As set forth in Scripture, the office of the Deacon is a position of service designed to minister to the needs of the church body. It is not a role of supremacy, but rather one of responsibility and servant leadership, following Christ's example: "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many." - Mark 10:45, ESV
OAC deacons care for members in need, manage the needs of the facility, and assist with special projects. They are to encourage and serve alongside the many ministry leaders and faithful volunteers that God has called to Open Arms Church.
Since service, compassion, and dedication are at the forefront of the Deacon ministry, those who hold this office should demonstrate the spiritual qualities of a growing Christian, and should be earnest and wholehearted followers of Christ.
• Deacons must meet the character guidelines detailed in Scripture (Acts 6:1-6; 1 Timothy 3:1-3)
• Deacons are nominated by church members, examined by pastors, ordained, and then undergo a pastor-led, Scripture-centered process of equipping and training before office term begins
• Deacons serve three year-terms, and may be re-elected
God has consistently led the people of Open Arms Church to respond with generosity toward one another when crises or needs arise, time and again demonstrating God’s love through comforting words, faithful intercession, acts of kindness, and financial support. These patterns were also evident in the early church: And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. - Acts 2:44-45, ESV
Following this biblical example, Open Arms receives a designated offering for our Benevolence Fund during each Lord’s Supper service (once a quarter); the money received is held in a designated account until a person/family in need is brought to the attention of our Deacons, who have been entrusted by our church to oversee this fund. Our Deacons strive to seek God’s will in how to best administer gracious and practical financial assistance (Romans 12:13), including regular support to some of our widows (James 1:27). Such measures are typically reserved for the most critical needs, but our Deacons also aim to identify any underlying longer-term challenges and offer counsel in matters such as budget preparation and debt reduction tips. Regardless of the particular circumstance, Deacons always ensure that the situations brought to them are addressed both personally and privately. When appropriate, and at times with the inclusion of their wives, Deacons may offer to follow-up at one's home or at the building where the church meets.
Many men and women in the church faithfully labor to honor the Lord in how we steward the building and grounds that the Lord has given to us. Deacons serve the church by working among and overseeing many of those efforts, such as the cleaning team, landscaping team, chair team, and other teams who are involved in the care/usage of the facilities. Deacons are personally involved in caring for the needs of the grounds, building, and equipment, and also work to coordinate necessary repairs, working with outside maintenance companies and contractors as needed.
Service & Support
Deacons regularly assist the pastors with Sunday service duties such as the setup & distribution of the Lord’s Supper, the setup & take down of the baptismal, and may also be called upon by the Pastors to assist with special projects.
OAC SERMONS ON DEACONS
Can be found within our message archives:
2013, March 13: "Growing pains can lead to problems and praise"
2013, March 17: "Serving is more about who you are than what you do"
2019, December 15: "Who serves the church"
Rich Billington (co-chair, Benevolence)
Dave St. John (co-chair, Facilities)