Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Does PCC Have Deacons?

Yes we do - but probably not in the way you are familiar with. We have deacons (as defined by the Bible), but we do not have a deacon board.

The word for “deacon” in the Bible is the same word as “servant” or "waiter." In the Bible these individuals liberated the apostles from direct involvement in congregational care, such as the daily administration of food to widows and the like, in order that the apostles and teachers might be freed up to teach the Word and lead the flock (see Acts 6:1-7).
Deacons served as assistants. They were not called to supervise pastors, but to “wait on tables," and provide various forms of congregational care. Deacons are under the oversight and authority of pastors, and the office, in itself, carries no authority beyond its immediate assignment. There are no specific, on-going roles specified or defined in scripture for deacons, rather they served as needed.

Thus deacons in Pace Community Church are equated with ministry leaders, ministry servants, and small group leaders. A ministry leader or small group leader is simply a servant (deacon) who is actively involved in real, hands on ministry that provides some type of congregational care, pastoral care, visitation, helps, or administration of a specific ministry in the Church.

Ministry leaders, ministry servants, or small group leaders (deacons) are not elected positions. They are appointed by the Pastors of the Church (see Acts 6:3), on the basis of need and upon their unique giftedness for the task.

There can be no limit to the number of ministry leaders or small group leaders (deacons), as this is dependent solely upon the Holy Spirit's disbursement of spiritual gifts in the Church.

Additionally, by using this Biblical role of deacon (rather than a denominational or traditional one) we have created opportunities for women to serve in this capacity - such as Pheobe in Romans 16:1-2, (servant - diakonon). We have long been taught that the New Testament does not show women in this capacity (woman deacon, or deaconess) and that God does not want women to be involved in the ministries of the church. However, this verse, which has either been poorly translated and interpreted, or ignored, lies like a little jewel in the Word of God and affirms women in their service to God. It says that Phoebe was a servant (diakonon, which means deacon) of the church at Cenchrea. Further still, the following passages, (Rom. 16:3, 12; Phil. 4:2, 3; 1 Tim. 3:11; 5:9, 10; Titus 2:3-4), makes it evident that females were engaged in various Christian ministries.

Rather than meeting to make administrative decisions (on a bureaucratic committee), our deacons are WITH PEOPLE and MEETING NEEDS every week!

And that's one of the things that makes PCC such a great church.

I Timothy 3:8-10 (NIV) 8Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. 9They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. 10They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.