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Deacons and Deaconesses Basic Training - Part 2

Royce Snyman

Description

Part 2 of Basic Training will teach organizing for and carrying out various special services of the church including communion and baptismal events, and how to work with the local church pastor and board.

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 heaven thank you for a beautiful sunshiny morning and we're always grateful for life health opportunities serve you sometimes Lord we struggle with with those health issues but we're grateful that you still care about us you lead us moment by moment so Lord as we need together may your holy spirit guide us and then we be drawn to service and to being able to learn how to serve you better in Jesus name. All right we left off yesterday and talking a little bit about caregivers and working for the care of the sick and needy and when he came to me yesterday and indicated you had experience yourself on the receiving end of that and that was that's an interesting direction that we have to go our summit a little bit of a conflict we're going to get into that a little bit later today the next chapter in your in your book is talking about business managers and you may not have thought about it that way but the responsibilities of deacons and deaconesses has in the more recent traditional experience of the deacons and deaconesses a senator around the physical plant of the church you know what I mean by that another words of the deacons are usually the ones that are signed to make sure that the physical plant of the church is being taken care of and that is the one focal point that has carried itself into the responsibility of the deacons. That means opening the church closing the church making sure it's locked. And maybe mow in the lawn. You know arranging for janitors or being the janitor I don't know it depends on how that local church all works out and I say being the janitor if you've got more than one Deacon you might share that load I don't know whatever it is to take care of God's house to care for the physical plant to maintain it when there are repairs that need to be done and some of those kinds of things but one aspect that hasn't been thought of is the oversight of some of the. Of the management of the church as elder elder Mitchell of has become the president of our conference here in the last few months I know one of the things that he said to some of the committees that he works with. Is that we don't know misters are not trained to be business people and I've had a lot of lay people over the years pastors are not trained to be business people I don't know how they got to their conclusion how they did ever did they figure that out now there are exceptions to that there are some who have been trained and I've heard of pastors have gone and got a master's in business administration and and some of those kinds of things but 99 percent of passers don't do that and there's good reason not to the real calling is to ministry to be a pastoral minister and to care for the needs of a congregation to spread the gospel message to preach the truth to share in Bible studies and in evangelistic meetings and all of them that's a full time job. But if you really take all the tasks that church members sometimes think is on the docket for the pastor there's about 5 full time jobs in that list of material in there and then church members say Well Pastor you get paid to do that welcome you can get it done. And part of it is that's not really what God intended for the pastor to do and when pastors get into the mode where the church praises the responsibility for everything on their shoulder auto you what begins to happen they burn out ministers in North America both agonist and non have ministers about a 3rd of pastors who start Ministry don't finish ministry. And many of them fail to stay in ministry after relatively short period of time the stress is terrible in terms of what happens unless you have made a full commitment to the war and you recognize your call not some people get into ministry shouldn't be in minute 3 all right and that's part of the proving process that's why we don't ordain pastors and when they just walk in the door and say I'd like to be a pastor OK we're a day new and off you go and we ordained them after 4 years because that is time to prove their ministry as well and White says We should they should prove their ministry and that is that they are recognized for accomplishing what God has called them to do all of that to say that one of the areas that needs to be cared for for the church is the business management and I don't mean it's not a business that you are managing it is the financial structure of the church that needs to be cared for now there's a little bit of history and here if you look on page 63 in the 1st paragraph it says do we say that is an author makes reference to the work of R.B.C. how Baptist pastor whose writings were very influential of a Baptist church during the hundreds do we says although Howell favor deaconesses if we influence the Baptists and the $800.00 to sign administrative business and financial matters to male Deacon bodies by thereby excluding women now is just a little bit of a history it's not a theological statement or whatever but he's just pointing out the issue in relationship to business managers and then on the bottom of page $65.00 he goes into his conclusion which goes over to page $68.00. And he says it may be concluded from the review of the works in chapter 7 to 11 that the New Testament reveals little information about the existence of female deacons or deaconesses and the role that they played in the 1st century church in that Greek word when he goes on he talks a little bit more about that then he goes on into page 67 and. He says that any speaking historically now he says the 4th and final roll is prime and carried it Pari merrily carried out by a board of all male deacons is the role of business managers that this man churches began assigning this role to their deacons in the 1900 there in fly influenced by the cultural trends of American society to adopt the style of management during the 2nd half of the 1900 century the all male corporate board of directors emerged as the churches and brace the style of management deacons drifted away from ministry and focus their attention on management the exclusion of women deacons or deaconesses and management decisions with a factor in the decline of deaconesses during the 1900 century some churches still assign the role of business managers to their deacons others believe the deacons are for service not to run the church now I really all that particular section is doing is giving you a little bit of a history but he comes back to these particular areas later on and. I'd like you to look over. At. A. 20. Chapter 20 page 153 Sorry about that. And here is where he's talking about he in that chapter on the we were just reading he was talking about the history it was not trying to tell us what we should or should not do or a carriage ing us in job descriptions in a chapter 20 is now into the section where he's talking about job descriptions will come back to some of that but he talks about Dickens and deaconesses physical plant managers the 1st paragraph on page 153 says the 7th Day Adventist Church manual and the manual for church officers present a vivid description the deacon's responsibilities in regards to maintaining the church properties and the deacons perceive this work as being an opportunity to witness for God They will count doing it a privilege and then they list a number of things here number one at the bottom of the page oversee the janitorial work being certain that the church including grounds as well cared for number to see to such needed repairs as broken windows etc Number 3 bring to the church board or Finance Committee suggestions for major repairs and improvements for seed of the care and proper distribution of the church him mills and sanctuary and have them properly placed and just basically keeping the sanctuary free of course litter and that kind of thing 5 of the offering embryos probably placed in the right 6 have the pulpit furniture properly placed microphones jacked it set or a 7 open the church building before or after should be home or get a regular meetings unlocked after the service is concluded so what you're looking at here and then going on into Page 155 and the number of items that are listed there including