There are many models available for how deacons function in a baptist church. Some deacons form a self-perpetuating board of directors. There are churches were deacons become managers of the church- approving decisions from the price of Wednesday night supper to paint colors for the next workday. I was reminded yesterday of the different approach to deacon ministry that we have chosen.
Our deacons meetings are held at 8 a.m. on the second Sunday of each month. (Sundays seemed to avoid most conflicts and an 8 a.m. start means we have to be done in time for Sunday School!) The deacons rotate who will prepare breakfast and share the devotional before the meeting begins. Typically, I share a "people update" and then excuse myself. From there our deacons share needs from their family groups and consider ways to be of service.
What's missing? Business, church business to be more precise. We have committees to take care of business matters. We ask our deacons to take care of people. From time to time we may share word of projects on on "information only " basis, committees don't need approval from the deacons before asking the church's blessing on an idea.
As I left Sunday our deacons were considering the needs of families within our church and some in the community. Sometimes it is as simple as buying food or paying a medical bill- sometimes the deacons must wrestle with how best to address a family's need when a check isn't the most important need.
When our deacons "deac" they do so in a spirit of prayer, humility, and service. I am grateful to share ministry with these fellow servants.