This Sunday begins our church’s Deacon Election process. Article VIII, Section 10.03 of the Constitution and Bylaws says:
“Church members may vote by secret ballot to nominate candidates for service as Deacons during the morning worship service on the 4th Sunday in August. The active Deacon Body will contact the candidates in descending order which received the most votes to verify their willingness to serve. The Deacon Body will present the names of the candidates who have agreed to serve the Church in a business conference on the 5th Sunday in August for approval.”
Since this August has only 4 Sundays, the process is moved up one week in order to complete our Deacon election by the end of the month.
Today, you have an insert in your bulletin with the names of men who are members of Grace and qualify according to the specifications outlined in the Church Constitution and Bylaws. These men have been members of our congregation for over one year and possess the character and devotion standards outlined in scripture:
“Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain, but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. These men must also first be tested, then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach… Deacons must be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households. For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 3:8-10, 12-13)
The men whose names you see listed in today’s bulletin insert meet these qualifications and can be chosen with confidence as people who will serve the Lord well.
All of our Deacons who serve on the Deacon Body receive 12 to 15 families who are assigned to their individual ministry outreach. Deacons are asked to contact each of their families, pray regularly for each one, make themselves available in times of need and build relationships through which the love of Christ is extended to each person. Deacons are responsible for the health and well-being of church fellowship. Deacons are servant leaders who care for the families of our church and minister to them in the name of Jesus. The outcome of an effective Deacon ministry is set forth in the book of Acts:
“The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continues to increase greatly…” (Acts 6:7)
The Deacon ministry leads to continuing growth and discipleship in the church.
One Sunday night at the Second Street Reach Up to Heaven Bible Church, the congregation was terrified when the Devil himself walked in and sat down in a front row pew. The people were so afraid that they could not find the exits fast enough. Even the pastor got away in a flash. Deacon Jim was the only person left in the church when old Satan slithered up beside him and asked, “Aren’t you afraid of me. Why don’t you run like the others?”
Deacon Jim said, “No, I’m not afraid. I’ve been married to your sister for 40 years and know exactly what to say to you. Get behind me Satan and leave me alone.”
Deacons are men of God who know what to say and are ready to stand strong in their faith. Our church is blessed to have men like that who know the Lord and love His church. It is a rich blessing to serve alongside these men and experience the power of God at work in them. We give thanks this morning for the opportunity to set apart the men who have been called by God to serve as Deacons here at Grace.