proper ushering and taking notes of visitors number 6 professionally that one a lot on page 156 visitors newcomers number 5 checking carefully the services the nothing is lying about tomorrow the appearance I mean. And you just get a sense here that we're dealing with a number of things from the physical plant to also what's happening during that service now my wife likes to tell a story and I think when she was a little child somewhere she went there were deacons and they had long rods. And I can remember if it happened to her or was having a family or whatever but the deacons would go around on Sabbath morning you know what they did with those rods if you fell asleep they'd tap you on the head or swat you up so I don't know what they did in this day that probably call the salt. In that is they that was you know keeping you awake and whatever the case may be now I'm not suggesting you do that I'm just saying we talks about reverence and it talks about some of the things that are. Need to be cared for not only. The physical plant but what's happening during the church service and caring for that now again please on the recording and everyone that's not what I'm suggesting I'm just saying that that's what has happened in relationship to deacons but the one thing I do want you to recognize with deacons and deaconesses one of the major ministries that you can compilations of is noticing who's in church on more and I'm talking about members and nonmembers somebody in your church should be taking attendance if you're not taking attendance you don't care about your people really say this. On camera I'm recording or I said it that way to make a point and I know you care about your people and that's part of the reason you're here but I said that because I want to get your attention when we really care about people we want to know when they're not there and when they're not there we want to know why I don't mean gossip wise I mean caring wise. Now if somebody is gone you know if they have been there 6 months and they're gone on Sabbath you don't need to call the police and find out why they're not there all right and what hurts the church police or the physical police or whatever you don't panic but take note they were here today and you might ask around Does anybody know why you know Karen was inherited a well Karen wasn't here today because she had an emergency or a family or father sick and she had to travel to Florida all right everybody knows everything's well in a sense that Karen has not abandoned church or she's not sick herself a she's taking care of a family member but what does that tell you all saw. Maybe just a nice note we understand that your father sick want to know we're praying for you what can we do to help you that is caring isn't it. After they find out she's on vacation you know leave her alone till she gets back and say we hope you had a good vacation to her you know whatever you just you were just showing caring but if the 2nd week she's not there and somebody says you ask and you know I thought she had to take care of her father yeah I heard she was back but she's not here there are 2 weeks she's not there and the 4th week she isn't I mean I would wait that long because on the 2nd week that some alarm and lest you know why she's gone or you've had a conversation with her and she's told you that she's not going to be back for a couple weeks because even though her father is doing all right she's got to take care of some things and it's been going to be traveling I mean as long as you know but as soon as you know that that person's been gone for a while they do your job to be deciding what to do to minister her and to be identifying what her needs may happen to be we know this that the longer a person stays away from church the harder to do it is for them to get back and so many people have said I stopped attending church and nobody including the pastor shame on us ever called me to find out how I was doing. And one of the problems that we have is that sometimes we get word while she then are coming in a care is not coming because she's mad at the pastor or she's not coming because she had an altercation verbal or have cation with sister so sisters and of none of you have the names of. And whatever the case may be and then we see them we kind of dismiss at all I don't want to get involved in a conflict and I don't want to whatever. And that's when people start to drift away from the church and literally nobody cares enough to go and deal with that particular issue the board of deacons and deaconesses should be meeting from time to time usually once a month is my recommendation I know that in our busy schedules today people want one more meeting like another hole in the head the true truth is that we've got to do our work and we've got to figure out how to improve what we do and part of it is doing our work of caring for people when we get together deacons and deaconesses or spiritual leaders so when they start talking about the needs of people they're not gossiping right I don't say they won't gossip I say they shouldn't be gossiping and it should be what do we do to meet the needs of those people during those last month who have we found out has some issues that we have not yet addressed Do we need to have a better plan for addressing those so that we can care for them on a regular basis dealing with that issue now you notice that none of those did I ever say that you needed to talk to the others or the pastor. Because a lot of this work is caring for the church and I believe that's part of the business of the jurors now we get back of the straight a little bit from the job description there but I am making that point so are you looking for all or yeah right here and make sure you got today's notes as well. And so I want to make sure that we understand that I'm broadening the horizon and trying to place the emphasis in the most important places that we need to deal with so getting back a little bit on track will come back to what I was talking about in the in a little bit here but business managers not so much running the finances of the church as being a part of the board because the head deacon and head Deaconess are members of the board they might even be part of the Finance Committee of that is the way they decide to structure that Finance Committee the Treasurer the pastor the head elder maybe the head deacon need to be on the Finance Committee that kind of whatever if you have a charge church that really needs that but in most small churches of a 100 unless members they don't need a finance committee and don't function that way they just do it with a board so that deacons and deaconesses are part of that process not running it but assisting with it you understand and all the physical plant all the things that are listed there now let me just go back to the election process for a moment a moment to spend a lot of time with this just to remind you you look at the church manual make sure you have a church Manual Read the church manual understand how the election process goes you as deacons and deaconesses and those of you that are elders in this room please listen to me very very carefully you need to know what the election process is and how it is supposed to function in the local church. You need to read the church manual you need a clarifier and with a pastor if you don't know what it is so that you understand what that process is as a minister or director and even as a pastor but as especially as a minister or director I occasionally counter places where an elder takes over the nominating committee process because they happen to be without a pastor at that particular time but doesn't accomplish the process the way it's outlined in the church manual and it becomes a mess in the local church because usually that process goes on and tell it's worked its course and then somebody gets upset about the way it was done which they probably should have gotten upset and yes they should actually have gotten upset when the process was going astray in the 1st place now let me give you an example of this since a little bit of a risk for me to say that because these are very real situations but you don't know where those real situations are going on so that's just fine. And I'm not blaming anybody but I am saying we need to know how to function and if we don't know how to function then we need to ask so that we don't make these kinds of mistakes now for example one of the kinds of situations and this is a fairly