At The Orchard Church
The Church is the most important leadership organization on the planet.
What, exactly, is a Deacon?
Biblically, deacons are church-appointed servant leaders who oversee the practical, material needs of people in the Body of Christ.
Jesus calls us to be on mission, calling people out of the darkness and into the light. We are literally here to lead our world to Jesus. With that in mind, we want to develop leaders like Jesus.
For Jesus, however, leadership was somewhat upside-down from what we are used to. He describes it this way:
“You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt the authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave.”
-Jesus, Matthew 20:25-28
Servant leadership was the model that Jesus demonstrated to us, and the model that he expects from us.
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
– Philippians 2:5-8
With that in mind, we have identified five different levels of leadership at The Orchard Church… Can you identify yours?
In New Testament times, the Greek word diakonos was a very common term. It wasn’t a “church” word, but a general term that meant “servant.” For example, when Jesus is turning the water into wine, Mary instructs the servants (diakonoi) to do whatever Jesus tells them to do.
This word was also used as a verb. Jesus said that we are to “take care” of others (diakoneo.)
Deacons were first instituted in the church to solve problems in the church food distribution system to make sure that everyone was cared for. (Acts 6)
Lots of deacons are mentioned, but by far the most famous deacon in the whole Bible is Stephen, who was “a man full of God’s grace and power, and performed amazing miracles and signs among the people.”
He preached the gospel and was so zealous for the good news that the Pharisees had him killed. You can find his incredible story in Acts 6
At the Orchard, deacons are much more than simple table-waiters. Here are some of the key characteristics of our deacons:
They will have a clear grasp on the mission and vision of The Orchard Church. Since these things determine every step we take, they will have a better grasp on who we are and what we are doing.
The Orchard Church continues to grow, and there are more ministry opportunities now than ever. Our deacons will make sure that we do all we can to meet every ministry need possible within the body of Christ.
They will be in touch with groups of people within the body on a much deeper level, knowing their needs, their desires, and their heartbeat. New deacons will see bringing their groups into alignment with the mission and vision of the church as an indispensable part of their role.
Part of a Team
Our deacons will meet together on a monthly basis, for the purpose of vision, information, and prayer. We will also fellowship together regularly with each other and our families.
Men become deacon candidates by demonstrating Godly leadership in their families and in their church.
Candidates are partners of The Orchard Church in good standing. That means they are actively loving God (corporate worship), loving others (in a lifegroup), and making disciples (serving on a team).
Biblical Deacon qualifications are spelled out very clearly in 1 Timothy 3:1-13, but here is the list:
Not addicted to much wine
Not fond of sordid gain
Holding to the mystery of faith
Married to woman of good character
Husband of one wife
Good manager of children & household
Each deacon candidate goes through an extensive period of evaluation, which includes:
9-week leadership class
questionnaire & interviews
spiritual gifts test
one-on-ones with elders
Church Response: Your Role
Now that you know what deacons are all about, you have a role to fill in this process! Here are the things our deacons need from you!
Please pray for all of our church leadership, our new deacon candidates, and for God’s Work to be accomplished!
Get to know your new deacon candidates! Have one or two of them over for dinner, or take them for coffee.
If, for any reason, you think one of these candidates unsuitable, please handle it as Jesus prescribed in Matthew 18:15-20.
Be present on Sunday morning, March 12 for the new deacon installation to affirm and support these men, and the mission and vision of our church.