ARTICLE VIII – DEACONS & DEACONESSES

In order to allow the Elders to serve more consistently and faithfully in their primary areas of responsibility, deacons and deaconesses will minister to the Flock in a variety of important ways (Acts 6:1-6). These assistants in service shall consist of members possessing the qualifications described in 1 Timothy 3:8-13. The Deacons and Deaconesses shall help the Elders in the shepherding of the saints, assist at communion and baptismal services, aid in the general spiritual care of the church, and perform other duties as assigned by the Elders.

Section 1. Deacons

A deacon shall be a man of dignity, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not fond of sordid gain, holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience, first tested and found beyond reproach. Deacons shall be servants to the church, desiring the responsibilities of the office in order to assist the Elders in the ministry of service to the Body (1 Timothy 3:8-13).

Section 2. Deaconesses

A deaconess shall be dignified, not a malicious gossip, temperate, and faithful in all things. Deaconesses shall be servants of the church, assisting in the care of the sick and needy, giving special attention to those situations where the ministry of women is especially appropriate (1Timothy 3:11).

Section 3. Selection

Any male or female member of Potter Valley Bible Church who is respected by the Flock and thought to be biblically qualified as a deacon or deaconess may be nominated by any church member via a letter to the Elders, or the Elders themselves may consider a candidate. The Elders, after inquiring about the desire of an individual to serve and after spending time with the person to confirm his or her qualifications, will submit the person’s name to the congregation. The entire Body will be given one month to express concerns or reservations to the Elders, personally and in the form of a “qualifications questionnaire” that will be made available to all member families. Being convinced of the candidate’s desire and qualification, the Elders may appoint him or her as deacon or deaconess.

Section 4. Term of Office

A deacon or deaconess shall serve for an indefinite period of time, subject to that person’s continuing desire to do so, his or her maintenance of the qualifications for office, and the capacity to carry out his or her responsibilities. Periodically, or at least annually, the deacons and deaconesses shall evaluate themselves, as well as be evaluated by the Elders, with regards to the question of continued service in office. Any decision by the Elders to remove a deacon or deaconess shall be immediate and final. Furthermore, any deacon or deaconess may resign upon giving a 30-day written notice to any member of the Elders.

Section 5. Responsibilities

The Deacons and Deaconesses shall advise and be ready to assist the Elders in any service that shall support and promote the ministry of the Word and the care for the members of the congregation. They are directly accountable to the Elders and their responsibilities may include but are not limited to:

(a) Assisting in administering a benevolent fund to assist the poor and needy and otherwise providing aid in times of crisis or distress.

(b) The greeting and welcoming ministries of the church.

(c) Assisting in administering the ordinances of the Gospel.

(d) Assisting at fellowship gatherings of the church.

(e) Caring for and maintaining the church properties.

(f) Assisting in administering the business affairs of the church that pertain to its material assets.

Section 6. Organization

The Deacons and Deaconesses shall organize themselves however the Elders determine to be best in achieving the mission of the church. The Elders or the Deacons may designate any specific deacon/deaconess or group of deacons/deaconesses to specialize in some particular deaconal function. Meetings of the Deacons/Deaconesses, or subcommittees thereof, shall be held as needed to best fulfill their responsibilities. However, no single Deacon Board consisting of both men and women shall exist or convene in which women take a leading role over men (1 Timothy 2:12).