Earlier in the year, this congregation jointly studied from 1 Timothy 3 concerning the qualifications for deacons. The elders had intended that study to be a prequel to choosing additional deacons to serve here at Grissom Road. Due to a number of factors, there was a little more delay in the follow up than we had planned, but we will begin the process of choosing new deacons today. The process will fall into four stages:
Stage 1—Recommendation (to be completed by September 11).
Following the pattern found in Acts 6:3—we are asking the congregation to “pick out” a number of men to recommend to the elders as potential deacons. We would ask several things as you do this:
1) If you do not remember our earlier studies, please review them. If you do remember them, please use those studies to guide your recommendations. If you no longer have the study guides, ask Rowdy.
2) Please provide a written recommendation to any of the Elders (any format is fine).
3) Please ensure that you identify yourselves in the recommendation.
4) Please try to give a short explanation as to how the men you suggest meet the criteria we discussed in the classes.
5) Remember as you recommend that the primary role of a deacon is to minister to people, not things.
6) Please feel free to recommend as many as you think are qualified.
Stage 2—Elder Review (to be completed by November 1).
In accordance with our responsibility to shepherd the flock and to direct any deacons chosen, we will spend a period of time evaluating the men recommended concerning their qualifications, interest, and availability. We will also discuss with them the work which we intend them to do. After this evaluation, we will generate a list of men which we would like to appoint as deacons. It may be that for various reasons, we do not select everyone recommended by the congregation. Failing to select any particular man should not be construed as a rejection of your recommendations or a comment upon the faithfulness of the man in question. It indicates solely that we are not proposing him as a deacon at this time.
Stage 3—Congregational Review (to be completed by November 25).
Although we anticipate that the men proposed will have been thoroughly evaluated by this time, it is always possible that there will be valid scriptural objections to a man’s fitness to serve. Since this is the first time that the congregation as a whole will be able to view the proposed new deacons, we will give all members an opportunity to review the final list. If you have SCRIPTURAL objections to one of the proposed deacons, we ask you (in accordance with God’s will) to discuss those objections with the man himself. Only if your objections cannot be satisfied should you discuss those objections with the elders. We ask that you put your objections in writing before you talk with us. Under no circumstances will we entertain anonymous objections.
Stage 4—Recognition as Deacons (November 29).
We will recognize our new deacons on Sunday, November 29 and commend them for your congratulations and acceptance. We will begin working them into their roles in 2016.
We are grateful for your support in this effort.
Jim, Tim, and Rowdy
(As a reminder, the current deacons are: CJ Jones, Russell Watson, Bill Holt, Roy Graham, and Cody Hartman).
A Need for Prayer
Scripture teaches us “to pray without ceasing” and to let our “requests be made known to God”. We are also to pray for one another. We should call on God for goodness to prevail and to bless our righteous efforts. These are just a few times and reasons to pray.
Certainly, as we go through the process of selecting men to serve as Deacons, prayer is critical and beneficial. Pray that your own evaluation be based on sound reason and biblical principles. Pray for our Elders as they consider those suggested, that they will make wise decisions. Call on God to grant us peace in this process. Pray for the men who are appointed, that they may faithfully do the work God intends.
Now is a good time to pray. TS