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Deacons and Deaconesses Basic Training- Part 1

Royce Snyman

Description

This training is for new deacons and deaconesses. The class will provide a job description and discussion about the history and basic work of deacons and deaconesses, and how to manage regular Sabbath morning duties.

Presenter

Royce Snyman

Ministerial Department Director and Coordinator of Evangelism for the Michigan Conference

Sponsor

Conference

Recorded

  • June 20, 2018
    9:30 AM
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Father in heaven thank you for a new morning and for this opportunity to meet together in this class we pray that you will bless our purpose here and that you will guide our thinking and that your Holy Spirit will help us to understand the responsibilities that come with an assignment that our church gives to us I pray that you will direct what I say and what we hear today and we thank you in Jesus' name amen. We want to 1st start out by looking at in this book the 1st chapter deals with Jesus the model of servant ministry a deacon or a deaconess or an elder or personal ministries leader or a pastor we're all servants. But especially is the deacon in the Deaconess ministry a ministry of servanthood and when you look at the scriptures you find that in Isaiah Chapter 61 verses one and 2 that Jesus looking at that identified his ministry as a servant to the meek to the broken hearted and to captives and those that mourn we live in a broken society correct. Our society is broken and it's a getting more and more broken as the days go by their fact Ellen White looking at the future from her time said that things like mental illness would be even more prevalent in the day in which we live and it is so true today and that mental illness and that brokenness and I'm not here to tell you that you are now counselors to to the mentally ill and all that but that we all need to find ways of caring for people is my point but the brokenness of this world is showing up in a lot of awful ways today and the violence that we see and almost now becoming used to oh it was another shooting of a mass in a mass shooting somewhere and it I mean that's almost the way you react when you look at your cell phone or are hear the news or somebody tells you about it because you're ignoring the news bless you for doing that. It is just the way society is today and one of the reasons for that is because the Spirit of God is being withdrawn from this world I firmly believe that it's very clear that it is and the Bible the Spirit of Prophecy make it clear that that's exactly the way it would be in our world today we are needing to be servants to people and this is in the church and out of the church and deacons and big Innes's are servants of people not just the church. More on that later and Isaiah 53 Verse 11 Isaiah spoke of Jesus as my righteous servant looking to the future recognizing that in Ellen White says in ministry viewing pages 19 and 20 during his ministry Jesus devoted more time to healing the sick then to preaching his miracles testified to the truth of his words and he came not to destroy but to say the Savior made each work of healing an occasion for implanting divine principles in the mind and in the 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 grace the ministry of Christ was less preaching. And more direct hands on ministry and caring for people you and I are called to that same kind of ministry. In in our book here and you see the Breviary on the screen here it says T T F C D.D. system breviary of this title appear or it so as referring to the book the author Vince and why it's a Jesus taught his disciples and being a servant is more important than the power and then power of demons Jesus wanted them to recognize and power over demons Jesus wanted them to recognize the self destructive danger that comes with the love of power. You and I are called to serve and hood not to authority. Do you understand the difference and what I'm saying. Going on I want to share this with you desire ages beaking of Christ rejoice not speaking about OUR she says Rejoice not in the possession of power lest you lose sight of your dependence upon God Be careful lest self-sufficiency come in and you work in your own strength rather than the spirit and strength of your master self as ever ready to take the credit if any measure of success attends the work and then Vinson White says the concept the Jesus was trying to instill is disciples that would ministry is not about power control and greatness as viewed by worldly standards but it is about service to God and humanity why are we talking about this that is because the biblical concept of a deacon or a deaconess is the concept of rendering service to people in the Greek to minister comes from the root which is derives from the word for Deacon. So the word for ID can carries this connotation of ministry and servant hood it means one who render service to another and attended service so that is the foundation for what we need to talk about today I could give you a job description and you could say I don't want to do any of that or you might see that job description as being an opportunity for authority and power in your church but God is calling you not to power an authority God is calling you to servant ministry servant ministry means selflessness it means being willing to take time out of your schedule for the service of others that means making a priority the work that needs to be done in the church that work is an important work it is a vital work it will make the difference between the success of your church in its ministry goal and purpose or failure thereof the success of the church is dependent upon the strength of its leadership elders deacons and deaconesses provide the leadership structure for that church where that church goes where your church goes is not dependent upon whether you not you have the white Nelson as your pastor it is dependent upon whether or not you as elders deacons and deaconesses are fulfilling the purpose for which you were called and you are call. It is a ministry of calling it is not a nominating committee calling you on the phone it is the God in heaven calling you to service he's calling you to do something you thought you were just getting an invitation from the nominating committee to take up the offering on Sabbath morning or to prepare a communion bread no that happens to be a task that might come on with a job description but it is only one small tiny in any you see bitsy little piece of what it is God has called you to do it should take you on those duties no more than a few minutes on Sabbath morning and a little bit of time making the communion bread and that's all you would do. You understand