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Deacon & Deaconess Basic Training- Part 1

Royce Snyman

Presenter

Royce Snyman

Ministerial Department Director and Coordinator of Evangelism for the Michigan Conference

Sponsor

Conference

Recorded

  • June 19, 2017
    8:00 AM
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Father heaven as we meet together today I pray that your Holy Spirit will be with us thank you for deacons and deaconesses and the role of they play in their churches and it's not just a play a role but a serious role of leadership I pray that your Holy Spirit will give us instruction today I pray that you will speak through me and that my words will be yours and that you will also give ears to hear for those who are listening to what we do today thank you for being with us in Jesus' name. Aright morning want to introduce you to what we're going to be working with in terms of tools and you have some documentation in front of you that will be of help to you I'm not going to make a lot of her appearance to this particular book except to let you know right now this is a deacon and deaconesses handbook that is produced by the General Conference of 7th. It is a valuable tool and has only been out since last year. They used to have 1 before and then you know they kind of run out of them and then it's time to update it and then it takes them years to get that done and finally last year they came out with this handbook and so we're trying to make it available to people. Give it out to people that come to a class like this because I feel that you need to have the information and it's my reward to you for taking the time to come and being part of this class so you don't have to go by it because I'm giving it to you aren't the 2nd thing that you have is your textbook and this is where we're going to spend most of our time and I'll explain a little bit more about this textbook here in just a few moments as we get into it but this will be where we're going to spend most of our time together with what I do in the screen on the screen and the things that I add to our conversation along the way so this is our main source today along the course with the Bible in the prophecy that are undergirding everything that we'll be doing then the last thing that you have is the workbook in the workbook looks like a verse and I will not spending time in the workbook at all the workbook goes along with this book and is just a nice tool for you if you're going home you know and you don't want to or you say Ha I need something to keep me awake while I'm reading was Boric or or whatever in the workbook kind of helps you focus in on some areas that are of value and or specifically the author or maybe the workbook you can tell where things were important to him and he put them in the workbook and you can gonna work through that it's you use on your own tool and that's its purpose on that for that So those are your materials today I also have a have a pen if anybody needs a pen and I have no book paper blanket. Paper lined paper if you want to take notes but if you're like me I get a book like this and there's something there on the right right in it because I don't want to lose the notes somewhere along the line so whatever works for you is great and those are our resources today I'm assuming you know who I am a ministerial director here in Michigan and the minister of department is responsible for training and supporting elders and deacons and deaconesses not just pastors so as to fall under some category and that's a major leadership role somewhere it's not Sabbath school and it's not the outliners it's not in that area and so it falls under our area and I tell you that so that you know where to go and terms of getting resources to help you in whatever ministry angle you might be responsible for and we are happy to come out and do training in the local churches 1 of the reasons I do this is not because I'm getting a big crowd here I'm doing it because I know that there are some people that can connect here so many seminars going on that people have a hard time choosing which 1 to go to and then the truth of the matter is yes on Sabbath there's 5000 people here during the week there's 12 or 1500 people but there's 26000 members in the Michigan conference and there's only a fraction of the leaders that actually get here and at some point I hope you're inspired enough to go back and say we need to have training for all our Dickens and deaconesses or all our elders or whatever and go back to your local church and set something like that up and all you have to do is ask me in ordinary with your pastor and that's how that works and I'm happy to do that and by the way that's exactly what's happened I've gone from campaigning last year and went to 2 or 3 different churches and places where they invited me to come and use and training for them so I look forward to doing that because it's in the real world and situation that people are dealing with and. Church and happy to do that I believe that the work of deacons and deaconesses and elders and on using all 3 of those because those positions interact with each other or should interact with their own with each other just as they did biblically they should be doing in our local church and if these positions are functioning as they should our churches will be stronger much much stronger our churches have become frankly weak today and 1 of the reasons is because these positions have not been functioning at full strength like they should be and you'll understand what I mean as I go through this a little bit and explain that about. What the purposes of the elders deacons and deacons and I will be spending and it's on with elders today as we've been doing that for the last couple of days how many of you are deacons or deaconesses in your church OK so I know I have 1 elder here today and the rest of you are deacons or deaconesses in your church and that's terrific really glad that you're here how many of you are new to this position and it's brand new to you you've never done it before OK that's great you notice that in the notes that I put out about the class advertising class as especially designed for people that are new to this position now new can be interesting new I've never done this before. Or yes I've done this before but I still don't know what I'm supposed to be doing and I'm hoping to find out that's why I'm here and that's what we're going to be searching for us 1 of the reasons that I really want to encourage churches to get the elders the deacons in the INS into a training program because it will strengthen the church and you'll understand what I'm talking about. So we're going to get right into our material now and take a look at this let me explain that the textbook that you have before you was produced and written and produced by Dr Vincent White. He's an admin is not Mr I think he's retired now and he's a 7th Day Adventist minister who also got so involved in in this whole process of training deacons and deaconesses and and researching the whole process that when he worked on his doctoral degree he used this is a format in the basis for for his doctoral degree I will tell you that that's 1 of the reasons that the book is kind of laid out the way it is now that doesn't mean it's so deep and difficult to read that it's a doctoral dissertation but I am telling you that because the book has references that are very broad it's not just written in a total 7th Day Adventist vacuum by that I mean that he has drawn from other sources and he will have some sources in here that are from non Ave sources historical sources and others and why he has done that is to try to help us do or draw an understanding of what has happened in the deacon deaconesses positions in the Christian church over the last 2000 years and you can't do that from only adding to sources and you can't do that from only Biblical sources because the Biblical sources ended in 1. 