Cornerstone Bible Church Deacon Guidelines Adopted February 5, 2020 

We seek to glorify Christ by leading people to know Jesus, grow into His likeness, and go make Him known to others. Service in the Body and in the greater community has many facets and requires many  hands.  

Three passages in the New Testament help to explain the position of Deacon: Acts 6:1-7, Philippians 1:1,  and 1st Timothy 3:8-12. The Deacons of Cornerstone Bible Church will have specific areas of  responsibility and look to the Elders’ Board for leadership and oversight.  

The general concept of Deacon as a servant of the church is well established in both the Bible and  church history. The Deacon is intended to serve as a model to the local church through the character of  his life as well as through his involvement in ministry. The role of Deacon is not intended to be sought  after for personal honor, but rather it is to be viewed as a call to a greater commitment of service. The  desire and willingness to live the life of a servant is a critical qualification for Deacon selection.  

Paul wrote that the reward for faithfulness in the office of Deacon is that they “obtain for themselves a  good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 3:13). The selfless Deacon may also feel close kinship with his Master, who walked the earth as “One who serves” (Luke 22:27). The  board of Elders has instituted the office of Deacon so that the Elders may devote more of their time to  feeding, leading, and caring for the body of Christ. 

Selection of Deacons 

Elders shall interview prospective Deacons, as well as encourage feedback from the membership as to  the character of the man being brought forward for approval. The Board shall present all new  candidates to the congregation in the bulletin on two consecutive Sundays before they are appointed.  The congregation shall be encouraged to give their support of, or reasons for any concerns about a  candidate during those two weeks. Upon review of the interviews and the congregational feedback, the  board will present those Deacons they have unanimously agreed upon to the congregation for  congregational affirmation and recognize the appointment(s) at a Sunday worship service.  Appointments can be made at any time the Elder Board deems necessary.  

Spiritual Qualifications: 

Acts 6:1-7 (v.1) In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among  them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily  distribution of food. (v. 2) So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be  right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. (v. 3) Brothers, choose  seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this  responsibility over to them (v. 4) and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.” (v.  5) This pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also, Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. (v. 6) They  presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. (v. 7) So the word of  God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests  became obedient to the faith.

  • Full of the Holy Spirit – The word “full” means “covered in every part, thoroughly permeated  with, complete, lacking nothing” concerning God’s Holy Spirit. Deacons are to be completely  dedicated to the presence and guidance of God’s Spirit in their personal life and in their daily  work. 
  • Full of wisdom – The word “wisdom” means the Deacon, because of a relationship to God’s  Spirit, knows how to both choose and act wisely in all matters. Common sense is certainly a part  of the meaning. 
  • Full of faith – This is not specifically stated as a requirement but is inferred from the selection of  Stephen. It means the Deacon should be clear in his understanding of his own faith, and he  should be strong first in its proclamation, and then, if need be, strong in its defense as he carries  out his responsibilities. 

Moral Qualifications 

I Timothy 3:8-12. (v. 8) Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in  much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. (v. 9) They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith  with a clear conscience. (v. 10) They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let  them serve as Deacons. (v. 11) In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not  malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything. (v. 12) A Deacon must be the husband  of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well.  

  • Worthy of respect – The Deacon is to be a person whose moral and spiritual character evokes  esteem from others; a person that is considered honorable or noble. He should be a person that  has a respectful reputation especially in spiritual matters. 
  • Sincere – The Deacon is to be truthful and trustworthy. He should not say one thing to one  person and something different to another. A Deacon’s word must be honest; not a person that  takes part in gossip, tale bearing, idle talking, or slander and does not use manipulative,  insincere, or deceitful speech. He is not a liar. 
  • Not indulging in much wine – For the Deacon, there is to be no abuse or dependence on any  drug – may include the regular use of alcohol even though not getting drunk, if inappropriate  dependence is demonstrated. There should be a demonstrated freedom not to drink. Paul is  prohibiting the abuse of wine or any other substance that could damage a Deacon’s testimony  and make ineffective his Christian witness. 
  • Not pursuing dishonest gain – Not willing to manipulate or resort to illegitimate means for  personal gain, either for money or for recognition, especially in the area of ministry. The person  demonstrates a proper values system, including a willingness to give up money making  opportunities for the sake of the gospel. The Deacon is not to be controlled by a greedy  obsession to obtain all the material possessions he can. 
  • Must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience – The words “keep hold”  speaks of knowing the Word of God and “clear conscience” speaks of doing the Word of God.  This simply means that a Deacon’s life must be consistent with Christian doctrine. The Deacon should believe in sound doctrine and should hold firm to his convictions. His spiritual integrity is  beyond reproach. 
  • Must first be tested – The Deacon must demonstrate his spiritual qualifications before being  elected to serve in the position of Deacon. His daily attitude, speech, and conduct should be  observed for an appropriate period by the Elders of the church. The Deacon should have a  proven ability to do the work of shepherding and service effectively and without any grounds of  accusation. 
  • The husband of one wife – Literally, a “one-woman man”, this means specifically that there is at  most only one wife in the Deacon’s life. It means in principle that the Deacon has his sexuality  resolved and under control. This should not be interpreted to mean that a man must be  married in order to serve as a Deacon or that a man that has been divorced is ineligible to serve  as a Deacon. 
  • Manages his children and household well – The primary application is to married men meaning  that their family life is good. The Deacon should act as a responsible Christian father, husband,  and household manager providing for his family financially, emotionally, and spiritually in an  active ever-present role through example and service. One key measurement when evaluating a  man’s household management is the behavior of his wife and children. Because the home is  often referred as a microcosm of the church, it is imperative a Deacon is able to care for his  family before he can care for the church of God. In the case of the unmarried, it means that they  have close relationships and that those relationships are generally healthy and stable. A pattern  of broken relationships suggests an inability to get along with others (especially his family and  friends) and should disqualify him to serve as a Deacon. 

