XPastor tries to help churches by providing some of the essentials for running a church—items like job descriptions, employment applications, review forms and policies. Below is the Deacon Handbook of Washington Heights Baptist Church of Ogden, Utah.

Introduction

This handbook is written to help the deacon to better understand his role and to help him to serve faithfully and effectively. It is written to acquaint the deacon to the Biblical references related to the office of deacon and the particulars of the deacon ministry of Washington Heights Baptist Church.

At Washington Heights Baptist Church, men are elected by the congregation to hold the honorable position of deacon. Men that are elected to the position of deacon must live a life which has exhibited the characteristics of faithfulness and loyalty to both the Lord and His church.

There are three passages in the New Testament that are commonly cited concerning the office of deacon: Acts 6:1-7, Phil. 1:1, and 1 Tim. 3:8-12. The word for deacon in the New Testament originally described a servant who “stirred up dust while waiting on tables.” A deacon’s major attention must be given to serving God under the leadership of the Senior Pastor and the Executive Pastor in the practical ministry of the church.

The general concept of deacon as a servant of the church is well established in both the Bible and church history. The deacon is intended to serve as a model to the local church through the character of his life as well as through his involvement in ministry. The role of deacon is not intended to be sought after for personal honor, but rather it is to be viewed as a call to a greater commitment of service. The desire and willingness to live the life of a servant is a critical qualification for deacon selection.

Paul wrote that the reward for faithfulness in the office of deacon is that they “obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 3:13). The selfless deacon may also feel close kinship with his Master, who walked the earth as “One who serves” (Luke 22:27). According to Jesus, the true heroes in the kingdom of God are those who assume the role of diakonos—a servant.

Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many. (Matt. 20:26-28)

Role of the Deacon Defined

The word deacon is defined by Wikipedia as:

The word deacon is derived from the Greek word diakonos, which is often translated servant or more specifically waiter. Some believe that the office of deacon originated in the selection of the seven men (among them Stephen) to assist with pastoral and administrative needs of the early church (Acts 6). Deaconesses are mentioned by Pliny the Younger in a letter dated c. 112. The exact relationship between deacons and deaconesses is ecclesiologically unclear; in some traditions, a deaconess is simply a female deacon; in others, deaconesses constitute a separate order.

The role of deacon in the New Testament is indeed somewhat ambiguous. As it has been stated previously, the word literally means servant, but the word can also be translated as minister and there is no further elaboration of the office given. The role of deacon in the Christian church is generally associated with service of some kind, but the type of service rendered by the deacons varies among theological and denominational traditions. Some may argue that the deacons administrated the physical needs of the church because of the example of the seven men selected in Acts 6. While the word deacon is used in verse 1 (ministry or distribution), and the verb form is used in verse 2 (to serve), the noun form is also used in verse 4 to refer to the apostles proclamation (ministry of the Word). Therefore, there is reason to believe that the ministry of the deacon is limited to administration.

Deacons are usually thought of as under-shepherds who were responsible for shepherding a smaller group of people within the local church, while the elders were responsible for the overall leadership of the church. Deacons are to be under the authority of the elders, which is evident from the fact that they are always mentioned after the elders, and also because the requirements for deacon are slightly less strict than for elders.

In the early years of the church, a difference of opinion arose about the role of deacons. Some church officials argued that no spiritual function had been assigned to deacons. But others insisted that deacons were a vital part of a church’s ministry, with official duties to perform. Through the centuries, deacons generally have served as assistants to the clergy in the service of the sanctuary.

In the modern church, deacons exist as a distinct lower order of the clergy in the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of England, the Episcopal Church, the United Methodist Church, and other liturgical churches. In other denominations, including Baptist, Presbyterian, and Congregational, deacons are ordained laymen who carry out a variety of practical and spiritual ministries that assist the pastor. Deacons are often given administrative and financial duties, such as reviewing budgets and recommending new church programs and personnel.