common one is failing to elect to the nominating committee way the way the nominating committee is supposed to be elected the election of a nominating committee is not from the floor on Sabbath morning Jeremy and so you say OK so how is it supposed to be nominated from the floor on the 7th morning but not the way some people do it so listen to me again I said that in a way to make a point know what the church manual says of the nominating committee is supposed to be elected by number one a organizing committee or I'm trying to remember the exact word but that's a good word for an organizing committee being selected that is going to then choose the nominating committee. So from the floor through an appropriate process a vote being taken those people need to be identified who will choose the nominating committee it's a committee to choose the nominating committee but what often happens when there are mistakes made is that someone will call for who's going to be who do you want to the nominating committee I am opening the for now for nominations for those are going to be on the nominating committee so there's this many people in churches we have in our class right now and so who wants to make a nomination who's going to be on the nominating committee now Fred has an agenda already sorry for it you know my being my guinea pig here that Fred has an agenda today and he wants Greg to be on the nominating committee because not he doesn't he knows that Greg doesn't like the boy the pastor is running the church and he wants him to be on the nominating committee so that he can make all kinds of changes so he says I a lack Greg to be our nominee Greg to be on the nominating committee now everybody else knows that Fred and Greg you've got this issue going on about the pastor and they're trying to be able to deal with that but nobody has the courage to stand up to Fred so if you stand a Fred you know you're a big guy and they're afraid to get in a conversation with. Our gay is see what I'm saying here we are all right so they are afraid to stand up to him emotionally he's I'm not just talking about physically intimidating you're not physically you're nice guy you're big teddy bear area but the truth of the matter is sometimes people are influenced by people's. They're intimidated by their personality or by their position or whatever and when that happens on Sabbath morning it is totally inappropriate for that to be taking place there and now there's a process there's 2 options that are. The nominee I mean in the church man I really don't want to go much farther than this I shared it to give you an idea of what the election process is supposed to be like now it's a little further from where I exactly need to be in relationship to how you were elected but I wanted you to understand that because as leaders of the church elders deacons and deaconesses need to know how the nominating committee is supposed to function to make sure that there's fair representation taking place before the church and the reason this other committee is chosen 1st is because then this committee can come together and they can carefully and prayerfully talk about who should be on the nominating committee select that nominating committee and then the nominating committee may be there now it's possible in a church with a small that threat is still going to be chosen to be on the organizing committee and he's still going to want to put Greg on the nominating committee but at least it wasn't manipulated to do that or done in such a way that it didn't have good due process to take care of it because when the organizing committee chooses the nominating committee the nominating committees. That is chosen is got to be clear through the church and has had some time to process and for people to share their opinions along the way and it should have a 1st and 2nd reading so that people who disagree that Greg shouldn't be on that committee have a chance to come to the pastor or the holder or whatever and the chairman of that committee and say look we love Greg but don't let him be on the nominating committee the gals or guys a real scoundrel he's. Sorry Greg. I go I'm going to go do something nice here and that's anyway so the process can be worked through so let me come to the hand that I just saw here in just a moment. The election of the deacons and deaconesses is through the nominating committee the qualifications we talked about. We talked about there will be yesterday we did in a little bit that I'm a one come back there but anyway this is a spiritual process and the work of one and a deacon to deaconesses is spiritually based and then when you are elected to be a deacon I'll pick on deacons for right now you're not a deacon and tell your damed if you have not been or there so you may be elected as a deacon but if you are not supposed to function until you are our day and if that happens to take a month you are not and you know after the officers of started you still are not a deacon until the day your dame then you are a deacon So once you're a danger or deacon and you can function and you can work that way now you know probably doesn't hurt for you to take up the offering on Sabbath morning or some of the other functions there because we usually shorthanded need people to be involved in all of that that I made that point because that really is the way that supposed to happen and the way it's supposed to get done the nominating committee should finish its work early enough so that the person who needs to be ordained can be ordained soon enough in the process there the pastor might not get there for a month and it can take place immediately and then when it does take place he's ready to take over when the new officers come in so that's the way that needs to ordination is for life you do not need to have no not need to be ordained again unless for some reason you straight away you had to be rebaptized you came back to the church whatever and then that takes place but if you go from one church to another you are not automatically a deacon in that church just because you were doing and over in the other church. You have to be elected by that church where you are now living and attending in order for you to be able to serve you don't have to be reordered ain but you do have to be elected All right now the hands of us all what I see and over here yes please. All right. Since you on this videotape and on this have not been fired your name or your location. I will say to you that. I apologize for that because just as I said your situation is such that you should call for that and in defense of our pastors they get busy and sometimes they don't recognize that process needs to be followed but all of us in the office will remind our pastors frequently good process brings about good results bad process brings about bad results and I have had situations such as I described to you here and I'll tell you what we've done we've gone to the church and to the pastor when it's the pastor doing it or the elder and said you need to start over. Start over there's too much conflict going on in your church there's too much struggle going on that wasn't followed you're getting bad results because a bad process go back and do the process right now we do it kindly and I would not do it the way I just did it on tape but we do it in a way that helps everybody to grow through the experience and realize that they needed to be doing it that way so when you encounter that have the courage to stand up to it and I want to tell you if you run into a problem and pastors being human and under life's pressures respond in a way that they shouldn't but you're having difficulty that's why you have a ministerial director and that's not the only reason you have a ministerial director but that's one of the things the ministerial directors for is to be able to assist you and help with that process to make sure that good process is follow OK great. Or. Yeah let me explain that are you wanting this material or just in case you're. All right so let's let's talk about that for a moment. Yes Yes because technically you don't have deacons and begin this is in a company so let me explain what it is that he's asking and and give you a bit of an answer. We have the way that a church develops is 2 if you plan a church it say for example that the Metropolitan church in Detroit wants to plant a new church and. In West plan Michigan while I think there's one there anyway it's a wasteland and so they go through the process they have