When you read the book of Acts in chapter six, you see that the apostles were becoming overwhelmed with the amount of ministry they were doing and it was taking away from their primary calling to preach the gospel. Not only that, because they were so busy some of the people that needed tended to (orphans & widows) were being neglected. So the apostles elected six men of good report among the masses and ensured they oversaw the daily feeding and care of the widows and orphans. The were the early churches first deacons.
Today the title of deacon often get confused and interlaced with elder, board member, trustee, bishop and so on and so forth. At City on a Hill we lean in hard to the biblical definitions of church leadership as to not create any confusion. You will notice that when you read the bible that the elder/pastor position has many responsibilities and instructions that are attached with it. This is not so much the case with deacons. Rather, the bible gives reference to certain people in the church who were serving as deacons on behalf of the elders/pastors. What we gain from this is that the primary responsibility of the deacons is to assist the elder/pastor in day to day / week to week task of the church.
Though there are not a great many responsibilities listed that the deacons are entrusted to do, the bible is very clear regarding who should be a deacon. We actually wrote a blog post previously. If you would like to better understand our position on deacons, click here.
WHAT ARE THE QUALIFICATIONS OF A DEACON?
“Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. They must hold to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanders, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children well. For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Timothy 3:8-13
John Piper when teaching about who should lead inside the church gives the analogy of doors and how open they are. When it comes to who can attend church the doors are wide open, we want everyone to come. When it comes to church membership the door is slightly more narrow in that only Christians are eligible for membership. When it comes to the position of a deacon the door is substantially more narrow because we only want to have people of great quality serving in these position. Finally when it comes to the position of elder/pastor, the door is barely cracked ensuring only the best men serve on everyone else’s behalf.
We believe we have found an excellent deacon to serve City on a Hill in Leigh Ann Lowe.
My wife Jessica and I have had the opportunity to know Leigh Ann and her family for the past four years. When she discovered we were planting a church she was one of the first people to join us and voluntarily put her hands to work immediately. She has been working an enormous amount behind the scenes with City Kids, service projects, checking upend following through with our guest, serving as part of our finance team and as many of you all know giving comic relief and heart felt inspiration during our announcements on Sunday morning. She has done so without ever complaining or asking for anything in return. As a matter of fact, when we announced on Sunday that we were inducting Leigh Ann as one of our deacons several people approached me and told me that they thought she was already a deacon due to her constant service.
Leigh Ann is a great example of faithfulness and dedication to Jesus through the church. I pray that her example convicts and inspires others to rise up and serve Jesus and the city through City on a Hill. The enormity of our mission can not be undertaken by a select few but the entirety of the church family. I thank God that a select few are willing to carry heavy loads of responsibility on the front end to serve as an example for the many to come.
Would you join me in both praying for and congratulating Leigh Ann in her area of service.