It should also be noted that the position of deacon, which is described in Acts 6, is an elected position. This means that although the deacon should certainly feel led to serve in that position, the initiation of the commitment rests in the hands of the congregation of the church. Therefore, the position of deacon is not a position to which one appoints oneself.

Deacons in Scripture

The office of the deacon is introduced in the New Testament in Acts 6. Although the seven men appointed in Acts 6 were not actually called “deacons,” most students of the Bible generally agree that the “seven” were the prototype of today’s deacons. In the early days of the church, the tremendous growth through the ministry of the apostles was accompanied by many demands of service, which the apostles could not adequately provide. Specifically mentioned were the increasing complaints by the Grecian Jews against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. Thus, the appointment of these dedicated individuals provided support and service for the ministry of the gospel by meeting practical needs within the church body.

In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, ‘It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the Word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.’ This pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. So the Word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith. (Acts 6:1-7)

The work of Stephen and Phillip strongly suggests that gifted deacons became a permanent part of the church’s outreach to the world very early in its history. The thrilling activities of these servants of the church sound much like the work of a traveling evangelist, missionary, or lay preacher. Stephen is described as a man “full of faith and power” who “did great wonders and signs among the people” (Acts 6:8). So convincing were his words and miracles that “they were not able to resist the wisdom and Spirit by which he spoke” (Acts 6:10). While some responded in faith, Stephen’s zeal for Christ stirred up powerful enemies (Acts 6:11-13). Undaunted by false witnesses, Stephen glorified the Lord even as he was put to death for his convictions (Acts 7:59- 60). Phillip was also an evangelist who “preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 8:9-13). After preaching to eager crowds in Samaria, Phillip witnessed to a solitary Ethiopian in the desert and baptized him (Acts 8:26-38).

It is important to note that, in the first introduction, emphasis is placed upon the character of the men chosen to serve as deacons. Seven men were chosen who were “known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom.” Among those chosen was Stephen, “a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit”. No matter what the ministry to be performed was to involve, in this case the waiting of tables and service to the widows, the life and character of the man chosen to perform it was the determining factor.

In addition to the passages in Acts 6, which refer to the role of the deacon, there are two other passages that make reference to deacons: Phil. 1:1 and 1 Tim. 3:8-12. The primary focus of these passages is the order and structure in the church. The appointment of a deacon can best be understood in relation to the role of co-worker and fellow servant in the Gospel.

Paul and Timothy, servant of Christ Jesus, to all the saints with the overseers and deacons … (Phil. 1:1)

Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons. In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything. A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well. (1 Tim. 3:8-12)

In summary, there are several aspects of the position of deacon, which are referenced in the New Testament, that need to be understood. First, the deacon is selected to serve by his fellow members of the church and church leaders. Next, he should be recognized to be faithful. Finally, the deacon is to be seen as an extension of the pastoral ministry. The deacon has the responsibility of making the truth of God’s Word come alive within the church.

Selection to the position of deacon at Washington Heights Baptist Church is based on the above standards. These standards are essential to the services that the deacon is expected to perform. In our life and indeed, in our Christian walk, what we do is normally a reflection of who we are; each deacon is expected to nurture his own personal life and relationships so that he is able to fulfill the responsibilities of ministry that have been outlined by God in the New Testament. A deacon must demonstrate a heart for God through scriptural attributes and demonstrated spiritual maturity and service as described above.

Qualifications of a Deacon

Spiritual Qualifications

In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, ‘It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.’ This pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. So the Word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith. (Acts 6:1-7)

  • Full of the Holy Spirit—The word “full” means “covered in every part, thoroughly permeated with, complete, lacking nothing” concerning God’s Holy Spirit. Deacons are to be completely dedicated to the presence and guidance of God’s Spirit in their personal life and in their daily work.
  • Full of wisdom—The word “wisdom” means the deacon, because of a relationship to God’s Spirit, knows how to both choose and act wisely in all matters. Common sense is certainly a part of the meaning.
  • Full of faith—This is not specifically stated as a requirement, but is inferred from the selection of Stephen. It means the deacon should be clear in his understanding of his own faith, and he should be strong first in its proclamation, and then, if need be, strong in its defense as he carries out his responsibilities.