what I'm doing here right you get get my drift a little bit so let's understand what this means in terms of servanthood again thinking of Jesus as a servant Ellen White says in desire of ages page 550 among his disciples Christ was in every sense a care taker a burden bearer he shared their poverty he practiced self-denial on Vero account he went before them to smooth the more difficult places and soon he would consummate is 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 God is calling upon us to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and minister into the needs of the congregation minister into a congregation is not just taking their money from them on Sabbath morning. It means actually caring enough about them to go into their homes and talk to them and pray with them it means also sharing the gospel with people who don't know about the Gospel it means all of these kinds of pieces I want to warn you that if you've not sat in one of these classes before you will find that I'm going to share some things with you that will excite you just with the idea of the possibility of what can happen in ministry or it will overwhelm you with Seriously this is what I signed up for and then if you get to that point here's my suggestion to you don't get to that point. Understand that when we use start thinking that way that really it is an opportunity and that God simply wants you to take the next step you didn't start school in 1st grade and realize that you know talk to some neurosurgeon somewhere and in 1st grade Wow I've got all or all of that by then and do all of that I'm going to quit now before I even have to know you use Start where you are and you take the steps along the way in order to be able to do the work that God has given you to do. Vincent white again in this textbook said therefore it is evident that Jesus' ministry is a servant provides the 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 you see the truth is everyone from the pastor to the. That almost sounds right from the from the members all the way down to the pastor I like we had better go in that direction I like that better. Every one of us are called to be servants that's what God has asked us to do every one of us that's why Jesus set the example not just so that that ministers could be servants not just so that elders can be servants but that we could all be servants when we all serve others the world's a better place and that's the way God wants it to be course Satan doesn't want to be that way for sure by the way there is a sign up sheet couple of them coming around on clipboards and I want to make sure they get around everyone and so far they seem to be doing good get them back to Dean Dean and you doing a great job here I'm going to have to come up with a reward for your some sort I don't know what it is serve in ministry that's at ease exact an example of servant ministry there that's that's a. So I want to talk a little bit about the role of the deacons and in the 1st century Christian church to begin to help us to understand what the role of a deacon is we have a theological foundation now by the way that again that was the 1st chapter in this book I'm not looking at it directly I put it up on the screen so that we can move ahead I encourage you to read this book and to look through it and see that I'm moving into chapter 2 now the role of deacons in the 1st century Christian Church want to talk about this a little bit and be able to identify what the whole situation there is about I have my Bible in my office over here forgot to bring it with me but maybe you have a Bible on your phone or whatever but I want to look at up real quick here for X. chapter 6 and I'm going to read it to us it's actually in your book by the way go to chapter 2 I just remembered it's in there. And let's just read it out of there will do that it's written right here for us Acts chapter 2 verses why 6 I'm sorry verses one through 8 and we're on page 7 of your text book The Courage to write your name and here are all these books tend to look I exactly alike so if you want to make sure you get yours with your notes in it or whatever Be sure and put your name on it the Bible verse here is the US and in those days when the number of the disciples was multiplied there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews because their windows were neglected in the daily ministration. Then the 12 called the multitude of the disciples unto them and said Is it not reason that we should leave the word. It is not reason that we should leave the Word of God and serve tables wherefore brother and look out among you 7 men of Honest report full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom whom we may appoint over to this business but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the Ministry of the word and the saying please the whole multitude and they chose Stephen a man full of faith in the Holy Ghost and Philip and progress and Nick Nicanor and Timonen and Pere up Parma nurse and Nicholas a proselyte of Antioch whom they set before the Apostles and when they had prayed they laid their hands on them and the Word of God increased in the word the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith and Stephen full of faith and power did great wonders and miracles among the people. This is a powerful passage in terms of describing the work of a deacon and by association deaconesses know explain that so season here a little bit as we go on but the interesting thing is the scenario and the results what was it that caused. The need for deacons to be appointed and what was the result of that we often fail to recognize that there was a and immediate primary result of appointing deacons but there was an even greater and more significant secondary result of appointing deacons and we'll look at that here in the next couple of moments I want you to keep your eye on what was happening 1st of all I want you to know that there was a division between the Grecian Jews and the Palestinian Jews and the reason for the division was they were human beings like us. Sometimes we have divisions in our church right it could be all kinds of reasons for those it can be similar to what it was there one of them was language it was a language barrier and difference there even though most people spoke Greek it still meant that there were some other nuances and those nuances not only were related to language but associated also with culture and there were those barriers between even Christians remember all of these Christians had not been Christians before. US me all of them. These were all new Christians none of these Christians were 2nd or 3rd generation Christians none of them they were all 1st generation and so they were all earning out to be Christians what's our