Wednesday, June 21, 2006

So you want to serve the church...

Tonight, my church is selecting deacons to carry out the day to day "secular" business of the church--serving the widows and orphans, preparing the church budget, providing some oversight over some ministries, and so on. It brings to mind many thoughts.

I consider those who want to wield the authority, and I'm sad. Sad because these people (often "evangelical feminists," sometimes just carnal believers or nonbelievers) are missing the whole point of the Cross, which is Christ serving us by dying for us. Thankfully this is not an issue at my church, as far as I can tell.

I also consider the fact that the deacons I know are generally not those who have successfully climbed corporate or political ladders. Sometimes it's probably an issue of how much time they have available, but I cannot help thinking that the relative absence of business or political leaders in the diaconate must also result from many of them not developing the Biblical character of leadership.

Obviously, that's not the "nicest" thing I've ever said, but sometimes one must go where the data direct, no?


Mercy Now said...

I know of a deacon who's a blue collar worker but gives away a lot of what he has. He serves on a non-church charitable org as well. Gives to missions and keeps an extra car to lend to missionaries when they are in town. He also bought a p/up truck for the church so that people who need to use it can check it out. This is what Jesus was showing us by washing the disciples' feet. He always told me what's his is mine.

David McCrory said...


Allow me a little different perspective. You say,

"my church is selecting deacons to carry out the day to day "secular" business of the church--serving the widows and orphans, preparing the church budget,..."

I don't know under which type of church polity your congregation is governed but if it's presbyterian, then the things you described are those areas of concerns for deacons in most churches. But I'd suggest their's is not secular work. The things you list are biblical responsibilities. The ministries of the Church as a whole, whether delagated to elders deacons or laymen, shouldn't be thought of "secular". It is a holy calling for the church to fulfill.

Secondly I wouldn't judge the qualification of a man for the office of deacon based upon his business or political acumen. Rather the Scriptures lay out the qualifications for Church office. It would serve the Chruch well if we just followed those. Often men sacrifice material or worldy accomplishment (business or political) to focus themselves on Kingdom work. Don't be too harsh on them if they aren't "successful" in those terms.

Bike Bubba said...

David--well said, and I am a member of a Baptist church. One quick correction; by "secular," I mean the responsibilities of taking care of facilities and budgets and that sort of thing--the "waiting on tables" that Peter and the apostles didn't have time to do while preaching the Word.

So no denigration here, but rather I simply meant the non-preaching responsibilities. And I just find it fascinating that, in general, the qualities of Biblical leadership in this way don't seem to align at all with those in the corporate world.