A deacon is someone who fulfils an office in the church first mentioned in Acts 6:1-7. In this passage, seven men were chosen to assist the apostles with the compassionate ministries of the church. This allowed the apostles to focus on prayer and preaching. In many Baptist churches, deacons are elected in some manner by the congregation to a set term and serve as the church board of directors. In order to be a Baptist deacon, several requirements must be met.
Fulfil the Biblical requirements of a deacon. In the Bible, Acts 6:1-7 and 1 Timothy 3:8-10,12-13 set down the spiritual and moral qualifications necessary for a deacon. The Acts passage states the requirements as "... being of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom." The Timothy passage states that a deacon is someone who is "... grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; holding the mystery of faith in a pure conscience ... husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well."
Be examined and approved as a deacon candidate by the pastor and the current deacon board. You will be examined to see if you fulfil the Biblical requirements of the deacon. You will be asked questions about your personal life and habits. You may be asked to fill out a questionnaire which asks you about your doctrinal beliefs.
Be elected by your church to the office of deacon. In the Baptist church, elections are held by using a secret ballot. Usually, elections are held following a church service after the dismissal of non-members. Churches will require different majorities for election to office. Usually only a majority is required. In some Baptist churches, being elected comes before being examined and approved.
Be ordained. Many Southern Baptist churches practice deacon ordination. Ordination is an act where you are set apart for a particular ministry. At this service, you will be asked doctrinal questions and have hands laid upon you and prayers said on your behalf. Many Baptist churches do not practice deacon ordination because they see deacons as being mainly a church board member. Those who do ordain are trying to follow the practice first set down in Acts 6, where the apostles laid hands on the deacons and prayed for them.
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