Moral Qualifications

Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons. In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything. A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well. (1 Tim. 3:8-12)

  • Worthy of respect—The deacon is to be a person whose moral and spiritual character evokes esteem from others; a person that is considered honorable or noble. He should be a person that has a respectful reputation, especially in spiritual matters.
  • Sincere—The deacon is to be truthful and trustworthy. He should not say one thing to one person and something different to another. A deacon’s word must be honest; not a person that takes part in gossip, tale bearing, idle talking, or slander and does not use manipulative, insincere, or deceitful speech. He is not a liar.
  • Not indulging in much wine—For the deacon, there is to be no abuse or dependence on any drug—may include the regular use of alcohol even though not getting drunk, if inappropriate dependence is demonstrated. There should be a demonstrated freedom not to drink. Paul is prohibiting the abuse of wine or any other substance that could damage a deacon’s testimony and make ineffective his Christian witness.
  • Not pursuing dishonest gain—Not willing to manipulate or resort to illegitimate means for personal gain, either for money or for recognition, especially in the area of ministry. The person demonstrates a proper values system, including a willingness to give up money making opportunities for the sake of the gospel. The deacon is not to be controlled by a greedy obsession to obtain all the material possessions he can.
  • Must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience—The words “keep hold” speaks of knowing the Word of God and “clear conscience” speaks of doing the Word of God. This simply means that a deacon’s life must be consistent with Christian doctrine. The deacon should believe in sound doctrine, and should hold firm to his convictions. His spiritual integrity is beyond reproach.
  • Must first be tested—The deacon must demonstrate his spiritual qualifications before being elected to serve in the position of deacon. His daily attitude, speech, and conduct should be observed for an appropriate period by the elders of the church. The deacon should have a proven ability to do the work of shepherding and service effectively and without any grounds of accusation.
  • The husband of one wife—Literally, a “one-woman man,” this means specifically that there is at most only one wife in the deacon’s life. It means in principle that the deacon has his sexuality resolved and under control. This should not be interpreted to mean that a man must be married in order to serve as a deacon or that a man that has been divorced is ineligible to serve as a deacon.
  • Manages his children and household well—The primary application is to married men meaning that their family life is good. The deacon should act as a responsible Christian father, husband, and household manager providing for his family financially, emotionally, and spiritually in an active, ever-present role through example and service. One key measurement when evaluating a man’s household management is the behavior of his wife and children. Because the home is often referred as a microcosm of the church, it is imperative a deacon is able to care for his family before he can care for the church of God. In the case of the unmarried, it means that they have close relationships and that those relationships are generally healthy and stable. A pattern of broken relationships suggests an inability to get along with others (especially his family and friends) and should disqualify him to serve as a deacon.

Qualifications for the Wife of the Deacon

In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything. (1 Tim. 3:11)

It has been suggested that the wives of church leaders are a big factor in their husband’s success. The deacon’s wife must meet special requirements as well, because she will often need to support her husband in his many delicate duties. Any reproach on the part of the wife reflects on the work of her husband. The qualifications for the deacon’s wife are given in 1 Tim. 3:11.

  • Worthy of respect—This refers in the same manner as the qualification of the deacon. The wife of the deacon should be truthful and trustworthy. She also should be a person that has a respectful reputation, especially in spiritual matters.
  • Not a malicious talker—Similar to the deacon, the wife should be forthright in her speech; not participating in gossip or slander. She should not use manipulative, insincere, or deceitful speech. He is not a liar. The wife of a deacon should not be one who is loose with the tongue.
  • Temperate—This usually refers to someone who is sober-minded and calm. A temperate person is one who is collected, well composed, and not easily excited. The temperate person is possessed with balanced judgment.
  • Trustworthy in everything—The wife of the deacon must be faithful and reliable in all things. She needs to be a person that can be depended upon. She must be faithful to her husband, to her family, to the church, and above all, to Jesus Christ.

