The Baptist Start Page, an online ministry of First Baptist Church of Tallasse, Alabama, says, "Deacons serve the Lord by conducting the caring ministry of the church--doing the benevolence work, visiting the sick, being alert to the spiritual needs of the congregation--for the purpose of freeing the pastoral staff to focus on prayer and the ministry of the Word." Before ordination, a potential deacon must answer a series of questions to determine his qualifications.
How Did Salvation Change Your Life?
In Acts 6:3, seven men were chosen to be what we call deacons today. These men were chosen because they were, "[w]ell respected and ... full of the Spirit and wisdom." During the ordination ceremony, the ordaining minister will want to know when you received the Holy Spirit, who Christ is to you, what you believe the work of the Holy Spirit is, and what it means to you to be saved.
If the answers to these questions verify to the ordaining minister and witnesses that the deacon candidate has received true salvation, then he'll face no further questions about this area of his life.
Does Your Spouse Agree With Your Calling?
When a deacon is married, it is important that his wife supports his call to the ministry and that she lives a Christian lifestyle as well. According to the scripture found in 1 Timothy 3:11-12, "In the same way, their wives must be respected and must not slander others. They must exercise self-control and be faithful in everything they do. A deacon must be faithful to his wife, and he must manage his children and household well." The candidate must address questions concerning: his spouse's salvation experience, his role as a husband according to biblical standards, and the spouse's understanding of the deacon position.
Do You Believe the Bible is God's Holy Work?
Deacons often must present the Word of God in the case of pastor absence or during designated services. In these instances it's imperative that the deacon not only know biblical principals, but also live by them. The last series of ordination questions will be about your beliefs about the Bible. You might be asked about how often you study the Bible, your belief in the inerrancy of the scripture, and how Christ is explained in the scriptures.
- The Baptist Start Page: The Biblical Role of Deacons
- Holy Bible; New Living Translation; 2004
- Consolation Baptist Association: Suggestions For Ordaining a Deacon
- The Deacon Ministry of First Baptist Church, Garland Texas; Deacon Handbook; First Baptist Church Deacons; 1998
- A man sitting by a lake reading his Bible. image by dvest from Fotolia.com