experience. But they were learning how to be Christians and they were coming from their background and just like us they were struggling with being able to associate together and lay aside those barriers that come from language and Skoal and culture and etc They were united by the Holy Spirit with harmony love they were in one accord when we came to the day of Pentecost which was only shortly before what we see happen in Acts Chapter 6 and they had all things in common those were fantastic moments together challenges yes that the Christian church experience but nonetheless still harmony love of one accord all things in common these were working together but you know the devil is not just ignoring what's going on in the church the church was growing on the day of Pentecost it grew from our relative handful to over 3000 in a single day. That was powerful for that small church in that growth experience but with growth comes challenge and the unity unfortunately was short lived because as they grew they didn't grow as rapidly in their spiritual development and as a consequence there were feelings of distrust jealousy and suspicion which led to fault finding in murmuring there were allegations that the Grecian widows were being neglected Ellen White says in Acts of the Apostles page $88.00 that they were neglected in the daily distribution of assistance it was the widows that were especially suffering at this time remember that the background in the historical setting of what was happening there was no social service structure in the world at that time correct they couldn't go down and sign up with the local government and say well I'm a widow and I've got no income and they said OK we'll start giving you money and food and so on that that organizational structure did not exist it did though exist within the church because the members of the church cared about one another and they were caring for those that could not care for themselves in those days women and widows especially were very dependent on whatever they could provide for themselves in some cases which was almost nothing. Unless there had some kind of a business that they did or whatever it was very difficult for them to even be able to survive in the church responded to that need by providing for them remember the church had all things in common but as the church grew it wasn't just like you and I sitting together where we took all our food together for potluck and had together they now had maybe 4 or 5000 people that they were having to take care of and that takes organization just like anything else does when you get a lot of people together in order to be able to have things move smoothly just like camp meeting it takes a lot of organization and planning. And so as the Church developed and that was happening naturally feelings got in the way if someone came up short or appeared to be neglected and I say appeared because it was not clear whether they actually were being neglected or whether it just appeared that they were being neglected and when you get all these kinds of elements working in and the lives of people you're not sure whether it's reality or not but the trouble is perception is reality isn't it. And for the Christian church that was what was going on at that particular time Vincent White says Therefore we trace the roots of the office of deacons as we therefore we trace that 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 you exist because there's a problem. You exist if you are diggin or dig in this because there is a problem in the world as well as in the church it may not be just vats problem but it is because there are problems that need to be ministered to if they want problems that people experience pastors wouldn't have any work elders would need to worry and they wouldn't be need for deacons and deaconesses But if they were if they were sent in the world we would need hospitals we would need police and fire departments all of those kinds of things they all exist and a lot of what we do in in life exists because there are problems in the world and usually that's what we're doing is we're solving problems in some cases we're creating problems so that other people can come and solve them that seems to be the cycle of the economy in our world today are whatever the problem is that there was a problem in the church and that problem need to be solved and because of that the deacons were appointed Ellen White describes the problem this way she says the enemy succeeded in a rousing the suspicions of some who had formerly been in the habit of looking with jealousy on their brother in the faith and of finding fault with their spiritual leaders I'm so glad that that was only a problem in the 1st century church but we don't have that problem anymore right. So consequently we have job security the need for deacons and deaconesses because those personality issues those spiritual problems still exist Satan brings about a spiritual attack on God's church he did it in the 1st century he will continue to do it until the Lord returns because the devil does not want the church to function. The church needed men of spiritual stature to look at the need and bring about a resolution the spiritual qualities required of the deacons of the 1st century Christian church strongly imply that their calling was a spiritual calling I would like you to do me a favor please when I go back and I'm going to point at that statement I'd like you to read it out loud with me again here it is a your reading the spiritual qualities required of the deacons of the 1st century Christian church strongly imply that their calling was a spiritual calling. You notice that so far in the time that we spent together which is 35 minutes except for my somewhat disparaging remark about taking up the offering and preparing communion bread we have not even talked about that have way the calling the you have is a spiritual calling. Your call to spiritual leadership you're not called simply to check off the list of items that you need to do your call to be spiritual leaders in order to be spiritual leaders you must be spiritual people you and I must be individuals who are surrendered and committed to the Lord Jesus Christ you cannot be a spiritual leader and this Jesus is in charge of your life unless he's giving you a spiritual experience that is be fitting of a spiritual leader and I purposely repurchase it repeated that word again and again this is how about spiritual experience if you take the deacon's and deaconesses handbook which all of you don't have. You'll find that in the beginning of that book and you're just going to have to trust me with this right now you find that there's a similar structure here too to this book that we are using as our handbook and that's a good part of the 1st