Southern Baptist churches have detailed positions within the church, such as the deacon. Deacons generally are older church members elected to this role. The length of time a deacon serves and the exact duties may vary from church to church, but many of the fundamental duties are the same. Some Baptist congregations allow women to serve as deacons, though many relegate the role to men.
Assisting the Pastor
The pastor, or elder, in a Southern Baptist church leads the church and gives sermons to the congregation. As needed, the deacon should be prepared to help the pastor with his duties. Some churches require that the deacon be prepared to evaluate the pastor and his effectiveness within the church.
Business and Administrative Duties
In order to give the pastor more time to focus on the church's spiritual side, the deacon handles the church's business and administrative tasks. Deacons may handle scheduling, so that the church isn’t double-booked for events. Deacons also may be in charge of keeping the church records and financial books up to date as well as answering phones and taking messages. Some deacons maintain the church property and handle lawn care, cleaning and small repairs.
Enhancing Church Unity and Spirituality
Deacons are expected to be models of commendable faith and help other church members with their own faith. Deacons counsel members of the church as needed; many times they are responsible for helping widows within the congregation come to terms with their loss. Some churches ask deacons to recruit new members for the congregation. Deacons may be required to visit the homes of sick or elderly members of the congregation. The deacon also may help organize church activities, such as picnics or holiday parties.
- The Baptist Start Page: The Biblical Role of Deacons
- The Sermon Notebook: The Relationships of the Baptist Deacon
- Bible Truth: A Biblical Look at Deacons
- Southern Baptist Convention: Frequently Asked Questions
- Bethel Baptist Church: Deacon
- Dallas News: Community North Baptist Church in McKinney Makes History With Female Deacons
- Photo Credit Patricia Hofmeester/iStock/Getty Images
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