I. DEACON QUALIFICATIONS
The qualifications of a deacon are set forth in 1 Timothy 3:8-13.
He must be reverent. He should be a man of maturity who understands the importance of the task. We believe to truly serve the church properly, he must be exemplary in his attendance.
He must not be double-tongued. He should not be a man who says one thing to some and something else to others. His word should be sure. He must, with diligence, protect the unity of the church.
He must not be given to much wine. He should not have his judgment clouded by alcohol.
He must not be greedy for money. He should not be a man who lives for the treasures of this world, but for the riches of Christ.
He must hold the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. He should understand and live by the gospel.
He must betested and found blameless. He must be a man whose character has been proven. Therefore, we believe a man shall be at least 21 years old and have been a church member for at least two years to give the church time to observe his character. This two-year requirement can be waived if the member has served as a deacon of FBC before, moved away, and returned to FBC in good standing.
His wife must be reverent, not be one who slanders others, one who is mindful of how she lives, and one who is found faithful in all things. If a man is married, his calling as a deacon should be a calling for her as wife as well. Therefore, the above characteristics should also describe her.
He must be faithful to his wife. A man will not automatically be disqualified because of something that happened in the past, but his marriage must be a proven example of the gospel found in Ephesians 5:22-33.
He and his wife must lead his family well. Children, especially as adults, are responsible for their own actions, but a deacon family must be one where the truths of Scripture are taught and modeled.
*We understand that no deacon is perfect, but are works in progress (Phil. 1:6). Also, in accordance with 1 Corinthians 8, he should be careful to not be a stumbling block to others. We believe that a deacon should be an example to the congregation of the power of the gospel and the sufficiency of Christ.
II. The Role of a Deacon and Expectations
A deacon should be, above all, a servant. Every deacon’s responsibility is to serve the Lord by ministering to the needs of the church family. This is done several ways:
Deacon Shepherd Ministry - Each deacon is assigned a group of member families for whom he will be responsible as their Deacon Shepherd. Upon receiving his family assignment, he should contact each family to introduce himself and make himself available should any need arise. If the church receives any information regarding a member with a need, the Pastor’s Assistant will contact the Deacon Shepherd to make them aware with the understanding that the deacon will make contact in a reasonable amount of time.
Deacons Meeting - Deacons meet once a month. During these meetings, the deacons will hear a report from the Pastor regarding the ministries of the church. Two of the primary purposes of the deacons are to carry out the mission of, and maintain the unity of, the church. Therefore, the deacons will discuss how these can be best accomplished.
Ex-officio Committee Assignment - A deacon may be asked to serve as an ex-officio member of a committee for the purpose of supporting the mission of the church.
Offering - Deacons will serve in the offering rotation for Sunday mornings. Two deacons will be assigned for each service each month to make sure that the offering is collected and stored appropriately.
Lord’s Supper - Deacon help the Pastor serve the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper.
Deacons Retreat - The Deacon Retreat is a once-a-year weekend meeting to seek God’s direction for FBC.
III. Selection Procedure
Deacon Selection Committee
A Deacon Selection Committee shall be named each year to oversee deacon selection. The committee, selected by the deacon officers and approved by the deacon body, shall consist of the deacon chair, the deacon vice-chair, two deacons in the final year of their term, and three wives of other deacons on the current deacon body, with the Pastor ex-officio.
The announcement of the opportunity to nominate shall be made to the church at all appropriate opportunities during the month of August. The deacon qualifications given in Section I and the role and expectations of deacons in Section II shall be included in the announcements.
During the fifteen-day period ending on the Sunday after Labor Day, each member of First Baptist Church shall be given the opportunity to nominate a number of deacons not to exceed the number set by the church for selection. A nomination submission form shall be provided which includes the deacon qualifications given in Section I.
Beginning two weeks prior to and continuing throughout the nomination period, the currently serving deacons should endeavor to make the church fully informed about the nomination process and encourage their participation.
The Deacon Selection Committee, with prayerful and thoughtful consideration of all men nominated, noting their personal and spiritual life, and the number of nominations received, shall prepare an ordered list of nominees. Note that the order of the nominee list is not solely dependent on the total number of nominations an individual receives.
The pastor and the deacon chairman shall then contact nominees in order from the list to confirm their willingness to serve. The Deacon Selection Committee will interview any nominees who are not ordained, who are ordained but have never served at First Baptist Church, or who for other reasons the committee decides appropriate, until the number to be selected has been identified. The list of those to be selected shall be presented to the currently serving deacons for approval.
The slate of nominees selected by the Deacon Selection Committee, and approved by the deacon body, shall be presented to the church on the second Sunday in October for affirmation by a written ballot on the fourth Sunday in October.
n ordination council consisting of all ordained men, under the direction of the pastor, will examine newly elected deacons who have not been ordained and bring the recommendation for ordination to the church.