chapter by me in the 1st I'm lecturing the table contents of the 1st chapter is called Title the ministry of deacons and deaconesses the biblical foundation then it says in Chapter 2 The church we serve chapter 3 is the Ministry of a deacon and Deacon is Alan White's perspective which is part of what we've been doing and will continue to do Chapter 4 is the importance of the office and Chapter 5 is the quality qualification for the office and Chapter 6 is the spiritual dimensions and growth that would those of the 1st 6 chapters of the Deacon deaconesses and book so that gives you an idea of the depth and though the foundation of the work that you and I are called to do in this particular perspective I want to just refer to the. Qualifications that are listed in the handbook. The 1st one is then this is based upon 1st Timothy Chapter 3 verses 812 the 1st qualification is a good reputation you are elected to your position because of the fact that you are an individual who has a good reputation in the church. And secondly Paul speaks of deacons and bias of association deaconesses as being full of the Holy Spirit again full of wisdom they are also some lifestyle qualifications worthy of respect. Truthful in speech temperate honest leader consistent life to be beyond reproach be responsible spouses be godly parents manage the family well it isn't. A spiritual foundation that we are laying amount take any more time to talk about that today but I wanted to place the emphasis there I wanted to make sure that we have that setting there I want to take a little while but not too much time to address the issue that I've already alluded to so far we've see we've been talking about biblically speaking women talking about deacons Where did the whole concept and the idea of deacons come in let me pause for a moment and tell you about this book and its structure and its authors so that you have a little bit of an idea of what is in here this is written by a 7 they have and as minister who had a real passion for strengthening the deacons and deaconesses work in the local church and as a result of that passion. It developed into I real focus for him. If you look at the back of the book Ed says the author Dr White is a graduate of Oakland University has a being theology and social work as an M.D. of an A D men from the Andrews Theological Seminary an M.S.W. from the University of Kentucky and has C.P. training from the University of Tennessee I think he has some education. But then it says Dr White has a passion for learning and teaching is an ordained minister 27 years and has conducted training seminars for deacons and deaconesses through out North America is my understanding are based upon what I've kind of worked with. Trying to see if I put my finger on why. About to say what I mean. I don't have my marked a book and so on have a little disadvantage but I know he got a dream in and I believe he did those Demian on the subject when you read this book it reads a little bit law. A lame version of a dissertation you understand what I'm trying to say there's it's kind of laid out that way but here's what's in it is a study from all different sources both biblical agonist and non added to sources to try to understand the history of deacons and deaconesses over the years I think you all know that deacons and deaconesses started with the early Christian church and they continued on all through the Christian church. And the 7th they have missed want the 1st ones to realize that they will should be deacons and deaconesses in the church right what does that mean that means that the Christian churches of all denominations out Dan down through history have apply these principles in ways that warped within their structure within their time within their. Within their context of history all of those things are reflected in here so he does say in exhaustive study about how all these things apply an interim late all right now that I've said that the reason I do it is because when you read this book you'll notice he quotes from non adding to sources and he does all of this kind of thing because he's working from the very complete exhaustive direction but by the time he gets done and comes in to the end of the book and applies those to the work of the day going to Deaconess not only in the 20 and 21st century but in the context of the 70 M. his church he comes back to his own source again and his own context and he applies it for us Biblically and under the basis of the Spirit of Prophecy and one of the reasons I'm saying that is because I want to talk to you a little bit about this aspect female deacons and in the 1st century. It's a little bit of a convoluted study in the sense of it's it's an interesting way of doing and I'm going to try to summarize it for you but it's in chapter 3 this is what you see here on page 13 of your textbook. And by the way I find it a little bit fascinating and I'm wondering just how much influence his book had on this handbook because this book came out before the handbook did and I noticed that the 1st through 3 chapters are almost directly in line with the Book of those books chapters and I am suspicious that that had something to do with it. I don't think no this one actually comes from the General Conference but I'm sure that they knew that he had written what he wrote and that there were some interaction here I didn't bother to look at the preface and see if he was a mention that. Whereas a say that. You know sure enough it might have been an earlier version because this is a later version and he might have a might indeed have done that thank you I had to don't why that is has been dawn on me thank you very likely possible and ready talks here about female deacons and female deacons and I'm going to summarize it this way the Bible is not abundantly clear in terms of the role of deaconesses but there were some things that naturally developed because of the needs of society again I want to go back to you and remind you that the deacons were appointed in Acts Chapter 6 to this particular work but as the church continued to function there were no hospitals there was no social service structure there was none of that kind of structure the need wasn't just for feeding widows what would happen if you let's just say you have a family of 5 maybe in those days I don't know 10 in your family a mother and father and 8 kids and everybody in the family got sick. In that day and age what would happen to you. You lived from hand to mouth you lived by what you could grow in the fields you live by what you could do what if you couldn't do it who is going to care about you the family but what if everybody in a family is sick and cannot function for a period of time who's going to care about your knee that's where the church stepped in and