a group of people meeting down there and they want the conference now to begin to recognize that this is a group meeting down there with the intention of becoming a church so they go through that and they come to a conference of as they call a ministerial director that's my area of responsibility and I begin to work with them the 1st thing they become as a group a group is of 0 to 25 people well obviously it's got to have one so or usually 3 or 4 but from 0 to 25 is a group that group has no authority to function usually it's under a mother church that is doing that work in accomplishing that that particular function so that's what's going on at that time and so they're doing that. Their day they are under the leadership of the pastor under the leadership of the elders in the deacons of that church and they are meeting on Sabbath morning they may be doing some of those kinds of things but they are no elders in that church unless it's their group unless it's an elder from the Metro Church under that auspices or whatever. The next step is that they have been meeting now let's say 4 or 7 months or a year and they've now grown from $25.00 to $50.00 members that are attending there on a regular basis and obviously in that time when you get that number of people together there's got to be some kind of organization right and that organization has probably been somewhat loose it's been supported by the local church and helping them and maybe the pastor has identified. You know Greg as being the leader of the group and and they're functioning that way and they might answer to the church board at Metro but now they're ready to be a company and they actually apply to the conference to be a company that's the in-between step from group to becoming a full fledged church themselves churches are autonomous that means that they have all the leaders in the church they can find they can function financially without assistance they pay their own bills they take care of all that is a something like a child to a teenager to an adult the company's status is like a teenager here the keys to the car but make sure you're back by midnight. Or 10 or something like that. You need some money here you can have that money but you know what you're going to have to clean your room twice as many times now to get that money back I you know what I'm saying all right so the teenager part of the company process is that officially the church manual says a company has a leader often called an elder but we don't use that term in this capacity officially even though they might be recognised as such and then there is a treasure and a core Those are the only officers of that company. Section why. Because the church is growing up this group is growing up but it's not yet ready to be on its own a company has overseeing it the conference all the members of a group are still members of the Metro Church all members of a company are members of the conference church sitting around in their own but they have a big daddy so to speak watching over them technically the president is the pastor of that company I said all of that because a lot of people have no clue what that's all about and I needed you to understand a little bit of how that functions as a matter of fact major things that take place in a company cannot be voted on by the church the church can make recommendations but for example of you had a discipline problem in that church and you had somebody that was robbing banks and you needed to dispel a sham for them from the church you do not have the authority in the company to do that that has to be a recommendation from your company to the conference executive committee the conference executive committee serves as the board for a company all right now with all of that I can answer his question he says What do you do in that particular situation this is how we function. The church manual does this to in order to be able to make sure that there's clear oversight and they under you understand a company only has limited a Floridian But in order to be able to function you have to pick up some of these duties along the way you're growing in that you may be that you have a deacon from the church from the way you came from or whatever and people will often function in that capacity and in the end this case I'll use a real life situation Greg is a leader of a company and Adrian but he's not been ordained as an elder and so we're going to have an order nation service for him in July you'll be do ordain as an elder and he will be the leader of that particular company there but he's still under the responsibility. Of the conference and the oversight is from us but he does have a pastor a pastor that helps to oversee it as well so it's quasi do you know what I mean by that it means that they're serving in that capacity we might ordain a deacon if they reached a point where they needed it in order to facilitate the function we'd have to look at it on a regular basis and take a recommendation from her but a lot of things there happen the Sabbath school leadership and all of that even though technically you don't have officers that way you still have to function somebody has got to lead Sabbath school somebody's got to have a school somebody's got to take up the offering somebody has got to care for some of these needs as the church is developing all right there's an important question it just took a little bit to answer. No problem no no I'm glad how many of you have ever been in the company and understood all of that. Some of you did which is most of you didn't OK so that's good all right let's talk about solving problems and nurturing the membership I want to talk a little bit about that right now. And some of us we're going to get into your in a little bit I am going to skip by that part I want to come to this because we'll come back to that a proclaiming the gospel in warning souls we spent a little bit of time with that yesterday and this is a major role because you are disciples and you are spiritual leaders one thing I didn't say yesterday is this Ellen White tells us and Christian service chapter 5 that churches are to be training centers for Christian workers that means that in a of if your church is going to be a training center which every church he says should be a training center she actually uses the word school training school for Christian workers it is going to be that you are going to have to spend some time. Understanding how a school functions think about a school for a moment 8 school let's say that there's a school with 3 teachers there's a school with 3 teachers usually have a principal yes somebodies and overseeing the teachers right does the teacher does a school have teachers by definition it has teachers and students doesn't it it's just assume so if the church is to vote be a training school does the church have teachers. Yes So who are the teachers in the school and. Yes the deacons in the dig Innes's and the other leaders they might be teaching in their area of specialty they might be teaching in their area. Nor generally like an elder might be more of a generalist a Pathfinder leaders probably going to be more specifically 0 in on that area or alpha leader is going to 0 in on that but that training that they're doing is not only conveying information to the congregation like a health leader would They're also organizing functions for bringing people in the church but they're also doing something else this is a training school for Christian workers all of these departments are trying to reproduce themselves so that when you go off to Florida for 6 months somebody else can take your poise or when you decide to retire or when you've been serving that church with 30 years and you're going to retire to Florida somebody is trained to do what you used to do rather than the nominating committee or the board saying you know George is gone and we don't have anybody to take his place oh he was so good and now nobody's doing anything to fill that gap because nobody has that training where George could have been training somebody all that time in there would have been somebody to take his place the reason I'm making that point is because a church is a training school it needs trainers and that means deacons and deaconesses that are also teaching other people and do that work but the major function that you do is teaching other people how to share the gospel. And how to win souls and because you're a teacher you are teaching them to do what you know how to do because