100 A.D. more or less and the advent of sources don't begin until about $850.00 Suffolk you know you you've got to have fill in the vacuum there somewhere and he does that just to have a complete picture of how the whole experience and position of a deacon and a deaconess in the church has developed over time and how it comes to be what it is today and what it comes to be today is both good and bad We'll explain more about that along the way so he's entitled this the 21st century deacon and eagerness reflecting the biblical model and that's really where we want to begin today if you have your Bibles and encourage you to take your Bible out and turn to. Isaiah Chapter 61 because we want to get a little bit of perspective here in terms of the biblical law a ARE should same background to what we are talking about here with deacons and deaconesses and the responsibilities that they have so I'm looking at Isaiah $161.00 verses $1.00 and $2.00 I would be grateful to have a volunteer read that for me. Please. Or. So who is being spoken of here I say as the writer but to whom is he referring. Actually more specific than that. When he says the spirit of the Lord God is upon me. Now I want you to think about this in the context of the New Testament and you remember once when Jesus was in the tap in the in the synagogue and he was talking. To the people there and they asked him to stand up and to read the scripture reading and the RW scripture reading that he chose was this passage and then after he got done reading it he made a statement that almost got him stoned you remember what that was he said today this is fulfilled in your hearing so to whom is this referring it's referring to the Messiah it's referring to Jesus and the point that we're making with us and were trying to identify and this by the way is the 1st chapter in your book so if you want to open your book you'll notice that this is the scripture that Dr White quotes here and in beginning his book and setting the stage and for the biblical model and showing that Jesus is a model of servant ministry he is helping us to understand that servant ministry is modeled 1st of all by the Messiah by Jesus Christ and that becomes important as we deep dig in just a little deeper here in the next few moments because we'll begin to see how that connects with the role of deacons and deaconesses same book Isaiah Chapter 53 go back to Chapter 53 and look at verse 11 Isaiah 53 verse 11. And someone else would read verse 11 I'd prefer that. Do it once a while and tear razor him somebody. Read it please. Now this passages in the famous Isaiah 53 passage which sometimes is called. The servant passage it is the 1 that is most widely recognized as referring to the Messiah but not so much by the Jews they did not see this as pointing forward to the coming Messiah but this is the suffering servant passage because this is the 1 that really spoke to Jesus the Messiah coming and how that he would suffer for the sins of his people if the June is that been understanding this passage as they should have they would have recognized that the whole sanctuary is summarized in this passage and the whole purpose of the Son sanctuary that the they had participated in from the day they were born of the day they died if they grew up in a Jewish home this is what it was all about but instead by the time that Jesus came they had forgotten this passage they had misunderstood the sanctuary and they had come up with the idea that the Messiah was going to come and his work was to set them free from Roman power and that was the ultimate situation they had here. So this passage was setting the stage for Messiah and we know that Jesus not only understood this passage but more importantly he lived as a servant among the people of the world that he might be able to save them or what that what does that have to do with what we are talking about here today Ellen White says this and the quotation that's on the screen and also in your book from ministry of healing pages 19 and 20 and I believe it's also on the 1st page there it says this during his ministry Jesus devoted more time to healing the sick than to preaching is miracles testified to the truth of his words that he came not to destroy but to save the Savior made each work of healing an occasion for implanting divine principles in the mind and soul this was the purpose of his work he imparted earthly blessings that he might incline the hearts of men to receive the gospel of His grace. The point is that Jesus spent his time concentrating on meeting the needs of people he came not as a king he came not as a preacher though he preached but he came especially as a servant to minister to the needs of people when people came to him for R.C.S. lawyers others Kings even came to him trying to convince him to perform miracles so that they could say Are you really the Messiah or not Jesus did not perform miracles for them because he was a servant not coming to display a power. He used his power for the purpose of Minister ing to the needs of people 1 of our pastors we have a staff meeting every morning 1 of our pastors the Smalling did a good devotional talking about the power of God and how Ellen White reminds us that the power that God has in God doesn't use all the power that he has if he used all the power that he had. Things could be a lot different around I mean he can annihilate people he can do whatever he can create people and all of that God uses his power very carefully on behalf of people and Jesus is a clear demonstration of that he didn't use the power for himself he could have he could to use the power to to wipe out the Roman soldiers he could have taken care of the Pharisees He could have done all those kinds of things but no he used his power simply to minister to people and to improve their lives and help them to understand that he came as a loving Savior that he was going to be sacrificing his life for them he came to demonstrate God's character and how God uses his power now that's important because as we go on with hers we begin to learn something about how the disciples had a bit of a challenge the disciples you know along the way they. They began to realize the pope tensional of gods of Jesus power. You know when they win Jesus's on the. Side of the mountain and I don't mean like he Everest on in a rolling hero overlooking Lake Galilee and all that and he's preaching to the people in this 5000 men their boss women and children and they need to eat and he tells them to bring the little food that they have and he blesses it and it goes all everywhere I mean people begin to think OK