the role of deacons and deaconesses developed over a period of time and the history of this we find in a number of different places we find the names of people on on graves that appear to be the names of of a deacon with a female version of the way it's just my way of trying to put it here I should be giving in to exactly as he says here it appears that what happened is that there was a husband Deacon married to here's why if and that as he would serve the church that the needs of the women in the church would often be met by his wife you can imagine that if there was a lady in the church who were sick it's not going to be the deacon news minister into the man to the woman it's going to be a woman minister into the woman and so that was my this is my over simplified version of how the Deaconess role developed in the early Christian church in minister in these various names and over time those needs began to be fulfilled by women and the work that they were doing began to be recognized and you start seeing the concept of a deacon ness developing there in the Christian church now for the sake of time I'm going to leave it at that except to mention one other thing. In this book Vinson white speaks to an interesting. Use that will few times here a challenging area that spills over into a debate that's going on in the 7th day of the church right now and that has to do with the issue of ordination. One of the suggestions that he has because he talks in here about why is it that we that the deacons and deaconesses don't really understand the value in the importance of the role that they have in the church and one of the reasons he says that says his opinion and I want to emphasize that is his opinion is that because we have not valued that work and recognize that work as we should He argues in this book for the Ordination of deaconesses to their responsibility and their task he points out in this book because this book came out before 2015 when we had a major general conference session dealing with the subject of the ordination of women to pastoral ministry he points out in these book he said I am not talking about that I am not dealing with that issue I am not relating to that issue at all it's got nothing at all to do with what I'm sharing but he does point out something there is a very brief historical record of some 7th Day Adventist ministers including William will he see wife or dating a woman a woman to Deaconess ministry. It also appears that Ellen White means a be brief comment about it it makes me a little nervous and a lot of us nervous when we take a whole lot of theology off of one little statement or one little historical we're record but I will tell you this The will tell you that. The church manual permits the ordination of women to the work of a deacon S. OK it's in the church manual the church is voted there it comes based upon some of the things I've already shared with you it's not done very frequently in the 7th day in the church in North America even our and not very widely even in Michigan it is permitted. But it is not emphasized and I'm not here to emphasize it today but you're going to read those books and you're going to see that information in there I want to number one remind you it is has nothing to do with the discussion of the ordination of women in relationship to being pastors It has only to do with the relationship of the situation but I will caution you that it is by association with that whole thing still. Is still an issue where it can be somewhat. Concerning in a local church so don't just assume that you should go back if you're a deaconess and say I want to be ordained and it's permitted and so on they were all careful with that because that can go our whole lot farther than it needs to and become more of an issue in your church than it needs to be so be real careful with that and allow God to lead as as needs to be led whether it is a good thing or a bad thing lead you know it may need to be come to sort it out in time and maybe it just isn't all that unimportant an issue overall I'm going to leave that conversation right at this point I'm not you notice I'm being very neutral on this I'm not having a conversation I've only given you some information about it because that information is there by the way another resource that you need to have that I am not providing for you is the church manual you need to have a church manual the job description of deacons and deaconesses in that church manual and other very important information that you need you are a significant spiritual leader of the local church you need to know how the church functions you need to know the policies of the church you need to understand those principles that are there so that you can guide the church because that helps keep the church united together. A new one was printed in 2015 or the date that's on it was 2015 it actually was printed in 2016 and I haven had to have given a revision to that which doesn't usually happen because they deliver the mistake that they found that they put in that one. You all understand the church manual is rewritten every 5 years after the general Kauffmann session. All the changes that are there are applied that takes editorial time so they're voted at the general common session then they're worked out editorially and then it takes about a year before that nude manual comes out and we're right in the middle of between the sessions right now that manual exists and you can get a copy if you don't have one at the A.B.C. as well I would like to go on now and start talking about some of the things you really want to hear about what does a deacon and Deacon is do 1st of all I forgot I need to tell you a little bit about it in the administers the development of the atmosphere the people they hadn't missed your church came out of other denominations do you understand that right in 18 early 18 hundreds 830 S. and forty's all of these different denominations were learning about the 2nd Coming of Christ they became part of the Miller right movement but these people were all from their churches a lot of them were from the Christian connection many of war of those were Methodists and Baptists and so on and so forth all of that was the background so those people came into these particular roles of deacons deacons asses and elders and whatever out of the structure of their own church and also out of the need when they started the 7 they have a church was a fledgling organization they were resisting organization period was until 18 sixty's that we begin to see organization develop Michigan conference was the 1st conference then the General Conference formed in 1603 became the 7th Day Adventist Church but during that time the church was growing and there were some structures that were needed so you see