you've learned how to do it as well you haven't learned how to do it you need to learn how to do it so that you can also teach elders deacons and deaconesses are the primary teachers of the local church and the what they major role of the church is wanting souls therefore the elders deacons and deaconesses need themselves to be so one or so they can be teaching others how to do so wanting and feeling that church a lot of churches in the Michigan conference and around the North American division are dying and they are one step away from burial because if you go into those churches most of the people are 75 years and older there is nobody under that age and nobody has knocked on any doors given any Bibles duddies helped with any evangelist meeting or done any soul winning in that community in the last 30 years that church used to be 200 members and today it's 2 why because nobody is making sure their church is growing now again I'm making a statement I'm generalizing and I understand there are lots of different circumstances do it but I hate to tell you this if you boil it all down I can tell you chapter and verse of places where that's exactly that case and I can tell you as a minister all director I've closed the doors of churches and part of it is because of theological conflict which we're going to talk about tomorrow in some cases because people move away but the bottom line is because the church is not sharing its faith it's not minister into the community and you know what when that church disappears the company unity doesn't even know they're gone. OK all right now let's keep going I've said a little bit about that story during the church services of the Church that's in there I'm going to go to my next thing here pick up some of those pieces. Now I'm going from. Why. One Power Point slides to today's slides and they're only a few years will. Hold or I don't want to talk a little bit about conflict management and I'm going to spend more time on this tomorrow so I'm just highlighting this and over some reason you said I don't need I'm a word about theological conflict as should be by the way. Because it's happening more and more and in ways that are distressing. And. Scutcheon for tomorrow but we want you to know that the responsibility of a deacon and deaconesses nationally to help in this particular area want to take you to the book in a moment but I want to go to the slide 1st of all and. Do some summaries on this 1st of all the role of the deacon in Deaconess is to assist the pastor with conflict issues that arise I'll even go so so far as to say a lot of conflict can be taken care of by the deacons deaconesses in some cases the elders that never needs to go to the pastor taking care of behind the scenes when you find out how harmful it is usually between people. OK it's not usually between somebody in a boiler. It's usually between 2 people in the church or more people in the church and the smaller that conflict is the easier it is to manage Therefore I would encourage you to take care of that and to be able to minister in that particular situation by addressing it as soon as it is an issue. Now sometimes you think all bets are going to blow off but if it does not blow by and you know that fairly soon you need to address it to make sure that it doesn't get any farther most conflicts in the local church started out as a couple of people squabbling over something and then everybody gets on one side or the other for some reason rather than a just stopping at the beginning and people doing what Bible the Bible says they should do following the practices of Matthew 18 go One on One solve that problem we have a real problem in our society we don't know how to do that anymore and the only way we know to do this is pull out a gun and start shooting people and that's how bad it is become in our society today and unfortunately this happens in churches and even in admin is churches so don't underestimate that by the way that's a whole nother discussion active shooters but that's not what I'm here for. Stop clown conflicts before they arise and that is by helping to encourage the church that if you have a conflict let's talk about it you know do some education before conflicts even arise because they will arise there really is a devil he is going to try to do something in your church and every single church is going to try to do something so I have a plan and that plan should include training and teaching ahead of time about the Bible process for solving conflict when a conflict arise arises go and get in it I recommend a book by can sand is not a 70 Adnan's but he's a lawyer who's a Christian has a lot of experience in conflict work and management from a car a Christian perspective and he has some amazing stories and principles and ways of dealing with different kinds of conflicts really actual In book I found out about this from one or pastors who had this in one of his classes and in school and I just really do recommend it you can get it online as an e-book you can get it as a physical book at the Christian bookstore you can order it from Amazon you can get an awful lot of different ways and you would find it to be a very valuable tool. I'll just mention a couple principles here and then tomorrow will spend more time on conflict management especially as it relates to theological issues conflict management is sitting down with people and trying to understand what has caused that problem to arise people are different and understanding people is part of being a leader in the church and also how to minister to those people talking about the problem is a good place to start sometimes our conflicts happen in the heat of the moment something comes up. I've had situations where you know after church on Sabbath morning somebody comes up to you and says something and and you innocently respond as I did one Sabbath somebody came out and said something to me and and I. Say innocently because honestly I did not know what was going on but they said something to me and I said I gave them a response back with was a little bit flippant and that's a little less innocent that's where sarcasm gets you in trouble especially as a pastor and you had this flippant answer and I thought we were talking about some of the somebody in more general and I discovered that the person that they were complaining about was themselves. And and their concern about what the pastor I mean he was doing and had done that particular Sabbath and I realized I'd walk right into a buzz saw and that kind of problem sometimes we do that don't we we open our big mouth we don't think 1st why is the person asking this question and all of that and all of a sudden we've got our brouhaha and sometimes it's necessary for us to say I am so sorry and you know what sometimes we have to do that after going home and realizing that you really are sorry and you should have said it sooner and then means picking up the phone and saying I'm so sorry I really shouldn't have said that it wasn't the right thing to say and we often make excuses I didn't understand what was going on or whatever but the bottom line is we need to admit we made a mistake we shouldn't have done then and kind of go on from there most problems can be solved right there and sometimes you is a deacon or a deacon is you will either witness that. And don't step away and just ignore realize this is an opportunity to minister if you see it happen you know prayerfully come in and say no before you leave today want to we go into the the office here of the classroom and let's just pray about this and make sure that it doesn't go any farther than that you know what that could stop a lot of conflict before it ever follow the principles of Matthew 18 if there's only 2 people involved and they are the only ones and know about it they have a responsibility to solve that between themselves not get on Facebook and not get on the phone and not text everybody about the problem before they've had that conversation if the problem can't be solved that's not the time to get on Facebook it's the time to get 2 or 3 other people to help to come together and try to find out what you're missing in the problem and what needs to be done to solve that problem and the problem is so broad that it goes church why then some other times when the church as to address it and deal with that way that way but you can solve a lot of problems by realizing that it's not the pastors job to solve the problems it's the elders the deacons and deaconesses