Messias Messiah is going to be able to overthrow the Romans we get this he can feed the Romans and you know all I mean for the Romans soldiers and and he can he all law heal us 1 way or wounded and and they can raise us from the dead of the Roman soldier Kyrgios us and I mean you know they started getting all of that and the disciples kind of got on talking about the people that were listening to him and even the disciples got a little bit into that and they began to to come to the point where when he sent them out and they found that people wouldn't respond positively to them as they did in in the book of Luke Chapter 9 they were sent out in chapter 10 they were sent out and and they found that people didn't always respond to them so favorably the 1 of the Samaritans and spares and errands 8 of the Jews and in that setting the disciples thought to know if if they will respond to us why don't we just bring fire down from heaven and the story of them that'll settle that problem right. Well I'm sure glad that the deacons and deacons in our churches don't have that kind of power because they might be tempted to use it occasionally when they can get support and help and and all of that and in Jesus we are told. Was very careful how he used his power for that reason a with a disciple who we are told that he responded to them and he said you don't know what spirit you and he rebuked them for their for their response the author of our book says Dr White's of makes the statement he says Jesus taught his disciples that being a servant is more important than power of demons Jesus wanted them to recognise the soft destructive danger that comes with the love of power why are we taking the time to talk about this and that is because we understand the work of a deacon or a deaconess to be set in the perspective of servant leadership and servant. Responding to the needs of people Ellen White says in desire of ages page 43 and and it's in your book somewhere I can remember exactly what I think is the next page. Rejoice not in the possession of power lest you lose sight of your dependence upon God but careful careful lest self-sufficiency come in I'm sorry Be careful the self-sufficiency come in and you work in your own strength rather than in the spirit and strength of your master self is ever ready to take the credit if any measure of success attends the work as a pastor. I've had a chance to work with a lot of different people a lot of different characteristics personalities. And it's interesting to watch Deacon who's been a deacon for 40 years. There's a certain sense of entitlement certain sense of power a sense of don't cross me a certain sense of whatever someone's been in that position for so long self begins to rise up because a position of a deacon especially a head deacon is recognised as a leader in the church and that should be exactly what it should be we want people to be recognized as leaders because they carrier responsibility they carry authority not because authority is to push down on people but because that's how organization functions people need to know who to go to when a problem needs to be solved and that's the kind of authority Jesus is demonstrating for us but the point of this is that if we come at our positions from a perspective of our. We're going to find that we're not really accomplishing what Jesus intended for us to accomplish the concept the author again speaking that Jesus was trying to instill in his disciples was that ministry is not about power control and greatness as viewed by worldly standards but it is about service to God and humanity now this becomes clearer as we begin to think about the word itself that relates to Deacon and that is I'm not trying to give you a deep Greek a lesson but the word Deacon is from the Greek the US and it go the root for all of this comes from the meaning 1 who render service to another an attendant a servant saw obviously what we're trying to say is that's the foundation of being a deacon or a deaconess is how can we serve other people. 1 of the ways that I illustrate this and people who sit in my classes too much and hear me say this too much but I repeat it for those who haven't sat in my classes and if you're an elder you often think that your responsibility is limited to what you do on Sabbath morning on the platform if you're Diggory a deaconess you think they're your responsibility your job description is defined as ushering people in some churches. Taking up the offering in all churches and perhaps coordinating communion service once a quarter and taking care of the various aspects of that the deaconesses take care of the preparing the bread in the end the grape juice the wine and getting the table ready and the deacons Deaconess deacons and elders they pass the emblems out and our duties are gone job description end. The servant part of those come in well I'm sorry in the people I'm taking up the offering here how are you serving the people when you're taking up the offering you're making it so they don't have to get out of their pew and come up and drop it somewhere is that what servant who is taking place. So you begin to sense that the whole job description the we're talking about in this whole book is describing that job description we're going to look at part of that today is set in the in the foundation of servanthood taking a couple more statements here and then I'm going to go to Google example who are deacons and Dickenson's were established biblical model Ellen White says in desire of ages pay $550.00 among his disciples Christ was in every sense I care taker a burden bearer he shared their poverty he practiced self-denial on their account he went before them to smooth the more difficult places and soon he would consummate his work on earth by laying down his life the principle on which Christ acted is to actuate the members of the church which is his body Jesus came here and practiced self-denial he practiced servant hood because he wanted to meet the needs of the body of the church and by doing so also for us to activate others actuator activated the author again says Therefore it is evident that Jesus' ministry and this is on page 6 I even put that on the on the screen there so you know where it is of your book therefore it is evident that Jesus' ministry is a servant provides the theological theological foundation for the ministry of Deacon and Deaconess as deacons and deaconesses follow Jesus example they are to enlist the members of the church into a life of service. The foundation for all of this is that we have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ He is our model now because Jesus is our model we have as Christians and as leaders in a Christian church in the 7th day of this church we are surrendered to Jesus and because Jesus is our model because he demonstrated what it means to be a servant we want to be servants of his disciples of years and if we are called to a position of leadership as in deacon or Deaconess we're called to that particular task then especially were called to model that for the church members so that they are also inspired to be involved in that model we at times who are called upon to train them will talk more about that this whole model of what Jesus was is to be emulated by us and thereby to lead