“Those who serve well as DEACONS gain a good standing for themselves and great boldness in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.” (I Timothy 3:13)
Dare we believe that the Spirit of God yearns to do a fresh work among Baptist laity? Can we hope for new vision and vitality in our churches, not from planned programs and strategic plans, but from lay Baptists who are awakened to the power of the Gospel? These are the questions that challenge laity in general, and DEACONS in particular.
The word “DEACON“ is a term we transliterate from the Greek word “diakonos.” This Greek word is found in several forms, 29 times in the New Testament. Only three of those times is the word translated DEACON in most of our Bibles today. The predominant meaning of the word is “servant.”
DEACONS are servant leaders in their churches and communities. Their very existence is a powerful reminder that the life and ministry of the Church is counter culture to a success driven, position conscious, competitive world. Leadership within the Church is not “command and control” with a “top down” structure and a “corporate mentality.” Leadership within the Body of Christ is to be characterized by service- humble, compassionate, sacrificial service.
In Baptist churches the roles and responsibilities of DEACONS varies considerably. Issues relating to polity and decision making are not easy. But if a church is to represent the present and coming Kingdom of God, it will be because its members, and particularly its DEACONS, embody the mind of Christ “who emptied himself, taking the form of a servant.”