Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. (1 Timothy 3:8–10)
Dave Burnett - Benevolence
Ron Jones - Children's Ministry
Luke Ehresman - Financial Advisory Board
Tom Heck - Financial Advisory Board
Bo Martin - Financial Advisory Board
Cort Walker - Financial Advisory Board
Philip Sasser - Worship Ministry
Ray Mulligan - Financial Advisory Board
Home Group Leader Deacons
Ken Auer • Ben Garner • Rob Hill • Sam Hodges • Jordan Liggitt • Scott Moonen • Dan Noel • Jon Noel • Mike Noel • Eli Ruhl • Philip Sasser • Travis Sasser • Walter Briley • Ray Mulligan • Cort Walker
(Go to the Home Groups page)
What is a deacon?
Acts 6:1-7 paints a vivid picture of diaconal ministry. There we see that deacons serve alongside the elders to meet the needs of the church. Where the elders will shepherd the flock through the ministry of the word of God and prayer, the deacons will lead in meeting the practical needs of the church. John Stott has said that deacons serve in "the ministry of tables" alongside the elders who serve in "the ministry of the word." Both are vital to a healthy and growing church. What else do we believe about deacons?
Deacons are servants
As the Greek behind the name implies, deacons are first and foremost servants. This is true of apostles (1 Cor 3:5), elders (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:1-4), and even Christ himself (Phil 2:7), but it is uniquely true of the office of deacon. The service of deacons is to God himself and to the church. They will work alongside and under the direction of the elders to build SGC as the Lord leads.
Deacons are qualified
Paul lays out specific guidelines for the character of a deacon in 1 Timothy 3:8-13. These are not qualities that prove the man is sinless or perfect—only Christ is!—but that he is an authentic example of what it means to be a godly man. Their personal integrity, marriage, and parenting are all part of their qualification. So, too, is their being “full of the Spirit and of wisdom” (Acts 6:3).
Deacons are gifted
While godliness might be commanded of all God’s people, a further quality that sets a deacon apart is gifting for a specific task. The ways that these men serve as SGC is significant and diverse and requires suitable gifting. At this point, diaconal ministry at SGC includes: (1) Home group leading; (2) Administrative leadership of the youth group, children’s ministry, Royal Rangers/Keepers/Homeschool Support, and the worship team; and (3) Benevolence ministry in SGC. These are roles that require significant sacrifice and time to lead, and also gifting. We hope to add more roles and men to serve in them as deacons in the coming years.
It's important to say that while deacons are qualified and gifted, these are not the only men in our church who meet this criteria. Our deacons are simply the ones needed at this time for the specific needs the elders have identified. As our needs change, so, too, will the number and kind of men needed for this ministry. This somewhat circumstantial approach to the diaconate is something we believe part of what Acts 6 teaches.
Deacons are responsible
Just as the deacons in Acts 6:1-6 owned the ministry of feeding the Hellenist widows, we believe that essential to a diaconal ministry is such ownership. These men will be given authority to successfully complete their tasks, an authority that includes managing both financial resources and SGC volunteers.
Deacons are men
Acts 6 calls the church to "pick out from among you seven men" to fill the need (v. 3). Then in 1 Timothy 3:12 it says they are to be "the husband of one wife." 1 Timothy 3:11 speaks of the qualifications of "their wives." Though 1 Timothy 3:11 could also be translated, "likewise, women," we feel "their wives" the stronger option. For these reasons SGC has adopted the practice of commissioning men for this role. Other traditions make no distinction between men and women with this role, and some allow for women deacons who simply don't have authority over men. While we respect other traditions, this is not our approach to this office in the church.
Women in the New Testament perform an enormous variety of significant ministries in the church. It is clear that their role is central to its health and fruitfulness. Without their contribution a local church will never achieve what God has designed for it. Through our approach to deacons and elders, we are in no way diminishing the critical place of the women in our church. We are simply wanting to walk out what seems to us to be the position most consistent with the New Testament model of church life.
Deacons are to be commissioned (or, ordained) for their office
The New Testament precedent is to lay hands on a man for his office before he begins to serve in that office (Acts 6:6; 13:1-3; 1 Tim. 5:22; 2 Tim. 1:6). We ordain deacons the second Sunday in September for a one-year term of service. This is when we lay hands on these men and pray that God’s Spirit would empower them for fruitful and effective service in his church.