Deacons shall be men who desire to be servants of the local church body, who are able to serve, who meet all the qualifications of Scripture set forth in Acts 6:3 and 1 Timothy 3:8-12, and who are conscientiously and wholeheartedly in agreement with the Constitution of this church.
In Acts 6:1-4, certain men were appointed to minister to the physical needs of the flock, to relieve the elders so they would have more time to concentrate on prayer and on the Word. These were undoubtedly the first deacons and functioned as helpers to the leaders of the Jerusalem church. (These leaders were forerunners of the elders in the New Testament church.)
Deacons shall be helpers of the elders in ministering to the needs of the body, especially the physical needs (such as: caring for the Membership, buildings and other properties), though they may serve in other capacities as their gifts and training allow. Their specific duties will be designated by the elders according to the need of the church and a deacon's particular gifts, capacities and talents.
Deacons shall be appointed to serve as long as they are qualified and willing to serve and as long as a need for their ministry exists.
First Timothy 3:10 teaches that potential deacons are to be tested. The primary means of testing is time; time for the flock to evaluate a man's commitment to the Lord, his qualifications according to 1 Timothy 3:8-12, his doctrinal understanding and his willingness to serve the local body. The flock and the Board of Elders should be on the alert to those men who demonstrate the qualifications of a deacon.
In the New Testament church, both the church leaders and the flock played an important role in choosing deacons (Acts 6:1-6). Deacons will be appointed as the need arises. However, only qualified and willing men will be appointed. If no qualified men are available, or if those qualified are unable or unwilling to serve, no appointment will be made. The church shall wait on the Lord to provide a qualified man or men to meet the need.
The following outlines the procedure Faith Tabernacle Church of God will follow in selecting deacons:
- The Board of Elders shall decide if the need for a deacon(s) exists.
- When there is a need, then the Board shall notify the congregation of the need and ask them to recommend to the Board those men whom they believe meet the qualifications.
- The Board of Elders will review the names submitted to them along with any additional names of men they believe to be qualified.
- Each name submitted will be carefully and prayerfully considered and reviewed according to their qualifications, gifts, the need, and the individual's willingness to serve.
- The elders will then appoint that man (men) whom they believe to be the most qualified to serve according to the specific needs and the qualifications.
D. Removal of Deacons
A deacon may voluntarily step down from his position at any time he so chooses. The deacon should prayerfully reflect on his decision and seek counsel from the Board of Elders before making a final decision.
2. Involuntary Dismissal
Involuntary dismissal of a deacon shall be in accord with the procedures for church discipline outlined in Article XI. If the situation is such that it necessitates dismissal from office, the Board may suggest voluntary resignation by the person involved. If he refuses, the Board may remove him from office, but only after the principles for church discipline have been prayerfully considered and followed (Matt. 18:15-18).