Relationships – The Barnabas Factor (Aubrey Johnson)
Presentation Skills - The Exceptional Presenter (Tim Koegel)
Preaching – Preaching: Principles and Practice (Tom Holland)
Leadership– The Five Secrets of Becoming a Leader (Nelson and Toler)
Marriage - The Five Love Languages (Gary Chapman)
Parenting - Boundaries with Kids (Cloud and Townsend)
Spiritual Formation – Renewing Your Spiritual Life (Aubrey Johnson)
Bible Passages to Memorize
The Beatitudes – Matthew 5.3-10
The Fruit of the Spirit – Galatians 5.22-23
The Armor of God – Ephesians 6.10-18
The Love Chapter – 1 Corinthians 13.1-13
The Christian Virtues – 2 Peter 1.5-9
The Ten Commandments – Exodus 20.1-17
A Deacon’s First 90 Days
Experienced deacons can also use these ideas to renew their ministries.
Make a close friend of at least one fellow deacon you can learn from and lean on. Or better yet, make it two: an old gray fox and a young Jonathan.
Spend time outside of the church building with the elder that supervises your ministry. Investing in relational chemistry will pay in friendship as well as productivity.
Assure your wife she still comes first and make sure your new responsibilities don’t come at the expense of her needs.
Once a month, provide your overseeing elder with an email update on your activity. Keep it sweet and simple until you learn how much information he likes. And when you see him in person, ask how he is doing and see if he needs any help.
Be an exemplary church member in your morals, attendance, involvement, and giving. Remember, you are a role model first and a manager second. To lead well you must lead yourself well.
Doing more without praying more is a losing proposition. Increase your time in prayer by at least 10%. To bear a heavier load on earth you will need help from heaven above.
Recruit a team to provide you with ideas, manpower, encouragement, and accountability.
Keep your promises and make dependability your reputation. Do the right thing, in the right way, at the right time.
Once a week during your first 90 days, ask a different elder, deacon, minister, or secretary, “How can I start off on the right foot as a deacon in this congregation?” Follow with, “If you could give me one warning, what would it be?”
At the end of 90 days, ask each elder, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how am I doing so far?” Follow with, “What would it take for me to rate a 10?”
1 Timothy 3:8-13 in Five Translations
8 Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, 9 holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. 10 But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless. 11 Likewise, their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 13 For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus. (New King James Version)
8Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; 9Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. 10And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. 11Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. 12Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 13For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus. (King James Version)
8Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. 9They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. 10They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons. 11In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything. 12A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well. 13Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus. (New International Version)
8Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain, 9but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10These men must also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach. 11Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things. 12Deacons must be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households. 13For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus. (New American Standard)
8 Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. 9They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. 11 Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. 12Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. 13For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus. (English Standard Version)
What Does the Church Expect from Its Deacons?
Make an acrostic describing attributes and behaviors church members expect from their deacons.
Qualifications of Deacons
Not given to much wine
Not greedy for money
Holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience
Husband of one wife
Ruling their children
Ruling their houses well
Qualifications of Deacons’ Wives
Faithful in all things
1. Write a synonym or paraphrase for each requirement
2. Rank yourself from 1 to 10 in each area (1 being highest)
3. Pick an area to work on and make a plan for improvement
4. How will you be more effective if you improve 5% in this area?
My Project Worksheet
What is my objective and what will success look like?
How and when will my role be communicated to the church?
What are the benefits of success and the costs of failure?
What is my starting date?
What is my target completion date?
What resources are available?
Other existing resources
How do I obtain funds or acquire approval?
Who am I trying to satisfy and when, where, and how should I report? Where will I keep my log?
What is my execution plan?
How will I form and lead my team?
What skills, knowledge, experiences, or attitudes are needed for success?
How will I recruit team members and solidify their commitment?
How will I train and empower them?
How will I motivate and encourage them?
What large goals and small steps must be accomplished and in what sequence?
How will I attain and coordinate resources?
What risks or difficulties might I face and what are my contingency plans?
How do I properly conclude my responsibility for this project?
What do I need to complete, handoff, clean up, return, resupply, or communicate?
When will I complete and submit a concluding project summary report?
When, where, and how will our team celebrate our success?
We would like you to join us for a celebration of our success (when, where?)
We thank you for the honor of serving the church and we earnestly solicit your feedback on ways we can improve to serve you better. Please call on us again when we may be of assistance.
Ideas for the Deacon of the Month
Prepare an informative email for your fellow deacons and cc the elders and church staff. Send it to the church secretary and have her edit and distribute it to the group. The email should come out on the Monday prior to the beginning of the new month (timeliness is critical). Throughout the month, use your example and encouragement to inspire the men to fulfill the responsibilities of their high calling.
Review the upcoming month’s activities on the church calendar and remind the others of events that could be supported by the group. Suggest ways to be helpful to the church and the elders.
Ask each deacon if he would like to request assistance from the group (ideas, manpower, moral support). Also, consult the church secretary to identify special needs that could use support from the deacons.
