DEACON NOMINATION GUIDELINES
(From FBC – Cary Constitution & By-Laws, Addendum Two: The Office of Deacon)
While Acts 6:1-8 does not contain the word “deacon,” it has been generally agreed within the Church that the election of these seven men is the beginning of the “deacon” as a church officer. The election of these seven men came about because of the specific needs of the church of Jerusalem. There appeared to be jealousy among certain groups within the membership; the Greeks were complaining that their widows were not getting as much help as the Hebrew widows. The apostles were busy with the ministry “of the word of God” and did not think that such ministry should be neglected in order to “wait on tables.” In order for the apostles to continue in this ministry of the word and prayer, seven men were elected to assist in the daily distribution of the food. It should be noted that the office of deacon came into being for practical service and to alleviate the dissension within the community of believers.
The position of deacon within the church is one of service. This distinction is seen in the Greek word “deacon” (diakonos) which can also be translated “minister” or “servant.” The New Testament uses this same word in a general sense to describe Christians as servants and also in a particular way as an officer set aside for service. Service is the call of one who becomes a deacon in the church.
CHARACTER & QUALIFICATIONS OF A DEACON
- Must be an active Cary First member for at least one continuous year immediately prior to this election
- A person of integrity: This quality is referred to in Acts 6:3 as a person whose character and conduct is “of good report” (KJV) in daily life, and as such is to inspire respect and confidence.
- A person “full of the Holy Spirit:” The word “full” means “covered in every part, thoroughly permeated with, complete, lacking nothing.” The deacon should tithe and model positive Christian stewardship.
- A person of wisdom: This wisdom should include a practical wisdom and understanding of the Scripture, of the way of
salvation, and of disciplines in Christian growth.
- A person of faith (Acts 6:5): The priorities of a deacon’s life should be directed in a faith relationship to Jesus Christ and to His service.
- A serious person (1 Timothy 3:8): A deacon should possess dignity and be respected by others within the church.
- An honest person: Such a person is not “double-tongued” or a deceiver. The word of a deacon should always be sincere and truthful.
- A person who is not greedy of filthy lucre: The deacon should be above question in matters of business and finance.
- A person of right conduct: The term “not given to much wine” conveys the meaning that deacons must not allow any pleasure which would lessen their witness or engage in any indulgence which would soil their Christian conduct. A Christian lifestyle is essential. The abuse of alcohol, drugs, food, or other substances negates one’s representation for Jesus Christ.
- A person who demonstrates Christian fidelity, holds to a biblical view of marriage and believes in the sanctity of the Christian home: This qualification does not require marriage as a prerequisite for deaconship. Single persons can be deacons. The deacon shall not participate in or condone homosexual activities.
- A deacon should know the basic foundations of the faith and be familiar with who we are as Southern Baptists. Deacons should be ready to give their personal testimony (1 Peter 3:15-16).
- While not affirming divorce, this church body does affirm the biblical doctrines of sin and forgiveness. Thus, divorce is seen as another indicator of the brokenness of human society and must be met with the gospel message of forgiveness and new beginning. Persons should not be eliminated from serving as deacons because of a divorce, provided that divorce meets criteria from the Bible such as Matthew 5:32 and 1 Corinthians 7:10-13.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF A DEACON
- Be accountable to being in the Word and sharing the gospel, and attend a small group in order to be discipled as well as to actively make disciples
- Support the pastor and staff by faithful and exemplary attendance at all worship services
- Participate on one of the deacon ministry teams & be actively involved in local and non-local mission projects
- Attend monthly deacon meetings to address spiritual-related ministry needs of Cary First Baptist Church
- Pray without ceasing for the Cary First staff, members (and their families), and fellow deacons
- Assist the pastor during worship services, as well as assist with Next Steps after the worship service
- Serve during communion services
TIMELINE FOR 2021
- May 26 – Deadline for submission of nominees to Nominating Committee (please acquire confirmation of willingness to serve from your proposed nominee BEFORE submitting name)
- July 23 – Nominating Committee develops a list of nominees for office of deacon based on input from church members and a review of qualifications for service
- August 4 – Distribution of deacon nominee biographical sketches and photos
- August 15 – Deacon election in both Sunday morning services
- September 1 – Newly elected deacons begin service