DEACONS

ROLE OF DEACONS

The Ministry of Word & Deed

DEACON VISION LETTER

The Elders have written up a Vision Letter to the members of the church on the office of Deacon, and how the process for nomination and installation of deacons will occur.

Please click HERE to read the letter.

THE PROCESS FOR RAISING UP DEACONS

There are 3 phases:

PHASE 1: NOMINATION

Oct 21 – Nov 4: Deacon nominations.

Nov 5 – Nov 24: 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 on November 18th
  • An invitation to the Deacon training course held from December – February
  • A short questionnaire (to be completed if they accept the 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”.

PHASE 2: TRAINING

Nov 25 – Mar 2 (excluding Christmas break): Deacon candidates attend bi-weekly Deacon training sessions taught by our elders and Director of Outreach.

Topics include:

  • The necessity of mercy and deed ministry
  • Christ’s kingship and deed ministry
  • The gospel motivation of deed ministry
  • The balance of giving: sacrificially generous and wisely stewarded
  • The role of conditions in giving mercy

PHASE 3: INSTALLATION

February: Concurrent with the final month of training, the elders interview deacon candidates for alignment in character and convictions (both doctrinal and ministry-expression convictions).

March 24: 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.

April 28: Elders install remaining deacon candidates

DEACON QUALIFICATIONS

THE THREE C’S 

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 3 categories:

1. CHARACTER

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.”

2. CONVICTION

Deacon candidates are to feel a deep calling and conviction to serve the practical needs of believers in the church, particularly in administration of basic needs. This should be readily recognizable by fellow church family.

Furthermore, deacon candidates are to sweetly submit to Harvest Toronto West’s doctrinal convictions and elder-led church government structure. Finally, deacon candidates are to abide by and fit into Harvest Toronto West’s ministry philosophy and expression.

3. COMPETENCE

Deacon candidates should demonstrate a humble and tender-hearted spirit in meeting practical needs. They are to joyously serve under the authority of the elders and free them to devote themselves “to prayer and the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4).

This calls for competence in one or more of the diverse deed ministry activities (e.g. coordinating and administering the provision meals/clothing for congregants with special circumstances, providing care and advocacy in difficult life situations, providing biblical stewardship and budgeting guidance, etc…).

HAVE QUESTIONS?

 

1. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do Deacons help those in need?
Deacons receive and review all requests for benevolence from individuals in our Church. These requests can be anything from financial assistance to requests for care and planning. The Deacon assigned to the request will follow up with the individual and perform an initial intake to understand the situation and provide any emergency help if required. There will be a further assessment to understand the severity of the situation at which time the Deacon will propose a care plan, which is a long-term plan that includes both care from the Church and goals for the individual in need.

The ultimate purpose for 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 and in victory in their current situation. 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.

Will deacons be 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 deacons@hopechurchtw.ca or call us at 416-521-9292 and we’ll do our best to answer your questions.

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