a little bit of that in the history of the 7th Day Adventist Church Deacon is referred to in the Ellen White writings 15 times but only 4 times relate to their ministry. Deegan ss in their writings of L. and Y. the 18 times and only 3 times related to their ministry the 1st area of reference is how the deacons manage the wine used in the communion services. The reason for that is because the managing of the bread and the wine for the Communion service was a big issue you and I did a when we need grape juice for communion service were run out to Myers and buy it or growers but they had to make it and squeeze it and maybe they if they did or they had a time they had to make sure they didn't do it so far ahead of time that it became wine it was a real issue sorry but I feel like I have something crawling on my leg and I want to make sure there isn't something. I have answered my trailer so I'm nervous we finally figured out oh stop them so that's good. So this was the focal point that we see here and it was becoming a big deal because some of that grape juice was turning before it got to the communion table and they wanted to make sure that that wasn't happening it was refrigeration like we have today and they warned print preservation techniques that we have today and so that's why those things came up another area was the handling of Tide remember the church was small was an infant organization and the members were scattered broadly around how did the tithe get in you take on Sabbath morning you take up the ties and offerings in your church because everybody comes to church because they come to fellowship and meet together but these people were scattered geographically all over the place and sometimes the weather just like here in Michigan is the case sometimes people didn't get to church well guess what the deacons did they went and got the offering and the ties and offerings from the people there to make sure that the church could continue to function because they might not get to church for a significant period of time they went to the people's homes to collect it and that was part of that just in it a little bit of a side light of how the work was focused him and the early ad in this Gerges 3rd area of reference pertaining to the ordination of deacons some evidences of the ordination of deaconesses and I mention all of that already so the ministry of deacons and deaconesses as teachers is the 1st thing that I want to place some emphasis on today. If you take your hand book here textbook and you look at. You look at Chapter 8 page 49. What I want you to recognize is that I'm going to place a lot of emphasis on some of the job description of the deacon and Deacon is today we won't get through all of this by any stretch today we only have about 15 minutes left but I'm getting in to it now and then tomorrow we will finish this work I need to set the foundation of this work and now we're get into it. The 1st is the deacons of deaconesses or tear teachers of God's word. When the nominating committee called you and asked you to be a deacon how many of you are deaconesses in your church. Those of you that are just raise your hands keep them up how many of you is this your 1st time being a deaconess keep your hand up of the case all right so you're the 1st your this is your 1st chance and don't be ashamed of that that's good you've got to start somewhere right many of you Ben Deacon Deacon ss before about any deacons in here got deacons in here any newbies and other words is the 1st time you've been in a class to be a deacon OK great I love it I like both because that gives us sooner Gee together we learn from each other don't weigh those who are just learning along with those who have experience but there are some times we have experience that isn't always good. Moses had to go out in the wilderness 40 years took him 40 years on learn all they learned in Egypt I don't know if it's going to take you 40 years to unload all the stuff you may have learned but one of the things you may have learned is that your job is taking up the offering ocurred preparing communion Brid and that's all you have to do you see when the nominating committee called you and asked you to be a deacon or a deaconess in your church they probably asked you if you were willing to take to be a deacon or deaconess and you said well I don't know what a deacon there Deaconess does all they do is take up the same offering on Sabbath morning and the deaconesses also helped to could take care of the communion bread and prepare for baptism and that's probably the job description that you got when the nominating committee called you anybody get that kind of a call. To tell the truth. So far I haven't even talked about that and as a matter of fact I won't talk about any of that until the morrow. Because that is so damn far down the list of things that need to be done in the local church and as part of the job description Deacon as deaconesses I don't want to spend time on it and secondly you already know that so I don't need to tell you all of that you didn't come to a class to like this for me to tell you that but what I do want to place the emphasis on is the real calling that you have you're not ordained to this work so that you can take up the offering and I sure can take up the offer as a matter of fact I see it a lot of times I go into churches little churches and the deacon there is no deacon or happen to be there that day and they ask Johnny Hughes fied I mean 15 years old to take up the offering. You don't need to be ordained to take up the offering your Dane because you're a spiritual leader who is going to provide spiritual leadership based upon the Word of God to your members which includes teaching them the Word of God That means going to people's homes and encouraging them when you go and visit somebody in their home you will find that they will have questions they may have questions about the Bible and you will be able to pick up the Bible and give them answers from the Word of God not pick up the phone and call a pastor and say they're asking me a Biblical question I don't have the answer now that are all said with effect. There may be times when you will need to call the pastor an ask for help right I've got 40 years of pastoral experience I call pastors occasionally and say help I don't understand this can you help me it's OK to do that but my point is that God has called you and you are spiritual people yourselves you study the Word of God yourself you pray to the Lord Jesus every day you spend time with him you can tell people what you know and people in people's homes can benefit from what your experience is as a matter of fact that's why God has called Jews and maybe not the pastor to help that person at that particular time but there are times