The Difference Between a Trustee & a Deacon in the Church

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Many volunteers are needed to lead and run a church. Two common types of volunteers elected as leaders in many churches are trustees and deacons. Each type of leader holds different responsibilities and duties and each is integral to the church's operations and future. The major difference between these positions is that a trustee makes finanical decisions while a deacon assists with other needs of the church. All deacons and trustees should have a close relationship with God and their lives must demonstrate their love for God, his world and his people.

1 Deacons

Some churches have several deacons to complete various administrative and business functions of the church. Deacons are typically the people in the church who assist the pastor in various duties from caring for church families to assisting the church’s trustees in financial matters. Deacons are often the church members who pass the offering baskets during the service. Deacons are expected to attend church regularly and give their tithes and offerings.

2 Other Deacon Duties

Deacons also periodically interview new members, handle day-to-day church decisions and update membership information. Deacons also lead prayer meetings when the pastor is absent, visit church members and assist in running the church's benevolent fund.

3 Trustees

A trustee in a church is usually a member of the church’s board of trustees. Trustees are responsible for handling most of the financial aspects of operating the church. They receive and count money and work with the treasurer, who deposits the money. Trustees also are responsible for all church property and must be present to sign legal documents regarding church property, such as mortgage or rental documents. Trustees are also required to attend church regularly and give tithes and offerings on a regular basis.

4 Other Trustee Duties

Trustees are leaders in the church who are responsible for many different things. The decisions trustees make must generally be approved by the entire Board of Trustees. This board is comprised of a group of several elected trustees and is designed to help the church make wise decisions by taking votes on most finanical issues. Trustees may also be responsible for other aspects of the church’s property, such as repairs and renovations. Trustees typically are responsible for hiring contractors to complete such projects. Any issue that arises regarding the church building and property is discussed and resolved through the Board of Trustees.

Jennifer VanBaren started her professional online writing career in 2010. She taught college-level accounting, math and business classes for five years. Her writing highlights include publishing articles about music, business, gardening and home organization. She holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting and finance from St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Ind.