Over the past few weeks, our church has been in the process of electing deacons. What has been interesting is that there have been a number of new people in our church who have come to me and asked a fairly simple question, “Will, what is a deacon?”. I love that question for a number of reasons. First, it is a good reminder that we should never take it for granted that people fully know or understand the inner workings of the church. Second, it gives me an opportunity to explain why deacons are such an important part of the church, while also providing these new members an opportunity to see what matters as they cast their vote this year.
As I have gone about explaining to those new folks what is most important about choosing new deacons, I cannot help but be brought back to the origin story of the diaconate from Acts 6. Without getting into the inner workings of the story, the first deacons were chosen to function in two particular ways. First, they were chosen to be people who served the church in practical and tangible ways. It’s not particularly flashy work in the books of Acts, but it is work that is central to the spread of the Gospel. The second thing deacons were called to do is to keep the church united as one body of believers. Division has occurred in the church from our very earliest days and the task of the deacon is to keep us focused and centered on Jesus Christ.
But this year, as I read through the story in Acts 6 my mind was brought to focus on something much more important than a job description. Yes, being a deacon leads you to do crucial things for the church but, more importantly, being a deacon is about being a certain kind of person in this world. Acts 6:3 says to choose people who are “well-spoken of and filled with the spirit and wisdom”. Those ten simple words are a stark reminder to us that the selection of deacons is not a popularity contest. It is not about who has the most impressive resume. What matters as you choose deacons is selecting people who are filled with wisdom and the spirit. What matters is choosing people who follow Jesus well!
I am grateful to each of the 19 people who agreed to be among those considered for this important work. I pray for each of them and I hope that you will do the same. Their willingness to serve the church should be an inspiration to each of us. I want to include for you a link, https://discoverfbc.org/2021-deacon-elections/ , where you will find the ballot to vote for deacons in our church. All of the instructions are listed at the top of page. Friends, I hope that you will take the time to look at each person on the ballot. I hope that you will pray about your decision. Most importantly, I hope that you will vote.
I hope to see you on Sunday as we wrap up our series on the Sermon on the Mount.
Grace and Peace,