QUALIFICATIONS FOR NOMINEES TO THE DIACONATE MINISTRY
· 25 years of age or older
· Member of The Luke for at least 1 year
· Tither & giver
· Active participation in ministry for at least six months (ministry’s servant leader must provide a reference)
· Present for Sunday morning and Wednesday midday or midweek experiences
· Attendance at all trainings (12 hours / 6, 2-hour sessions) and meetings (weekly Pre-worship Meeting, Leadership Meetings/Conferences/Camps, Care Ministry Meetings)
· Successful completion of questionnaire, interview (if needed), ministry project and written examination
Term Length (5 years, after 1 year of respectful relief one is eligible a serve another term)
· In recognition of the strenuous nature/emotional investment of this ministry
· In acknowledgement of ministry as seasonal
· In seeking to align present and future needs for gifts, passion, time
Characteristics of a Deacon
1) “Good reputation” (Acts 6:3; Romans 16:1-2) — A deacon’s integrity must be beyond reproach in the Church as well as in daily conduct so as to inspire respect and confidence in the Gospel. His/her Christian witness should be reinforced by trustworthy character.
2) “Full of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 6:3) — A deacon’s life is daily permeated with the Spirit of God who brings holiness to his/her life and power to do through him/her what he/she cannot do on his/her own.
3) “Wisdom” (Acts 6:3) — A deacon should be wise enough to control his/her temper and disposition. Furthermore, wisdom must be attained as deacons immerse themselves in the Word of God so that God might pour out His mind in them.
4) “Full of faith” (Acts 6:5) — A deacon needs to have an immovable faith in God that will dare to lead the Church forward in the work of the Kingdom, in spite of obstacles that may dishearten many others.
5) “Reverent” (I Tim. 3:8) — A deacon must be firm in his/her faith, stable in his/her convictions, sound in his/her beliefs, and correct in his/her Church loyalty. This word “reverent” signifies weight. In this sense, it speaks of one who carries weight, or one who counts for right influences.
6) “Not double-tongued” (I Tim. 3:8) — A deacon’s word should be truthful and sincere. A deacon is a person of his/her word and consistent in his/her speech. He/she never gives rise to misunderstandings and differences.
7) “Not given to much wine” (I Tim. 3:8) — A deacon, in his/her role as a spiritual mentor, should never find himself/herself in a position unable to perform his/her duties due to intoxication.
8) “Not greedy for money” (I Tim. 3:8) — A deacon must not be covetous in the manner in which he/she earns, spends, and saves his/her money, in his/her management of Church funds, or in bringing his/her tithes and offerings to the Church.
9) “Holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience” (I Tim. 3:9) — A deacon should be sound and stable in the teachings of the Bible and genuinely committed to believing and living out the revealed truths of the Christian faith.
10) “First be tested . . . being found blameless” (I Tim. 3:10) — A deacon should not be a new convert, but tested and proven to be a growing and maturing Christian who is above reproach and fully devoted to God.
11) “Faithful to their spouse” (I Tim. 3:12) — A deacon, if married is to be totally devoted to their spouse, maintaining singular devotion, affection, and sexual purity in both thought and deed. Our belief is that the deacon is to be a faithful and loving their spouse. The Bible also takes into account the life of a deacon’s spouse in determining their qualifications to serve (Matthew 5:32; I Corinthians 7:10-11).
NOTE: The Bible also teaches that under certain circumstances it is better for a person not to marry. Therefore, an unmarried person may serve as a deacon (Matthew 19:11-12).
12) “Ruling their children and their own houses well” (I Tim. 3:12) — A deacon should manage his/her home and exercise control over his/her children to the best of his/her ability. He/she should be respected as the spiritual head of his/her household.
Open Nomination: At the Leadership Conference, church servant and team leaders (those serving in some ministry capacity in the church) will be welcomed to nominate qualified candidates to serve. The first Sunday of the entire church will be invited to nominate. Nominations are due to the Church Business Office, in a sealed envelope.
Notification: All nominees who meet the criteria must attend a mandatory information meeting and complete a questionnaire.
Review: In March, questionnaires are reviewed, references are checked, follow-up interviews may be conducted, the nomination list is compiled, and presented to committee for review.
Training: For those who are nominated and approved by committee are invited to begin Deacon training and examination. In order to complete the process the nominee must attend each session and satisfactorily complete all projects.
Ordination: Those who have completed training sit for an examination, after which time they participate in an ordination service in September and become an active Deacon.
The Ministry of the Diaconate at The Luke
What are deacons/deaconesses at Starlight Baptist Church?
