Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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Who Will Your Deacon Candidate Be?
by Tom Goodman
May 20, 2010

The deacon body is requesting nominations from our congregation for additional deacons.  As you consider names to submit, you should review the biblical qualifications for deacons as found in 1 Timothy 3:8-13.  Examine three areas of your candidate:

His Character.  Deacons must be self-controlled and mature, especially in three areas: drink ("not addicted to much wine"), money ("not fond of sordid gain"), and speech ("not double-tongued").

His Commitments.  A candidate can be single, but if he's married, he must be a "one-woman man" -- that's one way you could translate verse 12.  He's committed to seeing his own marriage flourish, and he's not flirtatious or suggestive in his interactions with other women.  In regard to their families, "deacons must be... good managers of their children and their own households."

His Convictions.  Candidates must be strong in their hold on the truth, embracing "the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience" (verse 9).

When people look over this list for the first time they say, "Well, that counts me out!"  It is a tall order, isn't it!  But remember, God isn't looking for perfection.  Frankly, those who think they always consistently meet these qualifications are na├»ve at best or filled with pride at worst -- which would make them unqualified for deacon service!

No, this list isn't a description of perfect people but exemplary people.  Your deacon candidate must be someone who honors the Christian message by his life in the church and community.

In addition to these qualities, there are four qualities a candidate should have for our own church process.  Each time our deacon body calls for nominations, they do a fresh study of the Bible and our church context.  In the current nomination process, they feel its best for the unity of our church body that candidates be males, church members for at least six months, tithers, and with no history of divorce.

What will your candidate do if elected as a deacon?  The word "deacon" means "servant," and at Hillcrest he will serve primarily in two areas.  First, he will regularly contact a small number of widows and widowers that will be put in his watchcare.  Second, he will attend a monthly meeting where the deacons discuss with me the spiritual health of the church.

This Sunday, May 23, is the last day to submit names to our candidate process.  I look forward to seeing your recommendations!


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