To summarize, then, the qualifications of the deacon’s wife include holding a serious view of life, avoiding the spreading of gossip, striving to maintain a balanced sense of judgment, and dependability in every area of life. A wife such as the one described can be a real asset to any man, especially to the deacon who has official responsibilities in the church of God.

Duties of a Deacon

Practical Duties Unique to a Deacon at Washington Heights Baptist Church

  • Must be committed to the church’s Statement of Faith, Church Covenant, and the Vision/Purpose Statement
  • Loyal support of the pastor and the pastoral staff
  • Faithful attendance at the services of the church
  • Regular attendance at the meetings of the Board of Deacons
  • Encouragement of and the participation in the organization and ministries of the church
  • Assist in the ministering of the gospel to believers and unbelievers
  • Demonstrate Christ-like consecration, loyalty, prayer support, and faithfulness to the church body
  • Assist in visiting the sick and needy of the church
  • Assistance with new membership assimilation
  • Participation as a Team Leader for at least one of the Deacon Ministry Teams

Specific Duties Unique to a Deacon at Washington Heights Baptist Church 

  • Cooperate with the Pastor and the Board of Deaconesses in visiting the members, in the care of the sick, needy, and distressed members of the church. (Article VI, Section II, (g), “Duties of the Deacons;” Constitution of WHBC)
  • Cooperate with the Pastor and the Board of Deaconesses in the preparation for and the observance of the ordinances of the Church. (Article VI, Section II, (g), “Duties of the Deacons;” Constitution of WHBC)
  • Manage the collection and distribution of the Fellowship Fund to provide financial relief to members or others suffering financial hardships in accordance with the Fellowship Fund Policy. (Article VI, Section II, (g), “Duties of the Deacons;” Constitution of WHBC)
  • The Chairman of the Board of Deacons shall serve as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Church. (Article VI, Section III; Constitution of WHBC)
  • A member of the Board of Deacons, which is usually the Chairman or his appointee, shall serve on the Church Finance Committee. (Article VII, Section I; Constitution of WHBC)
  • A member of the Board of Deacons, which is usually the Chairman or his appointee, shall serve on the Church Nominating Committee. (Article VII, Section II; Constitution of WHBC)
  • A member of the Board of Deacons, which is usually the Chairman or his appointee, shall serve on the Church Endowment Committee. (Article VII, Section III; Constitution WHBC)
  • The Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Deacons shall serve on the committee to select the seven members to serve on the Pastoral Search Committee whenever such a committee needs to be established. (Article IX, Section II, (b), “The Formation of the Pastoral Search Committee;” Constitution of WHBC)
  • Along with the Church Finance Committee, assess and approves the need of a new pastoral ministry position as may be determined by the Pastoral Staff. (Article XI, Section III, (c); Constitution of WHBC)
  • Responsible for approving all candidates for a Pastoral Staff Member position that have been submitted by a Search Committee. (Article XI, Section III, (b); Constitution of WHBC)
  • In the event the Senior Pastor decides to resign, he is to submit his written notification to the Chairman of the Board of Deacons. (Article IX, Section II (c); Constitution of WHBC)
  • The Senior Pastor is to consult with the Executive Committee of the Board of Deacons prior to asking for the resignation or terminating a Pastoral Staff Member. (Article IX, Section III (d); Constitution of WHBC)
  • The Chairman of the Board of Deacons is to make himself available to the members of the congregation to hear his or her concern regarding some aspect of the church ministry; members should initially share his or her concern with the responsible ministry leader or a member of the Pastoral Staff before sharing his or her concern with the Chairman. (Article V, Section V (c); Constitution of WHBC)
  • When necessary, terminate a person’s church membership by taking official action in accordance with the Board’s Policy of Dismisal. (Article V, Section VI, (d); Constitution of WHBC)
  • Vote to restore those members that have been dismissed by the Board of Deacons action to terminate the person’s membership. (Article V, Section VII; Constitution of WHBC)
  • When necessary the Chairman may call a “Specially-called” business meeting providing he gives the congregation at least one week notice thereof. ( Article XIII, Section II; Constitution of WHBC)
  • The Board of Deacons has final authority regarding the interpretation of the Constitution whenever any questions may arise. (Article XV; Constitution of WHBC)
  • Although not specified in the church constitution, the board may be asked by the Senior Pastor to assess and ratify decisions made by him or the pastoral staff that may affect the ministries or members of the church.
  • The Senior Pastor meets with the Executive Committee in order to increase communications with the deacons and to gain advice and assistance from the deacons on a more frequent and regular basis.