1. Jethro counsels Moses (Exodus 18:13-27)
1. Work is too heavy
2. Pastor serves as priest before God and teach before the people
3. Leaders fear God, are trustworthy and hate dishonest gain to serve among and meet the needs of the people to the end that all the people are satisfied
2. “deacon” means “servant”
3. scriptural basis (Acts 6:1-7)
1. impact: congregational care
2. embody the ministry of the Apostles (E.g. extension of pastoral ministry)
3. nurture/enhance/guard the unity and faith of the people
4. “appointed” as needed, not a divine “calling”
1. assignment is seasonal
2. at the discretion of the Pastor (and Diaconate Servant Leaders)
5. “dynamic” based upon the needs of the people not “static” based upon title
6. chosen based upon consistent demonstration of the fruit of the Spirit, wisdom and faith for a particular local church context
What are the key results for deacons/deaconesses at Starlight?
1. Effective Communication and Contagious Embodiment of the church’s slogan, vision, and The Luke Way
1. Know the church’s slogan
2. Know the church’s vision statement
3. Know The Luke Way
4. Be a bridge builders (not a bridge inspector)
5. Be a problem solver/troubleshooter (think creatively and passionately)
6. Connect with First Time Friends
7. Share your testimony
8. Intentionally reach out to unbelievers
2. Excellent Membership Care
1. Celebrate Life milestones
2. Bereavement/Grief Support
3. Funeral Preparation/Attendance
4. Baby Births
6. Hospital/Nursing Home/Home-Bound Visitations
7. Referrals (food, housing, clothing, jobs, crisis intervention, etc.)
8. Intentional contact with visitors (recognize repeat visitors)
9. Intentional contact with new members
1. New members brought into the core of the ministry
2. 100% ministry participation
3. Increasing retention
10. Facilitate “family” groups
11. Hold members accountable for growth through attendance on Sundays/Wednesdays, ministry participation and living a lifestyle consistent with the bible
3. Facilitating Needs of Transformative Ministry Experiences (meaningful, efficient, personal and celebratory)
3. Parking Lot
4. Transportation (TBD)
4. Other duties as assigned by the Minister of Congregational Care
What does the Senior Pastor expect from deacons/deaconesses?
1. Pray fervently for The Starlight ministry
2. Attend (you and your family) Sunday morning worship, bible study and other special worship experiences weekly
3. Provide excellent congregational care
4. Serve on a diaconate ministry team consistently
5. Attend diaconate, care and leadership meetings, as scheduled
6. Be a tither and giver (contributes 10% of gross income to the ministry)
7. Be flexible and responsive to the needs of the church (planned and spontaneous)
8. Notify the Executive Assistant to the Senior Pastor in the event of an absence from any church major event at which your presence is required.
9. Prepare and serve Communion/Prepare and facilitate Baptism
10. Agree to act and speak in Christian love; refrain from destructive criticism; be willing to settle all differences in a quiet and Christian manner.
Every deacon/deaconess carries two imaginary buckets: one of water and one of gasoline. You determine in many situations whether you will help put out the fires of disharmony or if you will fuel the problem.
11. Keep in confidentiality those things that should not be discussed with others, especially sensitive proceedings and congregational care for members. Communicate in such a way that your Servant Leaders, Minister of Congregational Care and Senior Pastor are well informed and enthusiastically supportive of your expression of care.
12. Zealously guard the spirit of unity within the Church. Strive for unity within the body. (E.g. once a decision has been made at a meeting, regardless of how much internal discussion and debate transpires among the body, emerge in one accord.) Keep murmuring down and “kill” every spirit and sentiment, which seeks to exalt itself above the Word of God and vision for The Luke.
13. As a spiritual leader and “ministering servant” place the wishes of the congregation as priority over personal wishes, agendas and schedules; be devoted to the spiritual welfare of the Church
14. Serve as a leader in key areas of ministry, as assigned, based upon gifts
To whom are deacons/deaconess accountable?
2. Senior Pastor
3. Minister of Congregational Care
4. Diaconate Servant Leaders
NEW DEACON NOMINATION FORM
Please return to the Church Business Office in a sealed envelope
Nominated Deacon Name: _________________ Date: ______________________
Did the person you are nominating ask you to recommend them? [ ] Yes [ ] No
If not, does he/she know that you are nominating them? [ ] Yes [ ] No
Have you read the characteristics of a Deacon in Acts 6:1-7 and 1 Timothy 3 and the role of a deacon at Starlight? [ ] Yes [ ] No
Based upon the role of a deacon at Starlight and the scriptural characteristics, describe why you are nominating this person. Cite specific examples from the two documents that qualifies the nominee to serve as a deacon at Starlight.
Of what ministry of Starlight is the nominee an active participant? ________________________
Remarks or comments on any of the previous questions: