If I were a newly ordained deacon, I would be eager to learn my craft, to honor my Lord, and to serve my church. So, here are some of the things I would do:
–I would stay on my knees, asking the Father to purify me, make my motives holy, and to give me a heart to serve.
–I would read Luke 17:7-10 again and again until it became part of my DNA. I would resolve never to seek appreciation or expect honors. We are servants.
–I would find the godliest, most effective deacons now serving our church and latch onto them. I would pick their brains, and ask if I could work with them until I learned all they could teach me.
–I would read the scriptural passages about deacons again and again. The primary two are I Timothy 3 and Acts 6. Then, I would study the four gospels for every reference to servants and find what they are to do, how they are to behave, the attitude they are to project, and so forth.
–I would look for a good book on the subject of deacons. (And since I have written one– “Help! I’m a New Deacon!”– I would hope my pastor is putting one of those in the hands of each deacon.) Since they cost $15 each–I know, it’s too high for a paperback!–perhaps you could buy one and pass it around.
–I would not go into this work with an agenda of my own, but would want to see what the presence deacons are doing.
–I would ask if the church’s constitution and bylaws are available, and would read up on those. If the deacons are not abiding by them, I would have two conferences quickly: first, with the pastor to ask “Did you know this?” and “What do you want the deacons to do?” and second, with the chair of the deacons to ask “Are you aware of what the bylaws say?” Then, I would pray for guidance.
–I would support my pastor and ministerial staff.
–I would memorize Hebrews 13:17 and would go out of my way to honor these servants of God called to lead the church. Their accountability to Him is mind-boggling and the last thing they need is stress or burdens from my directions.
–Then, I would ask the Lord to help me honor those deacons (and other servants in the church) who serve well. Brag on them, pray for them, and look for ways to call attention to the good work they are doing.
–Finally, if I spot a deacon or two with unholy motives or control issues, I would prayerfully seek guidance on what to do. In many cases, it is far healthier and safer for a deacon to rein another deacon in than for the pastor to have to get involved. Often, that out-of-control deacon’s wrath is directed toward the pastor himself. You can help the preacher and bless your church by standing up and doing the courageous thing. But do nothing without lots of prayer and sound counsel.
Thank you for serving, Deacon. You mean the world to the Kingdom.