A Training Program for Deacons

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Some Personal Questions for Those Men Considering the Office of Deacon

(Based on material in Acts 6:3 & 1 Timothy 3:8-13)

  1. Do I regard myself as have a good testimony as a Christian, a Christian husband, a Christian father, a Christian church member, a Christian worker, and a Christian neighbor?

  2. Do I manifest the marks of godliness that are an evidence of being “full of the Holy Spirit”? Is “reverence” a primary mark of my character?

  3. Do I possess the sanctified “horse sense” to apply my Christian faith to day-by-day matters of problem solving, stewardship, and interpersonal relations?

  4. When I make a promise, do I keep it? Am I able to keep personal matters in confidence? Is my wife able to do the same?

  5. Am I given to excess in any area of life? E.g., alcohol, spending, television or computer use, etc?

  6. Am I a “lover of money”, or do I use my earthly possessions as a steward so that I might honor God and serve others generously?

  7. Do I have a pure conscience before God?

  8. When I am given a task, do I fulfill the work to the best of my ability? Do I enjoy serving others? Am I willing to take on necessary tasks that I even regard as unpleasant?

  9. Does my wife have a good Christian testimony, i.e., Is my wife known for her reverence, careful speech, moderation, and faithfulness in all things?

  10. Am I marked by absolute loyalty to my wife, so that I can honestly say I am a “one wife husband”? Am I a good husband to my wife?

  11. Do I rule my children and my house well? Do I take the necessary time and make the necessary decisions and actions to do so?

  12. Am I willing to take and make the necessary time to serve conscientiously as a deacon?

Reforming the Diaconate, Part 1

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Deacons, in our view, continue their role of serving the congregation in any and every way that frees the elders to most fully do the work of praying, ruling, and teaching according to the Word of God.

Reforming the Diaconate, Part 2

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Our prospective deacons have required homework covering the basics of Reformed doctrine, and the class sessions offer applications to the diaconate which flow out of the heads of doctrine as represented in the Westminster Confession of Faith, and elaborated upon in the Larger and Shorter Catechisms. This is done under a series of “Doctrinal Propositions Which Must Guide the Ongoing and Developing Work of a Diaconate.”

Reforming the Diaconate, Part 3

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We have also found it necessary for our deacons to assist certain individuals and families in matters pertaining to budgets and financial planning. The extravagance and ill-discipline of our debt-laden generation have infected well-meaning Christians who need reform in this area of life. Boards of Deacons, due to the very nature of their work, must be models of good management in temporalities, including finances. When financial assistance must be given to “bail out” a family, this should also carry with it a willingness on the part of the beneficiary to receive counsel in bringing his or her finances in line with Biblical patterns of moderation and self-control. Deacons must, of course, show great discretion in this aspect of their work, but they must still exercise their official authority in this area if they are not to become welfare agencies akin to those managed by the State.