our churches that's why our church is a week today because most of our deacons and he insists don't even know who gets them. And so I'm not blaming anybody if you don't know what your job is how do you do it that's why you came here say you're doing the right thing that's good you are doing that for a pay per person you are accomplishing what God wants you to because you're taking the steps necessary but there are 26000 members so I'd say there's probably about 70800 maybe a 1000 Diggins in dignus as are they in here no are they being trained probably not why because they haven't thought about it they are used to taking up the offering am preparing for communion service and they think they're doing their job. So now you are being inspired to go back and help them and spread the word and get all the rest of them train that was a little plug along the way OK let's go to a biblical model and let's see how this all came together I think most of your 4 mil you with where in the 1st deacons were established in the New Testament but it doesn't hurt for us to be reminded in this context because now your mind is thinking Deacon your mind as thinking Deaconess your mind is now thinking servant new model you're thinking of our right so what does the Bible have to say about this take your Bibles and look at Acts Chapter 6 it is recorded there he didn't have your Bible so it's good to you check your Bible out against what's printed anywhere but it is in your book in the chapter and titled The role of Deacon deacon in the 1st century so looking at Acts Chapter 6 and looking at 1 let's read verse 1 let's read through that and get a little bit of a perspective of how this all came to be. Luke the author of that oxy starts off by saying that now in those days when the number of the disciples was multiplying there arose a complaint against the hebrews by the Hellenists because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution All right let's take this apart a little bit and make sure we've got a good understanding. It says in those days so when were these days approximately. In the 1st century early Christian Church days this is X. Japers sex so we haven't even met Salvi yet Saul is not yet even in the picture no Salo Paul so that comes in chapter 7 inch after a so now this is the time after the death of Jesus and chapter 2 is panic cost and we're in chapter $6.00 before we meet Saul So there's a little bit of a time perspective but the church has been growing remember Acts chapter 2 the end of the chapter you know 3000 were added to the church in a day is the church multiplying Yeah they grew from honored 50 to 3000 while actually was more than that was probably in the area of $500.00 or so and they grew to $3000.00 literally in 1 day and there was remarkable growth under the influence and inspiration of the Spirit of God and the church continues to multiply we are told that they were being added daily according to Acts chapter 2 so after the $3000.00 they're adding daily the church is multiplying it's growing quickly and something happens in Acts Chapter 6 verse 1 the church is multiplying and what is the problem is there a problem what's the problem OK there's a complaint because against the hebrews by the Helena's because the widows were being not taken care of and that is again against the hebrews by the Hellenists In other words the Helena saw the Greeks as yet the Greeks and the Hebrews and the Greeks were complaining because they felt that their widows were not being taken care of alright best verse to someone reverse to for me please. So who are the 12 the 12 disciples Now remember their this is the 12 minus Judas plus Matthias is that who was a believer was and so now these 12 are together and they are providing the leadership for this rapidly growing church and they get the church together it says the. Multitude of the disciples and they said it's not good for us to be doing this we need to have a plan All right someone read verse 3. Or. So now they get together and they propose a plan they say why don't we choose some individuals and they give some characteristics for those individuals and there are 7 of them they're good reputation full of the Holy Spirit that they're looking for and that they have wisdom and they're going to appoint them to take care of this business what's this business delivering food caring for the needs of the widows among the Greeks and the Hebrews and then in verse 4 what does it say. Someone else read that what you are now. Hearing. Focusing in on the specific role that the elders the Apostles the leaders the spiritual leaders have now you know some people say well all a didn't want to have to work anymore they wanted to get out there and do all of that they just wanted to sit in their ivory tower on and pray and study the Bible as they have what was going on with these 12 What were they really doing they were out preaching the word Weren't they they were advancing the work they were out risking their lives in many cases they were and they were minister ing to a cripple at the at the temple gate and then finding that they get thrown in jail 1 of them already has lost their lives there was that not Stephen yet that's next it was actually James no worries but that's the kind of scratch struggle that was going on here they were risking their lives with this so they're out doing the work they were just knocking on doors and having somebody throw tomatoes at them right. This was real work they said we want to be able to be continually in prayer and the Ministry of the word the Ministry of the word for them was preaching the gospel and advancing the the the work of Jesus and the church in verse 5 it says the saying please the multitude so they chose Stephen a man full of faith in the Holy Spirit also Philip. Morris in a cane or semen timin and Parma nurse and and Nicholas a proselyte from Antioch Don't you love all those names. And he took they took these 7 they set them aside and verse 6 whom they said before the Apostles when they had prayed they laid hands on them. They ordained them to that particular position or nation simply being an act of separation and of commitment of those individuals to the task recognizing that they fulfilled the qualities that they had established here as what were needed for these leaders and for the work that they were going to do. Now they were just going to feed the widows why they have to be ordained to feed the widows you have to be ordained to feed somebody well that's part of the rest of the story I think so let's keep going with us so this is the background this is the picture that established this is not a lot more about this in terms of how this how it developed over a period of time they 1st established deacons in the church to meet a particular need and then on they went let's take a look at a couple of things 1st of all this came about because there was a division between the Jews the Grecian Jews and the Palestinian Jews there were 2 problems that were developed there 1 is they were divided by language some of them spoke Greek some of them spoke Hebrew Now most of them had to cross language there been not everybody did and there was another issue besides language and that was culture and sometimes language is 1 barrier but we have a way of trying to find