If I wasn’t an elder, I would definitely want to be a deacon.
I am convinced that the work of a deacon is a very important part of God’s design for the health and effectiveness of a local church, and I am excited for the opportunity, this Sunday, to talk about why.
Please come to church praying that God would help us understand what a deacon is, why deacons are important, who should be deacons, and why anyone would want to be a deacon.
For the younger children this Sunday, you can have them listen for the words, “deacon.” To encourage them, Marda will have some treats afterward.
Let us never forget this origin of the office of deacon. Deacons are those who protect the communal joy of the congregation, and who, therefore, see to it that the exercising of the communion of saints, with all that that implies, continues. Deacons are those who see to it that there are no forgotten or neglected people in the church of God, or that there be none who are so bound and oppressed that the joy of salvation and release from all bondage in Christ is no longer apparent. They make sure that everyone can fulfill his or her calling as parents or members of the church because they are not disadvantaged. It is therefore never just a matter of seeing to it that no one is without food, but it is a matter of seeing to it that the joy in the Spirit, as free children of God, be realized in the communion of saints.
If deacons only deliver flowers and fruit baskets to the sick, drop off sermon tapes, and write checks, these spiritual requirements do not have special importance. But if the deacon is going to meet people at their deep levels of need, if he is going to minister to people who hunger, thirst, and long for a friend, and who have needs of all kinds, he must have spiritual maturity. People look to him for the comfort of Scripture to point them to Christ. If the deacons are to be "encouraging members of the church to provide for those who are in want, seeking to prevent poverty, making discreet and cheerful distribution to the needy, praying with the distressed and reminding them of the consolations of Holy Scripture" (Directory for Worship, VI, C.2), then they must be men of godliness. That this holy office requires such a high spiritual qualification shows how important it is.
When during World War II the Netherlands were occupied by Germans the deacons of the Dutch Reformed Church assumed the care for the politically persecuted, supplying food and providing secret refuge. Realizing what was happening, the Germans decreed that the elective office of deacon should be eliminated. The Reformed Synod on 17 July 1941 resolved: "Whoever touches the diaconate interferes with what Christ has ordained as the task of the church.... Whoever lays hands on diakonia lays hands on worship!"
Some have asked if I believe deacons are “just to be servants,” not leaders in the congregation. Now, first of all, there’s no such thing for followers of Christ as a category of “just a servant.” Servanthood is not menial. Our Lord Jesus himself is the servant of all, and is thus Emperor of the universe. Beyond that, the “just a servant” question misses a key point. The question is not whether a deacon serves (the very meaning of the word, along with the biblical task assigned, makes that clear). The question is how he serves. When deacons appear in the biblical narrative, it is because the Spirit prompts the apostles to ask the congregation to choose men who meet certain qualifications. They don’t simply place a title on those who are currently serving. Instead, the Spirit mandates men who are “of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom” (Acts 6:3). The qualifications for deacon are likewise meticulous about spiritual and leadership characteristics in Paul’s letter to Timothy about the matter (1 Tim 3:1-13). Like pastors, they must “manage” their households well, with the assumption being that, like pastors, they’ll be called upon to “care for God’s church” (1 Tim 3:5) as a leader.The question is not whether deacons serve or lead. Leadership, scripturally defined, is servanthood. The question is in what way do deacons lead. Deacons maintain the unity of the Body by giving leadership to the serving of temporal needs. They’re not a corporate board, nor are they a spiritual council of directors. They serve the Body by removing potential obstacles to unity by meeting human needs.”
Women of the Word, September 10th at 9 a.m. Each month the women of CBC will enjoy worship, teaching and fellowship. This year, we will study the lives of women from the Bible and their great God. Guests and students 7th grade and up are welcome!
The Aspire Class begins on September 11th at 6 p.m. for men who would like to learn more about the office of elder and about what God calls elders to do. The class will meet one Sunday night a month over the course of the year. For more information, please talk to any of the elders; to sign up, please contact Isaiah. (There is work due before the first meeting. The fee for the books is $40.)
Men’s Ministry, September 24th at 7:30 a.m. Enjoy breakfast, fellowship and a challenge from God’s Word! Elder Hyon will be teaching on the ‘Discipline of the Mind’.
Membership Class, September 25th. If you are curious about membership at CBC, don’t miss the first week of our membership class! Anyone is welcome. The class will meet at 9 a.m. in the Upper Room. (For those wishing to continue in the membership process, the class will last eight weeks.) Questions? Please contact James Lee or Adam Bakonis.
Baptism Class, October 2nd. If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, we demonstrate our submission to Him by being publicly baptized. If you have not been baptized as a believer, please attend this class at 12:30 p.m. Lord willing, we will have a baptism service in November.
South Africa Missions Fundraising Continues - Fall Pottery Workshops.
No experience necessary! Details and sign up at tinyurl.com/summerpots. Contact Jessica Wufor more information.
Join us for a SE Asia ministry update from Joshua and Julie Lee.
September 18th. When God saves someone through faith in Jesus Christ, he does a miracle in their lives. Paul's two-word summary of the change that follows is "in Christ" or "in Him." The more you grasp the extent of the miracle of being "in Christ", the more you will glorify Christ with your life. Join us this fall in Equipping Hour on a journey to unpack what it means to be "in Christ"!
Order of Service
Welcome and Call to Worship
Scripture Reading: 1 Timothy 3:8–13
Preaching of God’s Word: "Understanding Church Leadership: The Church's Lead Servants"