A Biblical Office

 In addition to the office of elder, the New Testament lays out a second vital office: The office deacon (1 Tim 3:8-13). While elders pastor the flock as overseers (Acts 20:28), deacons assist the elders as servants (Acts 6:2). While elders primarily minister to spiritual needs in word (Acts 6:2,4), deacons primarily minister to tangible needs in deed (Acts 6:1,3).


Drawing principles from Acts 6:1-7, Deacons at Hope Church Toronto West perform 3 functions:

  1. Spot & Meet Tangible Needs
  2. Protect & Promote Church Unity
  3. Serve & Support the Ministry of the Elders

One way our deacons spot & meet tangible needs is to work individually with families or members in need. Deacons receive and review all requests for help from individuals in our Church. Practical help includes connecting individuals with available resources, assisting with counselling, helping with budgeting, providing emotional and spiritual support, and extending financial aid. The Deacon assigned to the request will follow up with the individual and perform an intake. Which is an in-person assessment to understand the severity of the situation and provide any emergency help if required.

Next, the deacon will propose a care plan. A care plan is a short-term plan that includes both care from the Church and goals for the individual in need. The care plan is to ensure that our Church is administering mercy in a loving and holistic way, but also to ensure we are mercifully pointing the individual towards maturity in Christ. All care plans are approved by the Elders, and deacons will follow up regularly to ensure the plan is followed through and those in need, receive care.


Meet Our Deacons


Rosie has been with our church since the start as a part of our core group. She has served joyfully and sacrificially in our welcome team, women’s and compassion ministries. Rosie has a heart for ministering to people, is a wonderful example to us all and has been an amazing blessing to our church.


Brian has been attending Hope Church with his family for about 3 years. He has served faithfully with his family in our compassion and outreach events. Brian is a man of integrity who leads his family well as a loving father and husband.


Deacons are raised up in 3 phases:


February 2023

STEP 1: Deacon nominations. The nomination period is 12 Feb – 26 Feb 2023.

STEP 2: All nominees are initially screened by our elders for Christian experience requirements. If the nominees qualify, they will be sent an invitation package that would include the following:

  • Confirmation that they have been nominated
  • An invitation to an orientation briefing
  • An invitation to the Deacon training course

During this period, nominees take time to pray and consider the next step of Deacon training. Deacon training invitations are accepted or declined by nominees. Nominees who accept Deacon training invitations are considered “Deacon Candidates”.


March to May 2023

Deacon candidates attend bi-weekly Deacon training sessions taught by our elders and existing deacons.

During these sessions, 2 resources will be explored: Deacons (by Matt Smethurst) and The New Testament Deacon (by Alexander Strauch).


Spring – Fall 2023

STEP 1: The elders interview deacon candidates for alignment in character and convictions (both doctrinal and ministry-expression convictions).

STEP 2: The names of remaining deacon candidates will be posted at the church for a period of 30 days (as per our by-laws). During this period, members are encouraged to speak personally with the deacon candidate and/or any of the elders if they are aware of any disqualifying characteristics or interpersonal issues needing resolution.

STEP 3: Elders install remaining deacon candidates


Deacon Qualifications

As in the early church in Acts 6, this is a job for the whole congregation. As a guide to help you discern who fits the qualification of deacon, consider 2 categories:


This is by far the most important category. While no leader is perfect, deacon candidates are to be exemplars of the Christian faith, modeling the character of Jesus Christ. Specifically, they must be in the character traits found in 1 Timothy 3:8-13:

“Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.”


Remember the 3 functions of deacons drawn from Acts 6:1-7:

  1. Spot & Meet Tangible Needs
    A deacon must be apt in one or more tangible areas (e.g. coordinating the provision of meals/clothing for congregants with special circumstances, providing biblical stewardship & budgeting guidance, attending to the normal care and maintenance of church equipment/vehicles, etc…) “
  2. Protect & Promote Church Unity
    Matt Smethurst is helpful when he says, “Deacons should be those who muffle shockwaves, not make them reverberate further. Quarrelsome persons make poor deacons, for they only compound the kind of headaches deacons are meant to relieve. The best deacons, therefore, are far more than business managers or handymen. They are persons with fine-tuned “conflict radars.” They love solutions more than drama and rise to respond, in creatively constructive ways, to promote the harmony of the whole.”
  3. Serve & Support the Ministry of the Elders
    A deacon must sweetly submit to Hope Church Toronto West’s doctrinal convictions and elder-led church government structure. A deacon must abide by and fit into Hope Toronto West’s ministry philosophy and expression. Finally, a deacon must have the wisdom to solve problems in order to safeguard unity.


Deacon nominations are currently closed.


Call Us Today


Help from the Diaconate is reserved first for members of Hope Church Toronto West. If you are a member and are in need of practical help you can call us at 416 521 9292. Requests for help can be made Monday to Thursday between 10am and 3pm.

When you call, you will be asked some standard, basic questions. This helps us to assess how we can best serve you. The information you share with us will be kept confidential. Please keep in mind, due to limited resources, the Diaconate cannot take on all requests for assistance.


1. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Am I eligible to receive help?

Help is first reserved for members of Hope Church Toronto West. However, if you are not a member, but attend the church regularly and regard Hope Church as your home church, exceptions are gladly considered. Finally, if you are unsure about Jesus Christ and are not a Christian, we would love to help you become familiar with the gospel (salvation by Christ) because the core of our ministry is to rely on God’s provision for you.

How many people will know about my Situation?

You can expect that what you share remains confidential among the Deacons and the Elders of Hope Church Toronto West. Depending on the need or issue, with your consent, we may seek advice and involve other members of the church to provide assistance to the situation.

Confidentiality may be broken in the event that we are worried that an individual may become harmful towards themselves or others, particularly when a child’s safety may be at risk.

How often will I meet with my Deacons or Deaconesses?

The frequency of meeting depends on various factors such as the nature of your situation and your financial, emotional or spiritual needs. It can range from once a week to once a month or even once a quarter. There will be phone and email contact as well.

Do Deacons serve on a term basis?

Deacons shall serve a term of two years and be eligible for additional terms upon approval by our Elders. The ministry of the Deacon is not easy, and requires tremendous discernment and thought in appropriating finance, but also considerable time and energy to care for those in need.

Truly it is a call to serve as a Deacon, a call from God, who will supply the strength and grace required in this work. Our hope is that Deacons will serve multiple terms, as the Lord allows, to not only serve needs but also raise up more deacons and multiply the work of the ministry for years to come.

2. Still have questions?

Email or call us at 416-521-9292 and we’ll do our best to answer your questions.


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