Organization and Structure of the Board of Directors

The organization and structure of the Board of Deacons is outlined in the Constitution of Washington Heights Baptist Church. It would be worthwhile for every deacon to take the time to study the church’s constitution—if for no other reason than to better understand the organization of the Board of Deacons.

Size of the Board

The Board of Deacons must consist of at least twelve (12) members. There is nothing in the church constitution that limits the number of deacons; however, the size of the board is usually kept at less than twenty (20) deacons in order to have a more manageable board. It is always necessary to have a majority of the board members present in order to have a quorum, which is required to conduct a board meeting.

Selection of a Deacon

The Church Nominating Committee will prepare a list of names of qualified men to serve on the Board of Deacons. The qualifications of each nominee proposed will be thoroughly discussed by the Nominating Committee to be certain that the nominee is indeed qualified to serve. Once it has be determined that the nominee is qualified to serve, the Chairman will call the nominees to ask if he feels led to serve on the Board of Deacons. Those nominees that affirm they have been called are presented to the congregation at the next Annual Business Meeting for their approval.

Term of Office

Deacons are elected for a term of three years and at the end of his three-year term, he may be re-nominated and elected to serve a second three-year term. The Deacon must then leave the Board of Deacons and he cannot be elected to serve another three-year term until one year has lapsed.

Board Meetings

Deacon Board Meetings are held each month (except August and December are usually skipped). The meetings are usually held on the second Tuesday of each month and the meetings usually begin around 6:30 or 7:00 p.m. The Meeting Agenda and the Minutes from the previous Board Meeting are sent out to each member via email prior to the monthly board meeting.

Officers of the Board

The Board of Deacons has four officers: Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer. Each year the Senior Pastor selects from among the board members someone to serve as the Chairman, which the Board must ratify by a majority vote. The Senior Pastor and the Chairman of the Board then select the other officers for the Board.

The Executive Committee

The Executive Committee is made up of the Senior Pastor, the Chairman of the Board, the Vice Chairman, the Secretary, the Treasurer, and at least one member-at-large. The member-at-large that serves on the Executive Committee is selected annually by the Senior Pastor and the Chairman of the Board. The Executive Committee is a smaller working group that works on more of a day-to-day basis in order to maintain constant communications with the pastoral staff and to provide advice and assistance to the pastoral staff.

Duties of the Chairman

The Chairman is the primary liaison between the Pastoral Staff and the Board of Deacons and meets with the Senior Pastor and the Executive Pastor on a regular basis to keep informed of current church business. He is responsible for creating the monthly Board Meeting Agenda, along with the Senior Pastor and the Executive Pastor. The chairman is responsible for conducting the monthly board meeting. He is also responsible for serving on several church committees: the Nominating Committee, the Endowment Committee, the Board of Trustees, the Finance Committee, and the committee that forms the Pastoral Search Committee.

Duties of the Vice Chairman

The Vice Chairman works closely with the Chairman of the Board and is ready to serve as the acting chairman in the event the Chairman is unable to meet his obligations. He also serves with the Chairman on the Executive Committee and meets with the Senior Pastor, along with the rest of the Executive Committee, on a regular basis.