work to be able to work behind the scenes and working in those areas you may have some questions in regard to that and we can deal with a little bit here business stuff I've already talked about the election process we've done that as well it's talked about ordination for life I should have just gone straight to this program should in the. Us please. You notice that I skipped over that. I'm sure you all did all right let me come back to that and and address that as I said yesterday the church manual allows for the OR day ordination of deaconesses I want you to recognize that in spite of the fact that that is. Allowed by the church manual it is still an area of some discussion and and kind of sorting out where people are position in relationship to this because there are people who see a connection between the issue and the theological issue of the ordination of. Women as pastors together with the issue of the ordination of women as Alderson Women's deacons our deaconesses and that whole connection and it has to do I'm not discussing the issue on my need identifying the issue All right we're not going to discuss this today because the church is not yet solved this in its entirety and I don't think you and I will be able to accomplish said Now maybe we can we can put it on video send it to everybody in the problem will be resolved but I only have 1520 minutes to do it so we will get that done but here's the issue here's the issue the issue is the illogical way the core of the issues. That creates the issue of contention and conflict is over all whether or not the Bible identifies male headship in terms of leadership and the role of women in relationship to am I going to get into the theology of all of that and just identify vying part of the basis for that discussion with that particular piece is the bottom the not the. Manual does allow for the Ordination of deacons and the deaconesses and that's a reality if you do that in the local church don't just assume and go to your pastor if you happen to be a lady or even a man who's interested in seeing that happen to somebody in the church I would encourage you to get to the. Go to the pastor and have a discussion with them how they sense this how they feel about it how the church is going to feel about it and be humble about it aright this is one of the challenges we have is when we do people get on a plan a direction they want to go and then cause conflict in the church over something that could be handled in a different way so I just want to set that stage for that and that's really all I want to say about that day OK No no no and not in terms of that sense in terms of what they're ordained to Yes Evan Deacon is ordained to be a deacon and then they are later elected because they are spiritually growing and they're seen as being a spiritual leader and they become an elder they have to be ordained to be an elder OK that was actually a question. Or. All right so of the process the election process and all that in the qualifications are listed here and and identified here 1st and with each up to 3 I'm going to keep going on let's talk about sowing some problems and nurturing the membership of the congregation this is to me a major area of service for the deacons and deaconesses And this all want to put a little bit more emphasis on it here before I open it up for questions today. Visiting the sick and shut ins I really we've talked to quite a bit about this already but I just want to put that on your radar put it on your list identify there not is this not in a material that I handed out to you. Standing there in the one that I handed out today is it not in that list. Why didn't. It I do did I hand out something today that was the same thing we ended our yesterday. My secretary. Are right I'm really confused. Right I had my secretary copy these off and the question is What are they do with the stuff. On my apologies for that I had or all copy it off and on top sure I got it here unless I. Then it's my problem because she copied it off and she handed them to me so I don't know what happened I've really I'm confused I'll find them later sorry about that. The good news is it's it's up here on the screen I will get this for you and figure that part of it out and if we go there way you want to check with Shelley or whatever or just take a picture of it a word to and enter a let's go over those here caring for about the church's poor that we talked a little bit about yesterday again this comes from visiting people and caring about them and this part of doing this for deacons and deaconesses is a non done job and it really needs to be a focus because you are in so much by visiting people that you will never ever learn just by casual conversations at churches on a church on Sat or normally coordinating a program for visiting and integrating new members what you would encourage you to do is to meet with the elders from time to time especially say let's say you nominee committees typically. Function in the 1st part of the calendar year and they finish their work prior to June and in July the new officers take their take their place how many is that true for you or your church OK some work on a calendar January to December basis and and so on but often many especially those with schools do it the other way because it fits in more who are school schedule and summer schedule and that kind of thing. If you are whenever your church officers take charge is the time to come to get the slate cleared get everybody together do a little bit the planning and organizing and working through some of those issues that are moving the church forward and I encourage elders and deacons and deaconesses to get together and have a meeting together and especially to talk about some of these areas like visiting how we're going to break up the visiting of the church one of the best ways to do visitation is for couples to do it husbands and wives arm especially if they happen to be elders and deacons and deaconesses and that kind of connection there or it may be 2 deacons going and visiting or it might be a deacon in a deaconess going and visiting now or a an elder and a deacon is going in this is a so let me explain that to you for just a moment. If you are an elder and there's a need to go visit a woman in a home and there isn't going to there's not a husband there and all that kind of situation elders should never do that on their own male elders should never do that now there are some churches that have females and part of that discussion either. But elders. A male elder should never go with A in Deaconess who's not his wife in a car together with nobody else with us where there's Deaconess a woman or whatever just shouldn't be doing that just don't do it it just leads to challenges and potential problems and even in the periods of the. Absolutely and even in this day and age there are challenges what Whatever you do today you least those are respective ways in 2 males building in the female Yes but some females are not comfortable and especially they don't know you are right now this is some of you know it's somebody in the church everybody knows everybody and you mind if we stop by and visit Oh yeah no problem whatever that's fine but at any rate when I if I when I've had to visit church members a woman in particular and I needed somebody to go with me while my wife was not available I get in my car and I go to that home and I've asked the Deaconess to go and meet me at that home and then go into the house together with them and then when we leave she gets back in her car she goes home and I go home and we are able to accomplish that I encourage people to visit 2 by 2 as a lot of good reason for that and ministering to the needs of people I have had situations where women called me and said I want you to come and visit me and I said well I need to bring somebody with me no I need you to come by yourself ding ding ding ding ding Asamoah arm bell right there for whatever reason I don't care what her reason is it's an alarm bell that says there's problems here and the simple answer is I'm sorry I don't visit on my own. And that's just how that is now there are times when pastors do need to meet with people but there are ways of doing that at a church office when somebody else is present and not behind locked closed no window doors OK and you just have to be careful and all that process I'm going way off track here but I wanted to bring that up visitation is very important do visitation do it together plan it together