Deacons. Traced back to the beginning of the Church, deacons were chosen to meet the needs of a growing and diverse congregation. The book of Acts (see chapter 6) describes a potentially distracting and clearly divisive situation. In meeting the physical needs of widows, one group felt neglected in favor of another. The solution was to identify and empower a group of particular servants, "deacons”, that would handle the ministry and ensure the needs were met.
First Baptist has continued in selecting men to serve the needs of a growing and diverse congregation. These men serve as “oil in the machinery”—wherever the need, deacons come along side offering helping hands and serving hearts. We have long been blessed with a great cohort of deacons working throughout the entire ministries of our church.
Every year we invite new servants to consider a call to being a deacon. The deacons take every name nominated, interview the candidates, and if they are willing to serve, a time of training begins. We call this “Yokefellow Training”—a period of several months with study, prayer, meetings, and “practice”. Being a deacon is not an “office” or a “title”, it’s a commitment to leading out in serving the church. After this time of training, if there is the confirmation in the heart of the candidate as well as the body of deacons, these new servants are presented to the congregation for a vote of affirmation.
We are in that new stage of gathering names of men to be considered for Yokefellow Training. If you know of anyone who is already serving or evidencing a servant’s heart, please prayerfully consider nominating them for this ministry. You can put their name in the offering plate on Sunday, drop off their name at the Welcome Center, or email me and I’ll make sure it gets to the right persons.
Serving is not limited or completely defined by the work of a deacon. First Baptist is blessed with hundreds of servants leading the church in ministry to our community and our world. We believe to follow Jesus is to be committed to being a servant. Jesus said of himself, “even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…” (Mark 10:45). The opportunities to serve are everywhere! If you’re a follower of Jesus, you’re going to be serving. It is my prayer that you will find that “sweet spot” of being part of work of Jesus in the world by finding your place to serve!
In His Grace