We were able to convert our traditional church to the house church without too much difficulty because of our deacons’ whole-hearted support. Many churches have difficulties doing so because of the opposition of their leaders. If even one influential leader stubbornly opposes the house church, it’s impossible for the church to convert.
Our church deacons have not only been supportive of the house church but have also exemplary in their Christian walks. In many churches, leaders are not respected and are often criticized. At our church, the congregation admires its leaders and wants to be like them.
Let me explain how our Board of Deacons works.
The Board of Deacons at Baptist churches are equivalent to Presbyteries at Presbyterian churches. But our deacons consider their position one of service, not of rule. For example, our deacons take turns each month serving as janitor. During that month, the responsible deacon comes to church early to open the church gate and stays until all church members have left the church premises to lock the gate. In most churches, these things are done by hired crews, but in our church, our deacons do it to demonstrate servant leadership.
It is an unwritten rule that our deacons must execute what they propose. In many churches, especially Presbyterian churches, the people who make decisions are not the ones who carry out those decisions. As a result, the decision making bodies tend to make impractical decisions and the executing bodies carry them out half-heartedly because they are not involved in the decision making process. At our church, proposals are workable and are carried out enthusiastically, because they are executed by the same people who proposed them.
Our deacons consider Deacons meetings a place to seek God’s will together, not a place to offer personal opinions. So they never raise their voices or argue with one another during meetings.
Our church operates on the basis on spiritual talent, not on the basis of titles. In many traditional churches, once someone is elected as a church elder, he automatically becomes a committee chairman. At our church, these roles are separate; some deacons are not committee chairmen, and some committee chairmen are not deacons.
I hope that these traditions of ours are respected and carried over from one generation of deacons to the next.
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