and as elders and deacons and deaconesses figure out how are you going to minister to the community of believers that you have you can do it geographically you can do all kinds of different ways but plan that and make sure that everybody on the membership list whether attending or not is included in that visitation process so that nobody fall through the cracks at any time one of the worst things that ever happens is people say nobody ever came to see me I want to the church with 30 years and nobody ever visited me in my home and Anyway visit prospects interest good Bible studies and prepare people about this and teach the children of the church do what be concerned about the children our kids are leaving our churches at drastic rates alarming rates part of it is because we as church members haven't cared about them I know of churches where the older members some of them are deacons and deaconesses actually don't like kids well you know what why would a kid want to come to a church where the people don't like kids. And if you don't have any kids coming to your church you might as well just get the funeral sign put it outside we're having a funeral for the church it'll be in about 5 years but you know come on over we're dying our church. I mean dying it would color your dying is a place so care about the children of the church find ways of nurturing the children of the church including them what was going on you not I This may seem like a stretch and I look back at and say in some ways it is but I'm not sure it is when I was a young man of about 1213 years old the P.A. guys at the church deacons that were functioning back there they got me involved in helping them with the P.A. in the church and I really love doing that I still use that skill in well skill might not be the right word but I still use what I learned in that in pastoral ministry and all of that they got me involved they taught me things they included me OK I was the pastor's kid but they called it treated me a lot different than that especially because I was the pastor's kid and I'll tell you what it we would just do war of including our kids and giving them a job to do and some including their you know bringing them over to the church and having them help you clean the church and doing other kinds of things what a difference it would make That's what I mean by teaching the children of the church it also give you an opportunity to teach them about the Bible along the way it might be a subtle little illustration of what's going on in that particular moment the experience you're having and and how it relates to life and living it is a Christian or it might be a formal Bible study because that young person that is helping you clean the church goes to public school and they've been invited to play on the football team but they play on Sabbath how are you going to minister to that person that's teaching the children of the church. Lead a small group train the youth to be junior deacons in the innocence help parents prepare for their child's dedication you know you've got a family in the church and and the baby is just born you know visit that family maybe develop a strategy of how you can help that family what can we do to minister to you so glad for your new baby and we just have some we have a book or 2 we want to give you that talks about raising children to love Jesus and we want to know if you are struggling with parenting. We want to do all we can to help you and I mean he understand what I'm saying I'm just a thinking broadly about the opportunities for ministry that are here organized retreats and workshops at your local at your local church or maybe take people away and to an area where you can train them not campus of all necessarily but maybe a camping dry or whatever just retreats and workshops that can be used to train and do a number of different things counsel those with problems during deacons and deacons and to lead out in various church activities as appropriate and then when conflicts arise visit those in conflict and help them find solutions to their conflict. I've just got more detail than I had in the other one here some of the items here are giving Bibles to these all we are help with evangelist take meetings and do so willingly probably the best help you can given an evangelist meeting is goal to the evangelist take meetings all I've been doing venue is the meetings for so long I know all of that you know what you know the best witness and you the best Bible study you can give is being in that meeting. I had so many people who are interest at the meetings that I have taught and after they get along for a while they begin to realize this is a 7 them as meeting and they and they go to church on Sabbath morning and they see a 100 people in church on Sabbath morning but at the evangelistic meeting there are 5 and they say what's nervous they don't understand because they catch the vision for what it is and they don't understand why it's not happening care for the needs of the elderly and the crap in the church and the community think about the community you have the opportunity to reach out into that community and begin to minister one of the deacons a deaconesses took it upon themselves to go to the mayor of the town where your church is present and said What is the greatest need you have in for the physical plant of this town and he might say Oh look we've got a park over here we've been trying to clean up in and we just don't have the resupply natural resources deal with the right now but or it has some physical work that needs to be done the children's play equipment needs to be cleaned up and repainted or whatever one of the deacons of the deaconesses got together and went into the community and they did that in that community all of a sudden the community would say Who are those people that 7 them a church has been here for 30 years we didn't know they even existed let alone cared about this place you understand am I being too sarcastic or are not being realistic. Organized preview promote community activism programs and other kinds of things one of our churches pastor and together with the leaders of the Church developed a drug program had a tremendous drug issue going on in their local church in their local community and they helped to deal with that the challenging area to be and so I'm just telling you this church decided to take that on because they cared about their community and dealt with that and their other a community service programs that you can be involved with as well lots of opportunities there during the church services things that you can do obvious communion service every picture going to Deaconess understand that area of responsibility and deal with the baptism of service yes do what you can to make it a special experience for those people organize your church so that the elders the deacons the deaconesses know what their task is going to be you is going to get flowers for the ladies being baptized or or some recognition for the man is being baptized who is going to. Prove you know give them the baptism or certificate don't leave it all over the pastor have sunk on a process that's done that recognizes makes it a special day for that person not just where the person comes in says their valises baptized and goes on something that in the end that accomplishes that when people are baptized and cares about that then don't forget to help the church with the follow up to all of that the discipleship handbook that's an important part of the process are you as a church you are the spiritual leaders are you teaching these new members are you as deacons deaconesses and elders handling this process of developing this with them serving the congregation assuring caring for the offering you know being in Russia is a good thing if your church suddenly is getting full praise the Lord but it's getting so full that people are coming in and they're standing there looking for a seat learn to Usher. Ladies and gentleman learn to us or don't just let people struggle is not enough room to certainly some walk out and go home because they can find a place and help them find a place to say if you've got something like that going on by the way in caring for the offering and then I'm going to stop with this a little bit because I want to make sure you've got any questions you can do you make sure you have a good process for caring for the offering when the offering is collected on Sabbath morning it should be collected and taken back to a place