ways around that barrier but culture seems to be a real challenge for us and really gets to be difficult for us in terms of what we're doing. In. A way it's a back or a good thank you. I am supposed to do some things I doesn't do still recording but we're going so united by the Holy Spirit were the was the church at this time this is the time just after the the Day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit is moving rapidly and the Gospel is going out to all the world literally moving forward from from where Jesus told them to wait until the Spirit of God came and now it's moving out to the world the church is growing rapidly this harmony there's love their own 1 accord they had all things in common and the devil doesn't like it. This is not the devil's picture of the Christian church versus God's picture of the Christian church and as soon as the devil sees that happening he says now I've got to do something. Right you never had that happen in your church. Just about the time you thought things were going well you wake up 1 morning and you find out that somebody is mad at somebody in the church or there's some problem in the church or you know we're about to just remodel the sanctuary but now there's a war about whether it should be green carpet or red carpet. And it might be that it shouldn't be either. So there are all these kinds of things that are going on the devil brings in and this was a real problem remember in those days the needs of people like this were not supplied by the government if you didn't have enough to eat you didn't go down to the local tax. Collector and say Hey listen I've been paying taxes V.M.E. you know there was no system for that there was nothing beyond the tax collector they took the taxes and they gave it to the government and the Romans say to their credit they build good roads. You and I wouldn't want to drive on them let alone walk on them but the truth is they were good roads compared with other of what other governments did and they did have Roman soldiers to keep down uprisings and that kind of thing so the government was providing something but that was a that was always out there and if you were a widow you had no sources in. You had to go out there and fend for yourself if you happen to have a wall the husband before he died and he had servants and and a place where they feel where they could grow food and all of that you might be OK but if you are like most you are Sabean living on a sort of subsistence type of experience where you know you have what you had that day and tomorrow you might not have anything and the widows especially women were not treated very well in those days and there was a real challenge for a widow to be able literally to survive if you had no children to take care of you and you knew less somebody was caring for you that's where the church came in. Christian church did what God established in the Old Testament he said that the church was to take care of the poor and the widows and and meet the needs of those people who the church here was stepping up to that that that place but they had a real problem and that is the church is growing so fast that it was falling upon Peter James and John James now is the 1 who got it you know had his head cut off remember when Peter went in into prison they were afraid that he was going to lose his head as well that's why they were praying all night and and why the miracle of him getting out of prison was so marvelous because they had already seen James you know and saw instead of 11 they're down to. Their down to 11. Mentioned 12 what do they do about that OK I think about that for a minute so at any rate so the this is the environment in which deacons are being established. The unit is short lived because feelings of distrust jealousy and suspicion begin to set in. We human beings. We do well as the Spirit of God is moving and we are flooded with. With the love of God harmony reigns within us were led into 1 accord and we have all things and problem and common until some challenge comes to us and then all of a sudden that unity is short lived and our all feelings begin to rise up our culture wait a minute maybe I can't really you know I may be a really can't trust the Jews to take your of us look where they're neglecting our. Grecian widows are not being treated right end and yeah it's probably because they they're going back to their old Jews a Greeks mentality and and then pretty soon you get full find hearing and murmuring. We don't have those problems in our church today you don't have any culture differences we don't have any racial problems we don't have any of those kinds of things. So the allegations that this was this neglect was taking place Ellen White calls a neglect of the daily distribution of assistance. And the authors therefore we trace the roots of the office of deacons we discover that the reason that they came into existence was to serve and to share the responsibilities of the work they came into existence because of a problem now the beauty of this little study that we're doing is it really does help us to get this all into perspective and that perspective what does the Bible say about these individuals. 1st of all their relationship to the other leaders in the church that's a key element but then the next thing that we begin to see is not only what they did to solve this problem but what they continue to do as leaders in the church and that's a perspective that we want to have so we want to keep going here's the Viking established this foundation L N Y describes the problems he says the enemy succeeded in a rousing suspicions of some who had formerly been in the habit of looking with jealousy on their brother in the faith and finding fault with their spiritual leaders Satan brings about a spiritual attack on God's church the church needed men of spiritual stature to look at the need and bring about a resolution the spiritual qualities that the author here says the spiritual qualities required of the deacons of the 1st century Christian church strongly imply that their calling was a spiritual calling and 1 to establish this foundation as we move into the duties the tasks the responsibilities of deacons and deaconesses here as we move ahead it's a spiritual calling us on our call to a particular work and that's why I made the comment earlier in our presentation today and that is that. You may think your work is taking the offering on a more and Sabbath morning deacons but you don't need to be ordained to take up the. There is a reason why the offering is place in the hands of deacons and so on a very practical aspect of it but it's not ordination that establishes that you are ordained to your positions because of the fact that you are being set aside for the purpose of a spiritual work what does that and how does that relate to women and deaconesses in the church and that's kind of the rest of the story or part of the rest of the story here I want to talk a little bit about female deacons the 1st century I'm not going to spend a lot of time on this area because I only have 2 days and I want to concentrate on more good details on the areas that involve ministries so that you get in those perspectives in mind but the author here does spend some time talking about encourage you to read