What Is A Deacon?
On Sunday, October 9, we officially installed four new deacons to our deacon leadership team, bringing the total number to eight. We are grateful for these men and women willing to serve our church body in so many sacrificial ways!
You might be wondering, what is a deacon?
Churches view leadership offices differently, so in an effort to provide clarity, we want to share Southbridge’s view on deacons.
We desire to increase our ability to care well for each other at Southbridge. We want to be known as a church that loves each other to such a level that non-believers notice (see John 13:35). One of the God-given strategies for that is deacons. Deacons are servants of the church. They will not teach or have authority but will serve by caring for the body, and protecting unity.
Qualiﬁcations to be a Deacon
“In the same way, deacons are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. They must ﬁrst be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons. In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything. A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well. Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 3:8-13
- A man or woman who is a member with a track record of faithfulness in ministry at Southbridge
- Known character qualities with respect to those in 1 Timothy 3
- Gifting, talents, and abilities to serve and care for the church according to the spiritual needs at the time of their selection
- Time available to serve and care for the church
Functions of a Deacon
Deacons will assist elders in carrying out their shepherding responsibilities. The speciﬁc functions are dependent upon the context and the speciﬁc physical and spiritual needs of the church. Overall, we desire the deacons to help provide care within our body and create opportunities for people to connect with others.
Deacon responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Helping the elders and pastors lead and organize speciﬁc ministry initiatives
- Helping the elders lead corporate prayer times and being available to pray with people
- Helping the elders and pastors with reactive care (i.e., hospital visits, emergencies, funeral care, benevolence)
- Helping the elders and pastors with proactive care (i.e., follow-up with members, calling members for prayer requests, serving communion, helping people be and stay connected)
Will you commit to praying for each of our deacons? You can find a full list of Southbridge’s elders, pastors, staff, and deacons here.