serve.  A final panel of men who are willing to serve will be presented to the congregation for a vote of approval at a church conference.

Qualifications from the FrBC Church Constitution:

  • Professing, baptized believer for at least 5 years.
  • 25 years of age or older.
  • An active church member for at least 1 year (12 calendar months)
  • Honorable, true servants of God who encourage unity in the body.
  • Conform in character and practice to 1 Tim 3:8-13, Acts 6:1-6

Qualifications drawn from 1 Timothy 3:8-13:

  • Male
  • Well Respected
  • Known for Integrity and Honesty
  • Not a lover of money
  • Not heavy drinkers
  • Committed to the gospel of Jesus Christ (born-again)
  • Have a clear conscience (through confession and forgiveness of sins)
  • Their wives should be well respected, not slanderers (gossips) exhibiting self-control and faithfulness in all they do. (Does not negate the candidacy of a man who is unmarried)
  • Faithful to his wife. (*Please see the footnote on divorce at the bottom)
  • Manages his children and household well.

Qualifications from Acts 6:1-7:

  • A Servant in the church already
  • A recognized Leader in the church
  • A Protector of the pastor’s time and ministry
  • One who is a Teacher in both words and actions
  • An Evangelist ready to Boldly share the gospel with the lost

Additional Scriptural Considerations:

Titus 3:

  • Subject to rulers and authorities (Law abiding)
  • Obedient
  • Devoted to doing good
  • Not a slanderer / gossip (honest)
  • Peaceful, Considerate and Humble (not argumentative)
  • Willing and able to confront sin individually and in the congregation

Acts 20:17-21:

  • Servant Attitude
  • Transparent Integrity (it is easily seen and expected)
  • Godly Character
  • Faithful Biblical Teacher

Other Logical Considerations:

  • Hold fast to the Truth and Reliability of God’s Word above all
  • Regular Attenders (as much as possible) to FrBC services and events
  • Financial supporters of FrBC in accordance with Biblical mandate
  • Promoters and supporters of FrBC, its pastor and ministries
  • Physically able to do the work of a servant in and around the church
  • A unifier not a divider always working to pull the body together
  • Reliable and can be counted on

* Footnote on Divorce in regards to deacon qualifications:  This can be a divisive issue in many conservative churches.  The confusion lies in the interpretation of the phrase in 1 Tim. 3:12, “the husband of one wife.”  The literal rendering of the Greek phrase would actually be “a one-woman man.”  Adding to the confusion is the fact that there are two other Greek words that Paul uses elsewhere that truly, literally mean “divorce.”  So, why use an ambiguous phrase when he could have used an obvious and clear word with no confusion?  Paul was writing to Timothy in Ephesus which was the capital of worship for the Roman goddess Diana.  This particular goddess was worshipped by visiting temple prostitutes.  That would certainly exclude a man for spiritual office.  Also, while not as widespread, there existed the practice of polygamy, of having more than one wife.  Again, that man would have been excluded by this phrase.  Certainly, the Bible tells us that God hates divorce (Mal. 2:16) and Jesus takes the Pharisees to task for allowing easy divorce numerous times (Mat. 19:8, Luke 16:18).  Divorce is a division of what God has put together but is it always the man’s fault?  What of a man who was divorced before he was saved, before he knew the Lord? Is the divorced man any worse than other sinners saved and forgiven by grace?  The best interpretation to my mind is that this text focuses on moral purity not on marital status.  Mat. 19:9 and 1 Cor. 7:12-16 give Scriptural exceptions for divorce (infidelity, abandonment, abuse) so I think it would be unusual for a blanket divorce exclusion.  The first qualification of a deacon is to be “above reproach” (1 Tim. 3:2).  If the divorce had no biblical grounds, then the man has damaged his testimony in the church and community; the “above reproach” qualification should exclude him from the deaconate rather than the “husband of one wife” requirement.  Use your best prayerful and Biblical judgement to determine how you will nominate and possibly vote on candidates.

I hope this helps everyone to make prayerful and informed nominations for the deacon positions in our church.  It is a position to be sought after and honored.  In this coming year we will reinstitute our deacon family ministry and hopefully expand our personal ministries as well.

Thank you for taking the time to make prayerful and considered choices when nominating men to be deacons in the church.

Only by Grace!

Pastor Mike