this chapter and get a little bit of an understanding here because the Bible really is not very clear I'm not saying it's not there I'm just saying the Bible doesn't come out and say and then they were deaconesses and they were set aside for the work and they did this this way and so on and so forth it's really a lot. More subtle than that in the word for Deacon and Deaconess are very similar to each other and you as you study this in this in this chapter he lays it out for us you begin to see that that it was almost a you know we don't believe in evolution but there is such a thing as evolution you understand that things do evolve now I don't mean people from monkeys and I don't mean that but our structures are that control our church and the way we function in our church do tend to involve as needs develop. And that's what began to happen in the Christian church so I'm going to summarize it rather than putting a lot of stuff on the screen and all I want to give you a brief summary of this and that is that it appears to be in some cases that deacons were married to deaconesses actually a deacon was married to a woman a woman who also served alongside her husband and sensually that becomes some of the evolution of deaconesses becoming a reality and the Christian church and 1 of the reasons for the simplest illustration I know of in regard to this is did they have hospitals in Jesus' day and Jesus ever go to the hospital and visit the sick at the hospital the closest I know of of him coming to a hospital was when he came to the pool but there was a man there and they were all these sick people and they were all trying to get into a pool of the same time when the water was supposedly trouble so that they might be healed and there were no hospitals there was no structure that established then meeting the needs of people who were sick except that the family now Luke was a doctor and to a doctor in those days was a lot different than a doctor today and but he'd parent Lee had some medical skills perhaps some training that 1 along with that I'm sure he did have some training and and was recognized as a doctor and those doctors might be called by on by people when they were sick and they would go to their home that was the place I doubt they had an office that they went to and and that was it so what happens if you got sick. Well if you are a lady and you got sick and you were married your husband took care of you or your kids or they took care of you or if you had parents still alive they took care of you until you got well or you didn't and that was the structure you remember that when Jesus day when there was a. Poor man who couldn't walk and a lame man and they cause his own problems and all have 4 friends that brought him to new to Peter's Alson order to be able to to to to try to get help from Jesus at that was the medical system and. Now what would happen if you're a widow and you got sick who's going to take care of you who in the church is going to take care of. The deacon really. Well you want to do you can coming and taking care of you in your search you do the math on all of that and so it's very clear that what began to happen in the early Christian church was that the needs of the people began to be addressed by the church and the deacons seeing these needs had wives in the wives would go and help to meet those needs and they became the nurses of those days they began to care for the people in the church who were sick and they also ministered to the needy who might need food and clothing and other kinds of things and this began the evolution of the work of deacons and deaconesses that we even today have a certain amount of recognition for that not to the capacity that God really intended it to be. This is how the deacon ass's developed more a less now in couple 2 or 3 of chapters that he has he talks a little bit about how when they go to gravestones and you knows a lot of history on gravestones you're a walker a cemetery and start reading a little bit of the history there it's like reading a newspaper from back in 1900 or whatever you see what was happening with that particular individual and it may be very brief but it might be as brief as saying Deacon S. Phoebe and boy wait a minute really that's what she did and archaeologists and people thrive on things like that because there's a clue do what was going on and the author brings that out here in in this so I just summarized that for you it's in your book you can read that and there's more detail too that I want to move on to Dickens and deaconesses in early Adventism if we move now from the early church the 1st century church we jump centuries over to the early admin has Gerges and we begin to find a little bit of how this work will come back and fill the gaps here and just a little bit there were Deacon appears and and by the way I don't know what chapter this is about Chapter 4 OK In chapter 4 the word Deacon is referred to and the author points out that Ellen White spoke use the word again a whopping 15 dime. All right Isn't that amazing and and those out of those 15 times only 4 referral A to their ministry so it was more in our storable context most of the time and using it that way but seldom in in a way that describes the ministry and really gives us an idea in the early Agnes Church what deacons were doing OK now she may use that term in relationship to to the Bible to our men and all of that but not so much in terms of what they did dig into similarly 18 times and only 3 times relating to their ministry so we're going to identify 3 areas 2 on the screen at the moment and those areas are the 1st area of references that the deacons and the early have noticed church were encouraged to be careful with the wine and how they used to and how they saved it and and it cetera in relationship to the community services early 800 middle and middle 8 hundreds early Atlas church developing they have Communion services and the deacons need to be concerned about the wine why. Barney. That's actually a really good statement but that's not so much it but I like rap because that that's related here maybe they did need some of that deaconesses while might have been involved in that but what was going on think about this what do you think the issue might have been in relationship to the wine. Could they go down to Myers and pick it up OK Could they open the refrigerator and pull it out how did they preserve the grape Jews how long does it take grape juice to for men. Exactly and you can just imagine that they might have been having a problem in the early Adam is turds where the grape juice had been sitting around a little bit too long. And you can imagine that the symbol that represents the blood of Jesus you don't want that for mended the destroys the symbology and there are other potential problems along the way as well and so Alan White is pointing out that the deacons need to take care of this problem. So that's 1 of the areas they were addressed here and I found that fascinating he addresses it and he talks about it the 2nd area is in the responsibility of handling the tie or at remember or in the middle 800 there were banks in those days but certainly not the financial system the we have today maybe that's a good thing. But specifically the deacons in Battle Creek