What is a Deacon?
The word “deacons” occurs in five places in the Bible, all in the New Testament, and there is also a reference to Phoebe, a Deaconess (and the only person ever referred to as a deacon by name in the Bible) in Romans 16. The English word comes from the Greek word “diakonos,” meaning a servant, a waiting-person (as in Acts 6, where they waited on tables for widows at mealtime), minister (from the Latin word “ministere” meaning servant), or a messenger. The office is thought to have originated with the selection of seven men in the Church in Acts 6, and included Stephen, the Church’s first martyr.
What does a Deacon do?
As discussed previously, a Deacon is a servant of the congregation. At Bethany, we have nine Deacons who serve the congregation on three separate Commissions, those being Administration (looks after the building and property needs), Congregational Life (looks after events held in and for the congregation like lunches at the Annual Meeting), and Christian Education, Missions, and Outreach (looks after the needs of individuals inside or outside of the congregation, including their development and growth as people and the attraction of new individuals to the Church, the body of Christ on Earth). There are also three Deacons-at-Large, which are to help the Pastor and the other Deacons as they serve the congregation.
How can my Deacon help me?
Your assigned Deacon is your point of contact if you need help in your life. They pray for you regularly, and it is their duty to inform you of happenings in the congregation, like funerals, worship cancellations due to bad weather, or anything that may come up in the life our congregation suddenly. They can offer spiritual counsel if you need it. It is their job to serve you in any way that they can according to your need, or at least find you qualified help. (My Deacon once picked my wife up from the hospital after surgery when I could not, for example.)
Get to know your Deacon! They are a great source of spiritual or other kinds of help in your journey.