“And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, ‘It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.’”
Acts 6 shows the formation of the deacon ministry in the local church. The apostles were making sure the church was growing spiritually through prayer and the ministry of the word, and these apostles simply could not devote themselves to meeting the physical needs of the church without compromising their primary responsibilities. The solution was to choose faithful church members who could be trusted to make sure no physical needs were being neglected. Thus, the deacon ministry was born. These deacons were called out to be the lead servants in the church.
Fast forward about 2,000 years to the local church called Eastern Hills Baptist. We have faithful church members, identified for being trustworthy and dependable, exemplary in their devotion to Christ, officially called out to serve the physical needs of the church. They are our lead servants. As we continue to move into a new era here at Eastern Hills, we want to make sure we are using this deacon ministry to its full capabilities. In meeting with this group over the last few months, I liken them to a Ferrari parked in a garage. Yes, it’s nice to have a Ferrari, even if it is just sitting in the garage, but, man, what happens when you take it out on the highway and put it to work! I believe Eastern Hills has not yet seen the full capabilities of our deacon ministry and, let me tell you, the keys are in the ignition, the engine is purring, and we are about to put it to work!
In the coming months our deacons are going to step into greater roles as lead servants. In addition to the areas in which they have already been serving (widow care, hospital visitation, Lord’s Supper), expect to see our deacons leading out in areas such as the greeting team, prospect visitation, missions, homebound ministry, new member assimilation, food distribution, benevolent care, security, and others. The deacon ministry is a blessing to the church. I am excited to see all the ways this church will be blessed as this group begins to explore its full capabilities! If you are not a deacon, I ask two things from you: (1) Pray for this ministry, that the Lord would use it for His glory and that Eastern Hills would benefit greatly through it. (2) Follow our deacons well. They are the lead servants, which means they are leading you to serve. Back them up. When you are called to work alongside them, work well, work with diligence, work for the glory of the Lord and the good of His church!
Pastor Josh Wootton