were being charged with the responsibility of collecting the tithe and how did that go about now you saying OK they took up the offering on Sabbath morning OK maybe but we MEMBER We're living in the middle 18 hundreds not everybody got to church many did but the members were often scattered all around now how does the church function if the tithe is not collected on a regular basis. Because the purpose of the tithe is the support of the ministry the support of the work of God keeping that advanced 1 of the person that the members are not able to get to church on a regular basis then the money doesn't come in a regular basis and Alan White said that the deacons responsibility was to go out there and collect it and so that's what they were doing to get on their horse and they'd go from house to house and wherever that might be and they collect the tide now they didn't come up to the person and say Turn on your die the other people want to turn in their tie they just hadn't gotten to church and so they were providing a service by going out and doing that and as I was rereading this last night I was reminded with the fact that this became quite a full time task for some of the Deacons to be able to do that and here you're dealing with volunteers but again these are some of the earlier were references to the work of deacons and deaconesses in the local church obviously communions all there taking over the offering is there where you have no real surprises there but in a different context in our own time and obviously that establishes the foundation for the development of these responsibilities in our church today and 3rd areas pertaining to the ordination of deacons and there is some evidence even of the ordination of deaconesses And as you look at this whole subject in this book. The There is reference to the fact that the deacons were ordained that is a good thing and also in reference to the ordination of Deaconess Deacon Elsa's. Taking place there they author makes reference to a an experience in Australia where there were a number of individuals that were ordained some as elders and some as deacons and even mentions a couple to 3 deaconesses that were ordained as part of this by a white and white son and you have that reference now has 2 points that I want to make in regard to this I'm not spending a lot of time on this because again it's not the thrust of where we're going. 1st of all the author in talking about this is really doing so from a historical perspective as well as suggesting that they may be some value in our time for this but he's not discussing at all even makes this point in the book he says I'm not talking about the ordination of women to gospel ministry This has nothing to do with that discussion and he says I'm not trying to influence that in the was written before General Conference 2015 and all of that and he said it's not part of that discussion not at all it was I'm trying to establish that that's the 1st point I want to make the 2nd point that I want to make now actually 3 The 2nd point I want to make is that the church has recognized this at times early on big gap of time when that was not a practice in the air and the evidence church even in the later part of the early Agnes history and then more broadly through time but more recently within the last relatively few years last couple of church manuals you see again that women may add deaconesses may be ordained it's in the church manual it is there and it does take place in certain places now the author out of the book seeks to make a point of this in relationship to this is part of the reason that the role of deacons and deaconesses been diminished because they're not recognized as being the spiritual roles that they need to be. I would add a 3rd piece to all of this and say this is a challenging area for the church today because of its interrelationship with the whole discussion of women as as ordained ministers in the of the Gospel in the 7th Day Adventist Church and the theology in relationship to the hermeneutics in the scriptures and it's still an area that is developing and growing but I'm going to summarize it by saying this right now the church manual allows for it if your church wants to do that and they have the authority to do so they don't have to get permission from us to do it or anything like that it's there the real issue to me is that we need to whether ordained or not the church needs to be reeducated about the important role of deacons and deaconesses in the church deacons are being ordained and they're getting treated just the same way so ordination is not the magic bullet that solves this problem it is us recognising that the work of a deacon or a dick Innes is a spiritual work that needs to be recognized as being a spiritual work and that it needs to no longer just be all I have to do is take the offering and that's all I do. So I'm going to try to illustrate that today in the last few minutes that we haven't this will spill over into tomorrow's presentation well we'll go into it even more in detail and that is what is the Ministry of the deacons and deaconesses that that God wants us to do now he has some sections here are told you I would make reference to this and again there's nothing on the screen because I don't want to spend any time here on it you can look it up in your book and you can see all the references he has to how things developed over a period of time in other denominations and how they viewed the work of deacons and deaconesses and how it came to fruition there and the point that we started with the 1st century we jump to our own time as an admin is George and in between there are some interesting factors of how these things progressed over time that included the deacons and deaconesses being teachers of the Word of God This was not just in the 2nd and 3rd and 4th centuries or whatever but it was also in the 1st century wasn't what was Stephen doing when he was stoned was he taking the food to the to the widow's No he was preaching wasn't easy it was out preaching the word what was Philip doing. He was out preaching the word 1 day got transported by the Spirit of God from where he was out to the the opium and was able to preach the gospel message there the deacons and deaconesses were also the teachers of the Word of God our deacons today in our deaconesses Did anybody ever tell you that that was part of your role in the church that you are a spiritual leader in the church and part of your responsibility as a disciple of Jesus who is a disciple is 1 who is sharing the gospel with others right that part of that is not only teaching others but doing it yourself or I should say not only doing it but also teaching others in the church how to do that that's the work of deacons and deaconesses in the churches spiritual leaders you should be involved in soul winning as a deacon or a deacon as yourself because you see Ellen White says that all our churches should be training schools for Christian workers and who are the teachers in the in a school but those that are the leaders right you expect the teacher and the principal of a school to have some training and experience in actually knowing how to teach and knowing the subject matter that they are teaching while if you are the leaders of a training center a