The Course


The tradition of the deacon goes back to the New Testament Church when “men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and wisdom” were selected to assist the Apostles in the spiritual oversight of new converts and in the care of the needy. Paul refers to these as deacons, elders, and overseers, and emphasizes the high standards required of them.

What are Deacons?

Deacons are men while deaconesses are women who are elected by the church to assist the pastor in helping the church to envision and achieve its spiritual possibilities. The specific functions and methods by which these objectives may be realized are determined by the usefulness of its deacons and deaconesses. They are Men or women who are church members in good standing and whose character and abilities are in harmony with the dignity and importance of these offices. Paul lists their qualifications as “Self-control, temperate, blameless, hospitable, conciliatory, managers and not lovers of money.”

Most church rolls are loaded with too many indifferent, inactive, and inefficient members. These greatly limit the power and effectiveness of the church. The pastor needs the help of his deacons and deaconesses

Duties of the Deacon and Deaconess

The ministry to which a person is called when he or she becomes a deacon or deaconess includes the following duties:

  1. Greeting and ushering. Especially in smaller congregations, the deacon and deaconess will serve as greeters and ushers for the services held in the church. They will also help the pastor and other event leaders maintain the smooth operation of church meetings.
  2. Upkeep of church property. They will take responsibility for the care and upkeep of church property, including the oversight or actual doing of the janitorial work, repairs, grounds maintenance, interior decorating, and small renovations.
  3. Security. They will care for the security of those in attendance at church activities, always vigilant for the comfort and safety of all persons. This includes opening the church building(s) before meetings and locking the facility at the conclusion of activities.
  4. Visitation. They will join with the pastor and elders in visiting church members. Some churches assign a geographic area or a certain number of members for deacons and deaconesses in teams of two or three to visit.
  5. Assisting with the baptismal ceremony. The traditional roles for this service are described below.