List prayer concerns with a special emphasis on the needs of individuals and families within the leadership team.
Include a Bible verse, inspirational quote, story, or anecdote relevant to the work of deacons.
Review one of the qualifications of a deacon and share your personal reflections.
Include an excerpt from a book or article on the work of deacons.
Share an idea on leadership development.
Recommend or review a book that would benefit deacons.
Motivate the group to make self-preparation for greater service in God’s kingdom (e.g. taking steps to become elder-qualified).
Close with commendations for those who have served well.
How to Promote an Event
Ways to Get the Word Out
Bulletins (when possible, make it a display ad rather than just text)
Bulletin inserts (these reminders can be taken home and posted on refrigerators)
PowerPoint announcements (simple and striking)
Pulpit announcements (do it yourself or write it out the way you want it)
Communicate through various ministries (classes, care teams, ladies’ ministry, etc.)
Bulletin boards and banners
Sign-up lists (ask friends to sign up early to encourage others)
Free-standing signs (use a tripod; you have to notice it as you walk around it)
Table top display boards (use lights to draw attention)
Flyers (place at entryways, water fountains, rest rooms, and hand them out)
Greet people before or after service and ask if they will be attending (“Are you going to be able to make it Saturday? It’s going to be a great day.”)
Email (use stand-alone emails in addition to listing it among upcoming events)
Direct mail (postcards or letters)
Phone calls and text messaging
Website (email the link)
More Suggestions for Promoting Events
Check with the elders, ministers, and office to avoid conflicts
Build a team; you don’t have to do this all yourself
Imagine you just died and are standing in line before God’s judgment throne (close your eyes for a minute, take a deep breath, and envision yourself there).
Suddenly, you notice another line and inquire why there are two. You discover that your line is just for church leaders.
Finally, your turn comes to stand face-to-face with God. He looks deep into your eyes and asks one question: “Are you completely satisfied with the job you did as a leader?”
Circle one: Yes No
If your answer was, ‘No,’ explain why your leadership was not a total success?
The main reason I was not entirely successful was because…
Another reason I was not entirely successful was because…
A final reason I was not entirely successful was because…
Now turn your regrets into resolve by rewriting them as accomplished goals.
I am very successful because I…
Another reason I am successful is because I…
A third reason I am successful is because I…
The Lord asks, “How badly would you like these statements to be true?” How do you respond?
God replies, “If I gave you another opportunity, would you commit yourself body and soul to fulfilling these goals?”
Circle one: Yes No
The Lord tells you He is sending you back to earth so you can fulfill your desire to be a better servant-leader for His church. He urges you not to settle for less than your best.
Suddenly, you awake and find yourself back at this seminar.
Today, God has given you more life, breaths, and days to glorify and serve Him as a leader:
Silently offer a prayer of thanks for this magnificent privilege.
Ask Him to help you honor your promise to commit yourself body and soul to becoming a better leader for His kingdom.
Decide on a place you will post your goals so that you will see them on a daily basis.
Go back and write a list of action steps to make each goal a reality.
Circle one step you will take today to improve your leadership.
As you begin to make the changes that are necessary to fulfill your goals, remember that Satan will do anything to deter you from your purpose. He will try to discourage you in two ways:
Stirring negative emotions such as gloom, fear, or anger.
Activating limiting beliefs such as
“Who am I kidding; I am no leader.”
“I am not young/old/smart/strong enough for such an important job.”
When these thoughts arise, be ready for them. They are indications that real change is taking place. Why else would Satan work so hard to dishearten you?
The devil wants to shift your attention away from God’s power to make you the outstanding leader you are capable of becoming. Remember, you are guaranteed success if you focus on God’s strength rather than your weakness and doubts.
Memorize these passages and repeat them next time Satan attacks your faith:
Philippians 4.13 – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Philippians 2.13 – “[F]or it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”
Ephesians 3.20-21 – “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
Ten Warnings for Deacons
Do not be naïve.
No congregation or leader is perfect. Get over it and get on with it.
Do not be drawn into someone else’s discontent.
People will try to recruit you. Be loyal.
Do not subscribe to, “It’s easier to get forgiveness than permission.”
It is not cute or honorable. When in doubt, don’t.
Do not demand your own way.
You are a servant so put harmony above methodology.
Do not make promises lightly.
Do what you say you will do. It is that simple.
Do not read minds.
Ask how you are doing, what you are missing, and how you can help.
Do not wait on someone else to get started.
Take the initiative and make things happen.
Do not be overly sensitive.
Be approachable, flexible, and correctable.
Do not hide it when you are struggling.
Ask for help from your elders, ministers, and fellow deacons.
Do not be timid or indirect.
Speak up when it counts if you have ideas or concerns.
Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ
and stewards of the mysteries of God.
—1 Corinthians 4.1
For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more
—1 Corinthians 9.19
And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient
Whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.