and it should be counted and it should be counted not by one person it should be counted by 2 people never less than 2 usually don't need 3 but 2 people is appropriate they should sign a sheet of paper you should probably have one that's recognizes that they should sign a sheet of people paper both of them recognizing that that is the amount of money was so much cash and if it's in amber envelopes you don't get into those envelopes that you can flip the envelope to know how much is in it not who gave it a that's the way those envelopes are designed so that you can recognize that you're doing that for 2 reasons you're protecting yourselves and counting that money and you're also protecting the treasure because if you don't count that money and that money is handed off to the treasure the Treasurer can take out all the true money they want and nobody will ever know that it was gone they could take $10.00 every week and go away with money just nobody ever know the $10.00 was gone you should be caring for them but you should be counting it for your protection and for there and they should want you to do that anybody who resists that call me call the treasurer of the conference office or whatever will be having to work through that process all right I've talked about a lot of things you have the questions today you've written down here let's talk a little bit about that I broaden your horizons but I haven't covered everything anybody else got questions here on the take your questions deal anymore some of you already asked from the fore and that's perfectly fine so. That's good. Oh yes absolutely. Others is I'm bored does the conference recommend the deacon's deaconesses be screened through online programs like Shield vulnerable by the way the program is no longer she over won't just say you know it's. Something volunteers and I can report it is a gun in my head but. The answer to that I'd have to double check exactly with H.R. and how they process that but I would say this the reason that we screen is because of children all right so if you are as elders India or Dickens and deaconesses elders as well are going to be involved with children you need to be screened. And all deacons enigmas are going to be involved with children but I personally would say After all I've said in the last 2 days I hope you are involved with children wherever that screen was all right and if you're going to be involved with children you need to be screened and so I would encourage you to volunteer for their take it back to your church board and suggest that that's going to happen because people involved with children or whatever need to be screened and if there's any question on that give us a call the thank you that's a really good question and that's an important question. For me. Then they cannot be involved in anything that has to do with your eye because if they refuse it there's usually a reason and it may be as privacy that's fine that's whatever but I don't care what the reason is there refused to be screened and they absolutely cannot have any official responsibilities or an officially get connected with kids that you know about because that would be a problem it's a legal problem for us not to. Verify volunteers that said thank you. Very And that's usually what happens. And I would suggest we're living in a day and age that I was just horrible. When I started in ministerial department about 67 years ago I get about one of these cases a year or less where somebody would call me and we have this issue going on I'm getting that call like once a month now and are there lots of reasons for that part of it is more information more disclosure going on more connection in relationship to that so you need to be alert to that whole situation you need to know what your screening process is that's going on in your church what needs to be done and then you need them if you get in a situation where people are coming to your church say you do not know that you or they have been part of this church be on the alert and think about it before you start somebody starts attending a church don't just putting them into positions and offices find out about these people I don't care how good they are still find out about them and and recognize that and many times there are people that are going from church to church that have this kind of a background how do we get the leader to do something. And ask we only have our community in relationship to community I think I understand that and show as people do the OK alright alright yeah OK I get the let me broaden the scope a little bit one of the challenges you have when it comes to leadership roles and people doing various kinds of things is sometimes people get very territorial of various areas of responsibility and that's why you do training like this and I really appreciate the question because I've kind of touched on it but not directly and so there's a good place to end today and that is that when you're dealing with leadership responsibility it's not about power it's not about authority it's about ministry. Ministry means broadening everybody's perspective getting as many people involved in the mystery as we can the problem is when we as individuals begin to think that this is my only claim to fame or my only. The only thing that makes me feel good is when I get to do this piece of it and allowing somebody else to do that threatens me and makes me feel not important anymore or not valuable anymore there are lots of different reasons that these people will become territorial and will hold off on those kinds of things and churches have to find ways to begin to identify that and when we begin to run into that their number different ways and that is treated as a conflict issue for example and minister to them and sit down and talk to them and one that's one of the things I recommend is Matthew 18 go and talk to them and then try to help them to realize this is a ministry opportunity for them not a guardian they will do better with their ministry if they will share their ministry and allow other people to be involved and they will the church will recognize that in their we value will talk to the pastor about the issues and encourage and as that with a pastor or maybe the head elder strategize about how this is affecting you how it's affecting the church and begin to find a solution to it by sitting down with the person and developing a strategy when you sit down with them try to found out why they do that why they feel that way that's a question they may not have even thought about and then try to help them understand how valuable it is for them to expand their ministry also sometimes that is the only thing they thought they did as a deacon already Inus now it's time to help the longer stand Wojo look at all they can be doing and should be doing don't just limit it just to that I'll end with a quick to go way past time a quick story had a lady she's dead now so I don't feel too bad about telling the story. She had a ministry she started down in the Detroit area is a very valuable ministry. And she'd like to be able to do this ministry and she was just all about the ministry and I tell you what sharing that ministry of anybody else or something she just couldn't do she just had to be in control that ministry and I thought I told her Unfortunately not too long before she died I told her said one day you're going to die and this ministry is not going to be able to go on because you haven't allowed anybody else to be involved if you want this ministry to be connected and to be involved and to be able to help people in the future you need to share this ministry she died the good news is somebody else took over not because she encouraged them and help them because they were willing to get in there and take over even after. We can expand our ministry we do good if we share that ministry us with God's call on us to do so that way to train people and help people hey you're great class appreciated I hope you can come back we'll talk about conflict conflict and theological circles Let's have a prayer just before you walk out the door Father in heaven go with us I pray help us to do the work deacons and they can this is an elders in a way the votes of the name of Jesus now see the church to grow the blessing in the church and thank you in Jesus. This media was brought to you by audio 1st 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 leave a Visit W W W audio verse or.

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