when you would want to have other people with you so that you give them good answers and so on so forth but teachers of the Word of God Now there's 2 parts to that. The 1st is many of our people in our church I'm not just going to say some but I'm going to be bold enough to say many of our people in our churches are not convert. Are not converted. OK At the very least some of the members in our church are not converted. They need to be growing spiritually you as you minister to those church members or helping them to grow spiritually you are teaching them the ward of God by Minister into them maybe on Sabbath morning you are doing some of that you might even teach a Sabbath school class as a deacon or Deaconess but you might also go to their homes and minister to them that's one that's within the church Secondly you might also be teaching the Word of God and should be teaching the Word of God by giving Bible studies to people the reason for that is because you are called 1st of all to be a disciple of Jesus Christ long before you were ever called to be a deacon or a deaconess you are called upon to be a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ that is 1st as a matter of fact you should never have been asked to be a deacon or a deaconess if you want recognized 1st as a disciple of Jesus am I overstating myself. Now disciple of Jesus as one who is also leading other people to Jesus just like the disciples in the early church did and if you are not giving Bible studies at so. That's one of those little things that I told you about that you are going to want to put on your list of I need to start learning how to do that all right so from here you go and you get a hold of Mark Howard and ask him to come and do in a manual training at your church so that all of you can learn how to give Bible studies and be able to function in that particular capacity in teaching the Word of God We often quote the story of Stephen but we forget that Stephen and Philip were deacons as well as preachers and teachers of the Word of God. And that's what God has called upon us to do at our level and there are with our experience continuing to grow with that that's part of your job description All right I want to move on because I want to bring up another one caregivers to the sick and the needy now I'm looking at the next chapter which is Chapter 9 page $53.00. Deacons and deaconesses as caregivers to the sick and needy again to come back to the illustration that I gave you and then try to put it into the context of today. They historical context was there was no social structure to care for the needs the physical needs and even the emotional needs of people during the 1st centuries and the years that followed not until we come to the perhaps the 19th the 20th and the 21st centuries do we have the kind of social structure that we have in the world a lot of the world at least the 1st world and the in places like the United States where we have that kind of a structure where you get sick you go to the car or urgent care or whatever and have those kinds of needs but there are still needs where we can minister to our people in our church. We don't have to be professional doctors and nurses to provide care that the sick need only it's a I think you understand what that would be but let's just say that there's a. Lady in your church who's just had surgery and has a deaconess you find out about that surgery and day you let her know that you're praying for her well that's a good place to start right you may even go visit her in the hospital all while I didn't say the pastor went to visit her last little I said the Deaconess you the Deaconess went to visit her in the hospital find out how she's doing maybe ask the question now when you go back home how are things going to be are you going to be able to. Provide for yourself while there's a lot of social structure that helps to do that sometimes a social worker will come in or a visiting nurse will come in but are they going to provide the meals for that individual Do they have family members that are going to provide that wow what would happen if a deaconess did that yeah food train that's another Exactly that's the kind of thing that can happen where the church is a minister into people in that kind of a circumstance. I remember I came out of my home one day I actually happened to be the Sabbath and I came home and it was a nice bright sunny day and I hadn't seen my neighbors for a little while and and saw them out there and I had noticed that I hadn't seen them a lot outside that's not all that unusual were all busy people and didn't think much of it but in getting the talk to them I found out that my neighbor he and his wife are really great people they have since moved but she had had some kind of a brain issue I think one of these things where you get a blood vessels all clogged up together and she had to have that dealt with and so she'd been in the hospital for a long time and I thought to myself wow I wish I had realized that because we could have used that as an opportunity to reach out to them if I had realized that was going on I remember as a pastor that some of our church members complained about the fact that nobody ever cared about them if they were sick or had any problems or or whatever the just seemed like the curate's just didn't care you know what that's exactly the way most churches feel especially if you're on the other end of being sick of the sick end of things or issues that you're facing because the churches seems to be going on with it and if you stop coming because you get sick nobody calls you nobody cares about you nobody knows what's going on nothing's going on caregivers is an important function for deacons and deaconesses also meeting the needs of the needy the economy seems to be good right now but that doesn't mean that there aren't people in your church who have no food on their shelves how are you going to know that they don't buy sent calling on the phone and saying oh we're just checking to see if you've got food in your in your house. Really that what you going to do I don't think you're going to get a straight answer from that kind of thing and they're going to ask you another question why are you asking. Right you learn things like that by a relationship by getting to know people now there are some families who were more than happy to tell we be more than happy to tell you they have absolutely nothing but often those people are the people that are used to taking advantage of society and have yet to learn how to function and to work out those kinds of things words by the way is another aspect of care giving to the needy that you as a deacon or Deaconess maybe elders as well need to think about how are you going to deal with that but that's another side to