Over the last few days I have been sitting with 2 Church leadership teams discussing the role of Elders and Deacons within the Church denomination I am part of. The conversation can usually be summed up as, “The Elders are the shepherds of the church and the deacons are the workers.” In fact I think and honour 2 female deacons of a church in the North East who work so hard for the Church, they are the only members of the leadership team and though they have their own jobs and families serve tirelessly for the Church.
There I said it. That word. Serve.
Who also used the word? The Apostle!
What a title! Apostle – sent one. Look how important Paul is to the church. But where is he? In prison. Maybe his critics were saying he cannot be a blessed man of God in that circumstance. Unlike them perhaps in their comfortable and luxurious lifestyles.
Yet what does the Apostle call himself? A servant of the Church. A deacon which is what the word means. Throughout his letters Paul calls himself a servant of the Gentiles; a servant of the gospel; a servant of Christ Jesus; a servant of the Jews; we get the picture Apostle.
Last Sunday at the Church I spoke at they presented a retiring Elder (who had also been a Pastor all his life nearly) with a gift. I was moved simply by the fact that this man had given the majority of his life to the Church.
I then also saw after the service a group of volunteers on their knees disinfecting the chairs that people had sat on. Servants.
I recently had to tell a leadership team that their Pastor was not their servant so that they could master him and tell him what he can and cannot do. But that he was a servant of the Church by the calling of God on his life. Along with all the volunteer workers of the church the Pastor also serves on behalf of Christ.
Look around your church from the pulpit to the pew and be thankful for Christ’s deacons wherever they serve.