Jump to content
Online Baptist Community

How many (if any) Deacons does your church have and how much power do they have?

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

  • Administrators

We started our church 5 years ago and have yet to add any deacons. We will add deacon(s) when/if we see the need to. 

Some visitors to our church do not understand how we operate without having deacon as they come from churches where the deacons control everything in the church. 

If you have deacons in your church what is there role. I know what the Biblical role is, I'm curious as to how much authority your deacons have.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Three deacons and one assistant pastor who is pretty much the future pastor of the church in training.

I'm not sure how much power they have but they don't seem like the type who would try to usurp any authority from the pastor and our pastor definitely isn't a dictator.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

At present, our church has seven deacons, I believe. We have added two within the last year. I really don't understand the need for so many for the amount of people we have in our church. On an average Sunday we only have between 70 to 100 people counting children. Sometimes there are more. Pre-pandemic we had a larger number of attendees. One of the "new deacons" that was added then was a younger brother of another deacon in the church. He later left. I don't know all the reasons, but I was told that he took several families with him. I wouldn't know who they are, and don't want to know. I have been in much larger churches (up to 2,500 per week in attendance) that only had seven to ten deacons. Our church has the pastor, the associate/youth pastor, and these seven deacons. Too many? I don't know. Nothing really unscriptural about it that I can find. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
1 minute ago, PastorMatt said:

I only ask about the authority of deacons because here in the Northeast is not uncommon to find a church where the the deacons hire a pastor only to preach and they take care of everything else.  Deacons make all the church decisions.

That's what I have been told by other pastors in the NE. I haven't been to any churches up there over the past 40 years, They seem to like it that way. 🙂 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

We have one right now (70 members). Usually we have two, but we don’t have anyone appropriate who is willing /able at the moment to be the second. They are deacons – they help the pastor with the practical side of the church - Organizing work bees, taking care of widows, etc. They’re considered to be among the church leaders, but the pastor’s the one in charge. 
To be fair, we have a lot of church men that are active and as helpful with the practical things as deacons would be, so things get done.

We had to change our constitution a few years ago. It had been copied from a larger church when ours was established, and said that the clerk and treasurer should previously have served as deacons. In the 15 years I’ve been here, the clerk has always been a woman and the treasurer has usually been one - so obviously not ex-deacons. We finally updated our constitution to match the practicalities and needs of our small church. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

In a church I helped with here in Michigan considers Pastor and deacon as church offices separately accountable to the congregation. The Pastor was in charge of all things Spiritual and the deacons in all thins material. In particular this was necessary because it was a small church with bi-vocational pastors who often talked the talk but did not have the long term goals of the church in mind and only after they were there for a while would it come out that they weren't planning on growing the church or being there for very long and would only want material control to help themselves to the resources or use the church as a stepping stone. The division of powers made it clear to any potential pastoral applicants that becoming the pastor did not entitle them to bypass the church or deacons wishes when it came to selling off or mismanaging church assets.

In general deacon lead churches tend to be the norm in older but smaller churches who can only get low paid or bi-vocational/retired pastors who aren't going to be there very long for one reason or another. Strong pastor lead churches tend to be younger church plants or fairly paid or founding pastor lead churches who prepared and installed a pastor to take over for the previous pastor.

So typically whichever office is longer term tends to have more sway in the church. Its also why larger churches with long term pastors typically switch out qualified deacons every few years. Smaller churches with short term pastors typically will need a long term representative/deacon who has the long term interest of the church in mind or the church could be destroyed by a hireling pastor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

The church I attend has no deacons. We have ministry groups. The head of each ministry group is a member of the church council. in face, anyone who wants to attend a church council can do so. The reason we have no deacons is because when the church was founded and the question of deacons came up, someone asked, "Has anyone been in a church where deacons did anything beside cause trouble?"

No one had and it was decided we would have no deacons. 

Two years ago we moved away from Roberts Rules of Order and majority rule. We now have consensus rule. If everyone is not for it, the study continues until a compromise is made that everyone can live with. So far it has worked very well. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

None and none.

If we did, and we may if we ever grow big enough, they will have no more power than anyone else in the church-the job of the deacons is to work to take burdens off the Pastor, so he can concentrate and labor in prayer and the word of God. They don't decide how the money is spent, what the pastor is paid, or what anyone else does. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrators
1 hour ago, Ukulelemike said:

None and none.

If we did, and we may if we ever grow big enough, they will have no more power than anyone else in the church-the job of the deacons is to work to take burdens off the Pastor, so he can concentrate and labor in prayer and the word of God. They don't decide how the money is spent, what the pastor is paid, or what anyone else does. 

Can you be more clear on the authority of the deacon? 🤣🤣🤣

I don't worry about other churches since I have my own to deal with, but it does seem that some churches have lost the Biblical definition of a deacon. At least here in New England.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Lady Administrators

Ugh...nothing like typing an answer and it getting deleted. Grr...and it happened again. I'm not very fond of this keyboard - the cursor jumps and messes things up constantly.

Anyway...our church is too small for deacons right now.  Instead, my husband started a men's council. All men who are members of the church are invited and welcome to attend the quarterly meeting to discuss the business meeting agenda.

While they are not titled as deacons, they do some of the same things. For instance, my hubs bounces off them different things like purchases for the church that costs above his monthly discretionary fund (not his pay...just a certain amount that the church voted on to allow him to use for the church without having to meet and vote on it). They discuss the financial report and vote to recommend it to the congregation at the meeting. Etc. 

I know that, once we are at the point where we need deacons, much of what the men do will be what the deacons do. They won't have "authority" but will still discuss and recommend things to the church during meetings.  And other things as the Bible lays out. 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrators

Thank you all for the reply's. Deacon serve a Biblical purpose, up here in NE it seems that many churches have the deacons control everything except preach each Sunday. They even tell the pastor what to preach.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrators

I think that things like this happen over time, as the current generation of pastors have come from a church where deacons governing the church is seen as normal. This is where sound teaching on church polity or government becomes so critical.

If the next generation simply does not know because they have not been taught, this kind of problem just escalates until all knowledge of it disappears and is lost in antiquity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrators
12 minutes ago, Jim_Alaska said:

I think that things like this happen over time, as the current generation of pastors have come from a church where deacons governing the church is seen as normal. This is where sound teaching on church polity or government becomes so critical.

If the next generation simply does not know because they have not been taught, this kind of problem just escalates until all knowledge of it disappears and is lost in antiquity.

True, it does seem to be an older generation that does that here, the younger generation almost has a care free attitude.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Who's Online   1 Member, 1 Anonymous, 32 Guests (See full list)

×
×
  • Create New...