The office of Deacon was developed in the early church for the purpose of service to others within the group and to allow the ministers to develop more time for study, prayer, and preaching (Acts 6:1- 7). It is the belief of the Deacons at Seventh & James Baptist Church that this call to service continues to be their major call. This commitment is best represented in our giving each new deacon a simple white towel symbolizing the Deacon’s call to service.
With this calling in mind, the deacons have developed a plan of ministry whereby all members of the congregation will have a continuity of contact with the church and in which each member will have available an individual with whom he/she has developed a relationship, to assist in times of need. This plan which we call the Deacon Ministry helps enhance the ministry of service for Deacons and to assure that all members are kept informed concerning activities, ministries, and services of the church.
The purpose of the Deacon Ministry is to provide information and continuing care to members of the congregation of Seventh & James Baptist Church.
The Deacon Ministries:
The level and type of ministry provided to each individual will vary according to his or her needs and the desires. Listed below are some of the ministries of the Deacon body.
Deacon Circle Ministry:
At the heart of the deacon’s responsibilities is our Circle Ministry. Each resident member of our congregation, including active and inactive deacons, is assigned to a deacon who serves as his or her personal minister. In this role, the deacon develops a personal relationship with individuals in order to facilitate communication and assistance. Ministry includes providing support to members and their families during times of crisis, providing hospital visitation or arranging for household needs. The deacon also communicates special needs of members with the church office to facilitate church services and activities as appropriate.
Deacon Circle Ministry Committee:
This committee meets new members and serves as their deacon for their first month of the membership until they are matched with a specific deacon’s ministry. This committee meets weekly to place new members, match members with deacons, and to oversee the circle ministry. They will confer with a deacon before an assignment is made. The new member and the assigned deacon will be notified of the assignment by mail.
Ministry of Church Ordinances:
Deacons serve communion to the church every month or as called by the pastor. The deacons also help with the baptism services, helping the candidates before and after baptism.
Ministry of Hospitality:
Deacons serve as greeters on Sunday mornings, welcoming members and visitors as well as directing them to the appropriate Sunday School classes, helping parents find classrooms for their children, and/or directing them to the church service. At the Wednesday night suppers, appointed Deacons welcome visitors to the evening activities to make them feel at home, help them integrate into the membership by meeting other church members, and make sure the Pastor is aware of their visit.
Ministry of Hospital Visitation:
Designated deacons visit members of the church who are in the hospital to provide spiritual support. A deacon is appointed daily, rotating turns visiting the sick and their families. Deacons also help keep the pastor infored about members' well-being and communicate any concerns or needs to the church staff..
Deacons meet the first Sunday afternoon of every month to discuss and plan for upcoming events, share celebrations and concerns from their Circle Ministry members, and to pray for the church. The entire deacon body meets for a retreat once a year, usually in the fall, to grow spiritually and strengthen their commitment to ministry.
The members of the congregation have a reciprocal responsibility to assist the Deacon Ministry by being responsive to the ministry of care exercised by the deacons, to identify and share with their appointed deacon events of crisis and/or celebration, to respond to calls from the deacons to assist in providing for the needs of fellow church members, and to endeavor to exercise a responsible relationship to the family of faith called together in Seventh & James Baptist Church.