Well, the Summer of 2022 and all its activities are coming to a close and we find ourselves now settling into the month of August. For many, that means back to school, but for us at Saluda Baptist Church, it also means that it is time for us to elect our Deacons for the upcoming term.
The Bible tells us that the root of this office is focused on service. In the Book of Acts it tells us, due to their newfound fellowship with each other and their exclusion from secular society, early Christians lived in close community with one another. (Acts 2:44) These arrangements facilitated the provision of earthly needs in addition to the spiritual discipleship provided by the Apostles and elders. But as the early Church grew, some members of the community were neglected. Greek Jews complained to the Apostles that widows in their families were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. (Acts 6:1) It became clear to the Apostles that they needed some help so they could direct their primary focus to prayer and the ministry of God’s Word.
The Apostles asked the Church to choose seven men to serve as the first group of deacons. The criteria for candidacy was that they be of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit, and wisdom. (Acts 6:3) The Church then selected seven of their own and the men were ordained to the office by the Apostles, who laid hands upon them and prayed. (Acts 6:6) A more detailed criteria for deacons is found in 1st Timothy 3:8-13, where it says:
Likewise, deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless. Likewise, their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things. Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 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.
At Saluda Baptist Church, all men who are active members over 21 years of age are eligible as deacon candidates, unless they have voluntarily removed their names. The names of the eligible candidates were distributed to church members on Sunday, July 24th. The first vote will take place on July 31st to determine a finalist list (top 6 in votes). From that top 6 listing, we will vote on August 7h to determine who the deacons will be for the upcoming 3-year term.
I would ask you to be in Prayer and seek the Lord’s Will when casting your vote. Seek the Lord’s wisdom in determining:
· Is the man you are considering full of the Holy Spirit and visibly a servant of the Lord here at Saluda Baptist Church and in their life?
· Are they faithful to the Lord, to their family, and to Saluda Baptist Church?
· Are these men, the men the Lord is leading you to elect as the Spiritual Leaders, along with Pastor Brandon and I, for Saluda Baptist Church in the upcoming three year term?
May we always seek the Lord’s Will and allow Him to lead us as a Church Body.
Remember, Jesus Loves You And So Do I!