This is a 3 part series on choosing deacons. First we will discuss what is a generally accepted role of deacons in a Baptist church. Next we will look at the requirements of a deacon (which I have stated several times before). Finally we will ask why women cannot be deacons.
Below is one Southern Baptist Convention church’s Deacon Organization Charter dated 2008. This is a very large church near Houston, Texas. This church does not allow women to serve as deacons. They have adopted the Baptist Faith and Message 2000.
Let’s play a game. Can you find anything in this list that can be done ONLY by a MAN?
PURPOSE: Deacons are servants of the Church, working with the Sr. Pastor and his staff to carry out the Church mission while protecting the unity of the Church. The Pastor, at his discretion, may use the Deacons as a sounding board and advisory group. The Deacons will not function as a “governing board” unless so directed by the Church under special circumstances.
STRUCTURE: Each year the deacon body elects its leadership:
-To prepare and lead monthly meetings,
-To coordinate deacon participation in special events
-To serve as liaison, responsive to Sr. Pastor needs
-To assure timely communications within deacon body
VICE CHAIRMAN (CHAIRMAN-ELECT):
-To fill role of chairman when needed
-To assist Secretary with meeting meetings when needed
-To take leadership role on special projects
-To take minutes of monthly meeting, prepare them for approval
-To take minutes, record actions at special meetings
-To maintain accuracy of Deacons Directory
RESPONSIBILITIES: The Deacons will:
– Utilize their individual spiritual gift(s) in some ministry activity within the Church (e.g. teaching Bible study, singing in the Choir, serving on Committees, ushers, greeters, etc.)
– Participate as an active member on at least one Deacon Ministry Team
– Participate in both regularly scheduled and called Deacon meetings.
– Assist as directed by the Sr. Pastor in serving Communion.
– Assist as necessary with other special Church events (e.g. Church wide fellowships, special worship services, community outreach events, etc.)
– Assist as necessary as prayer support partners for those who come forward either during the invitation time following the worship service(s) or for one-on-one prayer support.
– Nurture the unity of the Church by being ready at all times to give a scriptural explanation for the basic doctrinal beliefs of the Church, actively promote the resolution of conflict between members, and provide positive verbal explanation and support for the goals and objectives of the Church.
– Generally serve and minister to the needs of the Church as they become evident.
Give up? I do, too, because there is not one thing on this list that requires a man to do the job. Are you with me? Are you willing to speak up and tell your church that the duties of a deacon does not require a man?
When a church denies any woman the office of deacon simply because she was born female, they have denied all women.