Qualifications for the Wife of the Deacon 

I Timothy 3:11 – In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers  but temperate and trustworthy in everything. 

  • Worthy of respect – This refers in the same manner as the qualification of the Deacon. The wife  of the Deacon should be truthful and trustworthy. She also should be a person that has a  respectful reputation especially in spiritual matters. 
  • Not a malicious talker – Similar to the Deacon the wife should be forthright in her speech; not  participating in gossip or slander. She should not use manipulative, insincere, or deceitful  speech. He is not a liar. The wife of a Deacon should not be one who is loose with the tongue. 
  • Temperate – This usually refers to someone who is sober-minded and calm. A temperate  person is one who is collected, well composed, and not easily excited. The temperate person is  possessed with balanced judgment. 
  • Trustworthy in everything – The wife of the Deacon must be faithful and reliable in all things.  She needs to be a person that can be depended upon. She must be faithful to her husband, to  her family, to the church, and above all, to Jesus Christ. 

To summarize, then, the qualifications of the Deacon’s wife include holding a serious view of life,  avoiding the spreading of gossip, striving to maintain a balanced sense of judgment, and dependability in every area of life. A wife such as the one described can be a real asset to any man, especially to the  Deacon who has official responsibilities in the church of God. 

Duties of a Deacon 

  • Be a member in good standing of Cornerstone Bible Church and committed to the church’s  Statement of Faith, and the Vision/Purpose Statement 
  • Loyal support of the pastor and the pastoral staff 
  • Faithful attendance at the services of the church 
  • Regular attendance at the meetings of the Board of Deacons 
  • Encouragement of and the participation in the organization and ministries of the church Assist in the ministering of the gospel to believers and unbelievers 
  • Demonstrate Christ-like consecration, loyalty, prayer support, and faithfulness to the church  body 
  • Assist in visiting the sick and needy of the church 

Specific Duties of a Deacon 

A Deacon shall be assigned tasks communicated by the Elders and shall mainly consist of serving the  temporal, physical, and benevolent needs of the body of believers. This may include any area of church  ministry that the Elders find is distracting them from their main calling. Those areas include Sunday  Worship Facility oversight, Enterprise Way Facility and property oversight, Benevolence oversight, and  other service projects as the needs arise. 

Each Deacon will be partnered with an Elder who will meet with him on a monthly basis for  encouragement and prayer. This Elder will give feedback at the monthly Elder meeting as to how the  Deacons can best serve the Elders and be served by the Elders. At the discretion of the Elders, Deacons may be called to a meeting to give a report about their ministry. Each Deacon and associated Elder will  sit down once a year with one other Elder (preferably the Elder Chairman or the Senior Pastor) for the  purpose of prayerful evaluation of the past year.  

The Deacons are encouraged to partner with as many volunteers as possible to complete their tasks.  This will get more people involved and help in raising new leadership for the future. 

Organization and Structure of the Board of Deacons 

The Board of Deacons exists to facilitate and communicate the work of the Deacons. It shall be made up  of all the men appointed by the Elders and affirmed by the congregation for the Deacon role. A  Chairman will be elected at the first meeting after the Annual CBC Membership Meeting by the Deacon Board to serve for a year. Meetings should be held once a month on the first Tuesday at a convenient  time agreed upon. Minutes are to be kept at each meeting and approved by the board at the next  scheduled meeting. These minutes shall be maintained by the chairman and submitted to the  Administrative Assistant for archival storage. 

The Deacon Chairman shall create the agenda for each meeting (sometimes in coordination with the  Elder Chairman.) The Deacon Chairman will be responsible to move through the agenda and include  other members of the board in analysis of agenda items and decision making. He should also plan to be  present at one Elders’ meeting per month to report on the activities of the Deacons. A yearly report of  Deacons’ activities will be prepared by the chairman for the Annual Meeting in February. 

Vice Chairman and Secretary/ Treasurer are also officer positions that may be chosen depending on the  size of the board.  

A Deacon shall serve an indefinite period subject to his character, ability, and availability to serve. If the  time comes when the Elder Board feels a Deacon is no longer fit for the ministry, he may be asked to  step down from the office (requires 2/3 Elders’ Board vote.) A Deacon at his discretion may also step out  of the office for a season of time to attend to other matters. There shall be no limit to the number of  Deacons.