Duties of the Treasurer

The Treasurer is responsible for maintaining the accounting of the Deacon Fellowship Fund. The Treasurer is usually the first deacon to be contacted regarding the distribution of funds. He is responsible for screening the written requests and interviewing those that are making the requests. It is the Treasurer that will bring the requests to either the Executive Committee or the Board for action regarding the request. If the request is approved, he will then request the Church Treasurer to distribute the funds as approved. He also serves on the Executive Committee and meets with the Senior Pastor, along with the rest of the Executive Committee, on a regular basis.

Duties of the Secretary

The Secretary is responsible for keeping accurate minutes of the Board of Deacons Meetings, as well as other meetings involving the deacons. He is responsible for recording the meeting minutes during the meeting and then presenting the minutes to the designated church secretary to prepare for distribution to the other deacons on the Board. The Secretary will also be responsible for reading any official correspondence for the Board. He also serves on the Executive Committee and meets with the Senior Pastor, along with the rest of the Executive Committee, on a regular basis.

Ministry Teams

The Board of Deacons is responsible for serving the congregation and the pastoral staff through five ministry teams. Each team will consist of two deacons who will serve as co-chairmen of the team and several church members that have agreed to serve on the ministry team. The idea of the team is to reduce the burden the ministries create on a few deacons and to allow more members to receive God’s Blessing through serving others. This method allows church members who do not have the time or the energy to serve on a continuous basis the opportunity to serve occasionally at their convenience, which means more will have the opportunity to serve without the service becoming burdensome to anyone. The Ministry Teams are as follows:

  • Prayer Team—The prayer team is responsible for ensuring the Board and the church body is involved in praying for the pastoral staff, the sick and injured, the needy, our country, and our community. The co-chairmen are responsible for establishing prayer teams and prayer times, maintaining the Deacon and Deaconess Prayer Tree, and ensuring the e-prayer is sent out weekly and as needed.
  • Communion Team—The Communion Team is responsible for preparing the elements to be served and to participate in the serving of the elements to the congregation during communion services. The Communion Team is also responsible for serving communion to those who are considered “shut-ins” and unable to attend the communion service at the church. The co-chairmen of the Communion Team are responsible for ensuring there are church members available to serve communion and that each member has been adequately trained in serving communion.
  • Baptism Team—The Baptism Team is responsible for preparing the baptismal area and assisting the candidates for baptism. The team members will help the candidates in selecting a baptismal gown, directing the candidate to a room where he or she can change his or her clothes, pray with the candidates when requested, help each candidate up and down the steps leading to and from the baptismal font, and give the candidate a dry towel after leaving the baptismal font. After the baptismal service, the team members are responsible for cleaning the baptismal area and also taking some of the wet baptismal gowns and the wet towels home to clean and return to the appropriate place for storage. The co-chairmen of the Baptismal Team are responsible for ensuring there are enough members of the Baptismal Team available to assist the candidates and to ensure the team members are adequately trained.
  • Financial Counseling Team—The Financial Counseling Team members are responsible for meeting with individuals in the congregation that request financial counseling. Those requesting counseling may be someone who is requesting funds from the Deacon Fellowship fund or it may be someone who would like information or assistance in setting up a home budget. The co-chairmen of the Financial Counseling Team are responsible for ensuring that there are team members available to counsel with those making requests and that the team members are adequately trained in financial counseling.
  • Connection Center Team—The Connection Center Team is responsible for serving in the Connection Center where people may visit to seek information about the church, information about church membership, information regarding salvation, information about church ministries, information about requesting financial assistance, or prayer. The co-chairmen of the team are responsible for ensuring there are enough people serving in the Connection Center each worship service and whenever requested, and ensuring those serving in the Connection Center have been adequately trained.

Policy, Objective, and Procedure

Communion Ministry

Purpose

This ministry is responsible for serving communion to the congregation monthly (generally the first Sunday of the month) and other designated special times (Christmas Eve). The ministry will be comprised of qualified deacons, deaconesses and lay volunteers. Volunteers must be members of WHBC and approved by the Deacon Board.