that I don't want to deal with right now. The issue of meeting the needs of the needy is an important function and part of the way that you know that is by going to people's homes and opening up their cupboards and no that's not what I'm saying. By going to their homes and getting acquainted with them becoming their friends becoming spiritual connected spiritually connected with those people as you become friends with them people who have legitimate needs and challenges that they may be embarrassed to say to people they may be willing to share with you as you become their friends. As you become brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ they may be more willing and able to open up to you about their needs that's why elders you need to be working together with the deacons and deaconesses in a stablish ing a visitation process in your church so that you are providing a structure in your church for the Care and Keeping of the members of your church so you are caregivers to the sick and the needy we have community services centers and many of our churches but most of the time they are more concerned about the needs of people outside of the church than they are inside of the church and that's not all bad except that there are people in the church who are just as needy of assistance from community services as people that are outside the church and we need to recognize that we are an organization that cares about everybody and doesn't penalize a person because they happen to be a member of the 7th Day Adventist Church. Is that too strong. I've been on the community service side of things I know what the what I just said and all around of occasions of what I just said and that's an pretty important function I want to mention another one here and that goes to the next chapter which I believe is Chapter 10. Page 59 deacons and deaconesses as conflict managers and this is where we'll end of day and where we'll pick up tomorrow what was the situation in Acts Chapter 6 that generated the need for deacons and deaconesses What was it. It was a. It was a need right it was a problem in the need but it was also a conflict wasn't it it was a an argument back and forth they were fighting among themselves because they were getting what they thought they should be receiving conflict management was the starting a vent and the starting role of deacons in the Christian church it is the least const least considered concept today in the 7 they have this church and even in the Christian church what is the job and duty of deacons and deaconesses is the pastor's job to solve the conflict is the pastor's job to give the bible studies is the pastor's job do visit the sick it's the pastor's job to prepare people for baptism is the past do you get a little bit of a theme running in what I just said and yet I've been talking about many of those things in the last few minutes and I never mentioned it was the job of the pastor but I mentioned it was the job of the deacon and the Deaconess to be doing that kind of war so what I'm doing today is I am raising the bar of understanding about what your role is but I'm not providing the training the unique in order to be able to do those tasks that may have to come a little bit later a little bit tomorrow but even more when you go back to your churches and you work together and in relationship to this conflict management is a huge deal it's not as complicated as you think it is because sometimes it's just a matter of brothers and sisters talking to each other. But it means that the deacons and deaconesses have a role of leadership in ensuring that this hour is a work of solving conflict is cared for and not by picking the phone up and calling the pastor Pastor you've got a problem in the church I just want you to know by OK because they all are the deacons in the deaconesses need to be able to work together for this particular purpose as well would talk about that more tomorrow I want to finish by taking you back to the 1st chapter of our study day. Actually. Or yeah. On Monday. I'll come back to that in just a minute. Look at page 7. Page 7 Chapter 2 US A chapter one but Chapter 2 I want to remind you of the problem that existed but the result of the solution. Notice that down in there I'm reading from the Acts Chapter 6 verses one through 8 and there's probably roughly 10 pals I mean 20 sentences there probably about 5 from the bottom it says and the Word of God increase do you see that. And the number of disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly. And a great company of priests were beaten into the faith and Stephen full of faith and power to great wonders and miracles is not just coincidental that those things are in that order Ellen White specifically talks to that the result of the appointing of deacons and I will add deaconesses to the church the early Christian church was that it exploded numerically. One of the reasons the 7th they haven't is church is not growing the way it should today is because deacons and deaconesses are not doing their job and the reason they're not doing their job is because where they haven't been teaching them how to do it. So the responsibility comes back on me as the pastor me is a conference leader which is why I have a passion for doing this class a camp meeting and in your local churches and I have done it after camp meeting people have come to me and said please come our church and teacher's class and I've gone and done that I'd love to come to your church and help with that get your district pat your 3 churches in your district to gather all the whole district of your own district to come to the whole district whatever happy to teach them because we need see the work of God finished and it will be finished when we start working together doing the work of God has given us the way that God has given us to do their work so they can be accomplished. Thank you Lord for being with us today as we end our class we want to thank you that to use saw the needs of your church. And you gave to everyone an opportunity to serve as specially deacons and deaconesses or call just by definition of the word deacon to the role of ministry in service to the local church and to the community as we talk more about that tomorrow pray that you will guide and direct us help us not to be overwhelmed by the possibilities or the responsibility but to realize that what you call us to you are able to empower us today as we go to our places and our other opportunities today May we continue to grow in our walk with you know in Jesus name. This media was brought to you by audio for years 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 or if you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit W W W audio verse or.

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