training school in your church which your church is then who are the teachers it's not just the pastor it is those that are disciples those are the ones who are the leaders of the church and the deacons and deaconesses and the elders are the lead spiritual leaders of the church they are disciples themselves with Jesus so they are sharing their faith with other people and when church members need to know how to do that they are sharing with them how they do it and they are teaching them that is a training school for Christian workers that Jesus wants our churches to be. Wow you just went from taking of the offering and preparing the communion bread. To being a real in. That we're at the end even though you are. Now I can sit down. She's preaching the truth you're going to do it. That's exactly it and that's the point of this is that there's a point that that he makes in the book earlier on I think it's in in the 2nd chapter where we were talking about Acts Chapter 6 and I didn't bring that point out and are really this is a good moment to bring it out he points out that what happened in the early Christian church and the Bible brings this out because you can see what began to happen is that the church was multiplying ran into this problem but after the deacons and deaconesses begin began to fulfil their role in the church that the church exploded and I don't mean blew up. I mean the growth of the church exploded and moved ahead because the leaders of the church the pastors or able to do the work that they were supposed to do and because of that the work ethic danced mightily and while they're doing that work the deacons and deaconesses were not just feeding the widows but they were also supporting the structure of the church and the nurture of the members as well the elders than the deacons and the deaconesses were providing that structure so that the preachers could go and preach the word to the rest of the world and the church was growing because of that and they want just waiting until the prove the the preachers were in jail which will happen here and which is what she's making reference to and in our own situation here but the fact of the matter is the church under that structure was growing rapidly and that's what will make the devil now now there were some other things that were going on as well we'll come back to these tomorrow but I'm setting that stage today 1st of all they were a 2nd of all they were caregivers to the sick and the needy of explain the reason for that already and the Frau the framework for that that's how that all began to develop and that's what develop there now this is 1 that is often forgotten. The truth of the matter is this is the way the whole position of deacons and deaconesses developed it developed out of what out of conflict was a conflict that brought the need for deacons. Now they were not getting along with each other there was a problem there was a they were getting angry at each other because of the problems they needed somebody to come along and solve that problem they needed somebody to manage that conflict conflict in the church today pick up the phone and call them. Pastor call a pastor call a pastor we're in trouble somebody is mad at somebody call a pastor it's not Biblical. And it's not productive because every time there's a problem in the church the pastor gets called and he's not taken into the responsibility of trying to solve that problem and stead of winning souls like God is called and Ellen White makes it abundantly clear this is not the work of a pastor and she even puts it this way she says No sooner is that 1 problem solved than another arises and this is not God's way of doing this work so in order to solve that we have to solve this 1 and that is the strengthening of the work of deacons and Dickenson's So the we begin to meet those needs the work of conflict managers is is a critical work. I'm dealing with this tomorrow in my class on redemptive discipline specifically because this is an area that needs and focus now after I've done. Classes here for deacons and deaconesses in the past where I took a little more time than just 1 or 2 days and I talk a little bit more about this area and provide some tools there but I will give you 1 here in case this is the only chance we will talk about a more tomorrow but just 1 tool the reference is a book by an individual by the name of can sand and it's sand with an easy on the end S A N D N A sand and he wrote a book called The Peacemaker. And it is an excellent book he's not a something of this but he's a Christian lawyer and he has. Suggest some wonderful practical tools for managing conflict and set in the context of Christian churches and Christian situations and is a very helpful tool I recommended to pastors because pastors do get involved in these kinds of issues but I also recommended to the elders deacons and deaconesses and those who are in the class on redemptive discipline I will have a hand up specifically related to that and the 2 are related and if I if there's enough demand in this class I might provide that tool you know it's not sorry. It's available I know that local Christian bookstores Kariya So if it's not an admin is bookstore but it was on of and just went out of business. The bookstores their stores are no longer available family bookstores is what they call they've all shuttered as they happen to be 1 open near you but there are Christian Bible book and Bible stores around and you can order them online Amazon a course that's why they're out of business because Emma was Amazon's where everybody gets everything today right and that's where they happen so conflict managers that's part of the work here business managers this makes some sense because Dickens generally think of their work as as taking care of the building in some of those kinds of issues business matters you will talk a little bit more about that later as we get into this and I think I'll stop there is a great place to end tomorrow we'll get into specific details of the work of deacons and deaconesses and how to carry those out and get a chance to ask some questions about that as well but now we've set the spiritual foundation giving you an idea of what the deacons and deaconesses have been doing over the from the 1st century through the centuries into the time of the ad in this church and now we want to apply it to your local church and that's what we're going to do tomorrow so thank you very much for being here today we're going to have a closing prayer and will dismiss you Father in heaven thank you for Jesus who modeled for us being a servant Lord we are call to also the servants for you and specifically as deacons and deacons elders leaders in the church we have a spiritual calling not just a task to take care of a building to career prepare a communion bread or to fill the baptistery and help men and women be baptized all of these good tasks. Recall especially to be spiritual leaders and I pray that you will guide us as we seek to understand that work better than apply a tour own allies and our own ministries and our own churches as we go from this place now go with us we pray in Jesus name. This media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit W W W audio verse or.

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