A New Kind of Deacon in Church Leadership
Matthew 28:19-20 states: "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
In my prayer this morning, I was prompted to pray specifically for the Deacons of my church (Trinity Baptist Community Church International). In growing up in the African-American church, it was very easy to identify the Deacons, and to somewhat understand their role in the church. Whether it was visiting the sick; leading praise and worship; praying over the offering; Deacons were then and still are very visible in many churches.
The composition of the organizational structure in contemporary churches has a different fabrication. You may or may not see Deacons sitting on the front pews calling up a prayer or a song. You may or may not see a Deacon serving communion in the church. The framework of the organizational Deacon's structure is so different that one may wonder whether the new structure of "blending with the masses" diminishes the role of the Deacon. Not so, if one understands the dynamism of the new Deacon.
In my church, our Deacons are not coveting the front row "authority, power-driven" pew. You may be able to identify them when communion is served or when the offerings are prayed over. But there is something more happening with the Deacons of Trinity Baptist. There is dynamism on the team. There is synergistic partnership ministering to the congregation on a broader scale.
Our Deacons oversee ministries that encompass broad touch points throughout the congregation. Deacons in our church administrate Adult Christian Education; Evangelistic Teams; Counseling, Church Bus Ministries; Armor Bearer Ministry; Praise and Worship; Choir; the Usher's ministry, and are even powerful Masters of Ceremonies. TBCCI Deacons execute a paradigm for which traditionally minded Deacons may consider to embrace. The vision and mantra of this church is to Teach, Preach, Reach, and Touch the souls of the masses; a mantra for which our Deacon's live by.
The New Breed of Deacon at Trinity follows the Katzenbach and Smith (2001) SMART goals construct. The ministry, mission, and methodology align with the vision of the church (Teaching, Preaching, Reaching and Touching) using this framework. The conceptualization of the SMART GOALS application is listed below:
S- The Deacon's ministry is Specific: (i.e. Christian Education, Evangelism, Church Bus Evangelism Ministries, Armor Bearer, Usher's Ministry, Choir, Praise and Worship, Counseling, Master of Ceremony. The Deacon's Board includes a diversity of skills, competencies, and expertise for which they use for the Glory of God.
M- The Deacon's ministry is Measurable: (As defined by the growth of their ministry and the masses they touch).
A- The Deacon's ministry is Achievable: (Each Deacon have and continues to build a legacy of ministry by the mentoring, coaching and teaching inspired individuals young and old).
R- The Deacon's ministry is Relevant: (Our Deacons are meeting the individuals exactly where they are. They reach beyond the traditions and templates. They are driven by the application of the scriptures - the inspired Word of God only. Binding mercy and truth around their necks; writing them on the tables of their heart; the relevance of God's Word is so clearly demonstrated in the works of the Deacons for God alone. These Deacons are driven by purpose in Christ).
T- The Deacon's ministry is Time-bound:(Their ministry actions speak loudly each week as they execute God's plan).
Special Note: We may see the execution of God's plan each week in a time-bound fashion, but the impact of what they [our precious Deacons] do, is indeed timeless.
1 Timothy 3:13 states: "For those who have served well as Deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus."
Thank you Deacons at Trinity Baptist Community Church International for being such role models for all of us. Your work in the ministry of Deaconship demonstrates your love and faith in Christ Jesus. What incredible Ambassadors you are. You touch the masses and for that we are truly blessed by God through you.
May God Bless you always.
Katzenbach, J. & Smith, D. (2001). The Discipline of Teams. New York. John Wiley & Sons.