Over the last 8+ years our church has learned a lot. One of the many areas of growth has been in regard to God’s design for church governance. As we have learned, we have tried our best to implement what we have learned. This resulted in a multi-year process of rewriting our constitution. We presented that new constitution to our congregation in 2015 and it was passed with 98% approval. We are thankful even as we are still learning.
Why am I talking about our constitution? Well, the Bible presents two “offices” in the local church: pastors/elders and deacons. Our constitution gives clear guidelines for both offices (articles 4.2 and 4.3). After we approved our new constitution, we joyfully transitioned to and appointed elders to fulfill the biblical call of leading, feeding, caring, protecting and praying for our church. Those men are Ryan Kolle (non-staff elder), Dave Lamb (non-staff elder), Ben Whipple (staff elder) and myself (Matt Herron, staff elder). Please pray for us as we work to love and serve this growing congregation.
As the growth has continued, it has become clear to us (the elders) that in 2018 we need to give greater attention to the office of deacon.
What is a deacon? The term “deacon” generally refers to the duty of serving others. The same term more technically refers to the office of the men and women who serve the people of God in a local church. Deacons are responsible for serving the church by assisting the elders in meeting the practical needs of the church and guarding the unity of the body. Deacons must be members of Sojourn and meet the qualifications outlined in Scripture (1 Tim. 3:8-13, Acts 6:1-7). They must possess a servant’s attitude and be willing, able, and available to assist the elders.
Our desire is to, in addition to our current deacons, appoint an additional 8 deacons and empower them to model servant-hearted leadership in these specific areas of ministry:
1. Benevolence – receive, contact, evaluate and assist those in financial need
2. Building Maintenance – ongoing general building maintenance; communication w/ Leighton regarding YMCA
3. Events – organize and oversee parties, special events, membership classes, etc.
4. Finance – oversee and participate in the financial procedures at Sojourn
5. Mercy – coordinate Mercy efforts and support local partnerships
6. Ordinances – coordinate and assist with weekly communion and baptisms
7. Outdoor Maintenance – lawn care/landscaping/sprinklers; communication w/ Leighton regarding YMCA
8. Corporate Prayer – coordinate and assist with days of fasting, group prayer times and Sunday Prayer Teams
Each deacon role falls under the oversight of of either an elder or a staff member. Our prayer is that this relationship will serve as an effective way to inform, empower and support each deacon.
We have a Members Meeting this Sunday night (February 11 at 6 PM). At that meeting we will provide an opportunity for you to recommend Sojourn members to fill these various roles. The elders will then prayerfully consider the submitted names. In the weeks after we will work to fill those roles with the goal of having a deacon commissioning service on Sunday, March 11th.
Would you prayerfully consider which Sojourn members could fill these roles? We would be thankful for your help.