Objective

Provide a team of ministry members to prepare, pray over, and serve the Communion elements to the congregation in each service. Serve the elements in a manner of due respect to our Lord and Savior that allows the congregation to faithfully respond through participation and remembrance of our Lord’s sacrifice for each and everyone one of us.

Process

The ministry is lead by a Deacon Chair and Co-chair as well as the Deaconess Chairperson. The chairs are responsible for maintaining an inventory of supplies to include grape juice, serving cups, and other serving supplies (trays, fillers, baskets, etc.) The chairs will also recruit volunteers to bake the bread and ensure that there is enough on hand as needed. Purchases for supplies are coordinated through the church office Financial Team.

Each service will have team member leaders, preferably one male and one female, to assist in scheduling team members to serve each month. This includes contacting team members for their service by email/phone or other method to ensure we have 8 male servers (to include 2 prayers) for the front and 5-8 servers to assist from the back. The one exception to these numbers is the 4th service. Communion is not passed to the congregation during the 4th service, so team volunteers are needed to setup and cleanup; but not to serve.

Service responsibilities:

  • 1st Service team will:
    • Retrieve the serving materials from closet storage.
    • Fill the grape juice trays.
    • Fill the bread trays.
    • Place the table cloth, juice (8-10) and bread (8-10) trays up front.
    • Place the reserved signs (8) in the front row chairs.
    • Place the cup collection baskets with napkins under the front row chairs.
    • Serve Communion at the designated time.
    • Start preparations for 2nd Service.
  • 2nd Service team will:
    • Consolidate and refill the grape juice trays.
    • Refill the bread trays, if needed.
    • Place juice (8-10) and bread (8-10) trays up front.
    • Place the cup collection baskets with napkins under the front row chairs.
    • Serve Communion at the designated time.
    • Start preparations for 3rd Service.
  • 3rd Service team will:
    • Consolidate juice trays.
    • Refill the bread trays if needed.
    • Place juice (10-12) and bread (10-12) trays up front.
    • Place the cup collection baskets with napkins under the front row chairs.
    • Serve Communion at the designated time.
    • Prepare elements for 4th Service.
    • Place 12 filled juice trays in the walk-in refrigerator.
    • Place 8 bread trays in the walk-in refrigerator.
    • Wash and dry serving trays not needed for 4th Service.
    • Replace juice cups in the clean trays and stow them.
    • Properly dispose of leftover bread and juice NOT needed for 4th Service.
  • 4th Service team is required to:
    • Ensure communion serving tables and candles (2 per table) are placed by the janitorial staff.
    • Place tablecloths on the table in the front and the 3 tables in the back of the sanctuary along the walls.
    • Retrieve the elements from the walk-in refrigerator.
    • Place 2 juice and 2 bread trays on the table up front.
    • Place 3 juice and 2 bread trays on each of the 3 tables in the back.
    • At the end of the service:
      • Wash and dry serving trays.
      • Replace juice cups in the clean trays and stow them.
      • Properly dispose of leftover bread and juice.

Connection Center Ministry

Overview

This ministry is responsible for the after-service counseling at the Connection Center (CC) and in the sanctuary with the Pastor. This ministry is comprised of qualified deacons, deaconesses, and lay volunteers. Volunteers must be members of WHBC and approved by the deacon board.

Scheduling: The schedule is set up so at a minimum, two people will be in the CC and a male/female team in the sanctuary with the Pastor after each of the three services. A deacon or deaconess will serve as coordinator for each of the services and it is their responsibility to maintain the schedule for their assigned service. It is the individual’s responsibility to find a substitute if they cannot make their scheduled assignment. If an individual knows he or she will be unavailable for their assignments in advance, they should contact their coordinator so the schedule can be changed.

Requirements for Ministry: Each counseling situation is different and requires individual judgment as to the best way to handle it. Members selected for this ministry must be mature Christians who know how to share the Gospel and use the scriptures to meet people’s spiritual needs. Because of this, a detail of how to talk to people about salvation, encouragement, consolation for grief or hardship, assurance of salvation, etc., is not included in this document.

