The Ministry of Deacons
Written by Brian Lee
“And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues.“ – 1 Corinthians 12:28
God’s ministry through the Church is not the sole responsibility of full time ministers. The lay leaders of the community also play an equally significant role in facilitating the core functions of the church: The sending of members into mission, the teaching of God’s truth, the mediating of God’s blessing into the world, and the caring for the needy around us. At VCBC, we are thankful for service of the many gifted members with whom Christ has blessed us over the years. Interesting enough, sometimes we would come across some confusion as to how each of these roles function and interact in the bigger picture of leadership. In particular, the position of deaconship is one that we rely a lot on, yet not know to a good extent what exactly they do. So what exactly are VCBC Deacons involved in anyway?
THE TITLE CONUNDRUM
If you look directly within the scriptures as to what deacons do, you will come to a very different understanding of the role. The word deacon came from the Koine Greek “diakonos” which means servant or helper. In that sense, deacons are established in the early church communities to provide assistance with the day to day matters within the community, anywhere from the managing of the pooled resources to the settling of disputes amongst members. As we can see, the role of an early church deacon is very administrative in nature, where they become the extended hands and feet of the church body to make sure its operations are maintained. However, the way VCBC delegates our leadership takes on a different scope. We have moderators who act more like the early church deacons in handling administrative matters. (To learn more, you can refer to our previous piece introducing the roles of the moderators)
Instead, our deacons serve in a capacity similar to what is described for Elders in the bible. The elders of a church functions as complementing support to the pastoral leadership in the community. They are the extension of pastoral care to the church body. Together, they are attentive to the spiritual needs of the different demographics of the church. The team also assists the pastors in servicing our worship functions as well as providing spiritual care, teaching, encouragement in areas of need. Having representation on the Board themselves, the VCBC Deacons also relay the member’s needs, concerns, and feedback to the rest of the Board of Directors such that the decisions we make as a church are mindful of God’s will and our members’ conditions.
LEARNING ABOUT OUR DEACONS
Part of the deacons’ roles is to connect with our members, understand their needs and concerns, and relay them to our leadership to know how we may serve our congregation in the best way possible. Although many of our deacons are mature in age, our Deacons Henry, Betty, and Wi-Guan are always eager to connect and get to know members of all ages in our community. Do consider hitting them up for a chat and learn more about how they may serve you!
If you have any questions about our deacons or simply want to share ideas with them, please feel free to start by getting in touch with Deacon Henry through email.