Process

General: Those scheduled for the CC should be available a little before the service is over and stay towards the back of the CC. The hosts and hostesses will be at the front of the CC to greet people and provide general information about the church. If individuals indicate a need other than general information, the host or hostess will direct them to one of the counselors. If all the hosts and hostesses are helping people and others come into the center, the counselors should go forward and help with host and hostess duties.

Those scheduled to be in the sanctuary should go to the front immediately after the service. As the pastor meets with people, he may direct them to the counselors for further information, prayer or other needs. The counselors may use the counseling rooms by the sanctuary or take the individual(s) back to the CC.

Counseling/Prayer: The only documentation required is the church Contact Card. This should be used whenever a counselor talks and prays with an individual and follow-up is required. Have the individual write at least their name and phone number on the card, and after they leave write on the back of the card a summary of what took place. This will help those who will call or visit these people.

If a situation is beyond a counselor’s skills, they should say so. The counselor should pray with the individual(s) and let them know someone will call during the week to set up a time to meet with them. On the back of the Contact Card, write “Attention: Mike Sanders” and what the request is about. Also, write your name and phone number on the back of the card so you can be contacted if more information is required. When the card is received in the office, the card will be given to a senior staff person. Staff personnel will call or have a qualified person from the church call this individual and set up a time to meet.

Membership: If an individual or family requests membership, have them sign up for the New Member’s Class. Answer any questions they may have, but the class is a requirement for membership. If they cannot attend the Wednesday night New Member’s Class, a pastor will contact them and set up a time convenient for them.

If they sign up for the membership class, the Contact Card does not need to be filled out. If they do not sign up for the class at this time, request that they fill out a Contact Card and someone will contact them during the week.

Follow-up: Although everyone who fills out a Contact Card will be called by someone in the church, it is important that the counselors also call those in which they have talked and prayed. After the people leave, copy their name and phone number from the Contact Card so you can call them later in the week.

Fellowship Fund Distribution

Overview

The purpose of the Deacon Board Fellowship Fund is to provide financial aid to church members and individuals who frequently attend our church who have a crisis situation. The funds are designated to help provide for these individual’s basic living needs and are distributed only as a last resort, once all other means of meeting the need have been exhausted.

Policy

  1. The Board of Deacons will be responsible for collecting, managing, and distributing funds donated by the church family to the express purpose of providing financial assistance to church family members as funds are available.
  2. The funds shall be distributed as follows:
    1. The Pastor and Chairman of the Deacons both have authority to write checks at their discretion up to but not over one hundred dollars ($100).
    2. The Deacon Executive Committee has authority to direct the Treasurer of the Deacons to issue a check up to but not over one thousand dollars ($1,000). The Treasurer must obtain a majority vote from the Executive Committee before issuing a check.
      1. The members of the Executive Committee of the Board of Deacons are as follows: Chairman of the Deacons, Vice Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary, and the three members of the Deacon Board selected by the Chairman of the Deacon Board.
      2. A majority vote must be obtained by the Treasurer to issue funds.
    3. A request for funds over one thousand dollars ($1000) for an individual or family is to be taken to the next scheduled Deacon Board meeting for resolution. However, in cases where the funds are needed prior to the next Board of Deacons’meeting, the request for funds may be resolved via telephone vote or email vote, which is to be conducted by the Board of Deacons Treasurer.
  3. If a person(s) makes a first time request for funds, there may be no other action required by that person(s). If the event of a second request for funds within one year of receiving funds, or if the deacon contact determines that, there is a need for the person(s) to receive financial counseling, an appointment will be made with a financial counselor appointed by the deacon contact or a lay counselor serving with the Financial Counseling Ministry Team.
  4. Distributions of Deacon Fellowship Funds are on a priority basis with member’s first and regular attendees second. This information can be determined by calling the Deacon Board staff secretary, who will check the person’s status on the computers.
  5. Distributions of Deacon Fellowship Funds are intended, primarily, to aid people in maintaining basic needs of life. This would include, but is not limited to rent/mortgage