Fellow Servants in the Church
But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. Acts 6:4
There is much to do in ministry. Preach, teach, pray, plan, promote, organize, visit, encourage, make phone calls, send texts and emails, administrate, design, print, clean, build, repair, record radio, post messages and devotionals, read, understand current religious trends, cast vision, staff meetings, deacon meetings, special church training sessions, counseling sessions, develop materials, conduct weddings and funerals, and generally be available to encourage the saints while evangelizing the lost. etc. etc. etc.
Depending on what ministries your local church hosts, there could be many more responsibilities that are connected to the Senior Pastor position in your church. Even the assistant pastors have much responsibilities in their oversight. Like Arron supported Moses and lifted his hands, assistant pastors also make a big difference. Ultimately the pastor will give an account of each ministry decision and direction and he may have his hand in nearly every aspect of ministry to a degree because of that accountability. Speaking of the relationship of the church to its pastor, Hebrews 13:17 states: Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
The pastor is watching for the souls of his people, the sheep in his local pasture field. His ministry in prayer and in the Word are his primary responsibilities. It could be called “leading and feeding.” Like a good shepherd does for his sheep. No matter what needs arise in your life, your pastor will try to assist, help and encourage. But, he cannot be everywhere at once. Only God can do that! The pastor cannot meet every need, but he may be able to point you in the right direction.
The congregation is likened to a flock of sheep who are called to know their shepherd and are directed to follow his leadership. 1 Thessalonians 5:12 teaches: And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you. Do you know your shepherd? Do you know his likes, dislikes, and personal characteristics? Do you know his family or personal needs, and have you asked his thoughts about certain matters? The church is to know and follow the shepherd God gifted them with.
With so much to do and with such a responsibility for both the pastor for leading and feeding, and the church for knowing and following, you can see why the Lord gave additional helpers in ministry. They are called deacons.
The term deacon is defined as “an attendant, or someone who runs errands.” Those who are called to the ministry of pastoring are focused on two main components: Praying and Studying/delivering the Word of God itself. Therefore, the Lord gave deacons, to help with the material matters of the church. They run the errands and conduct much business, supporting the oversight of the pastor. It is the deacons, whose spiritual calling and enabling is to serve the church by freeing the pastors to fulfill their calling. With so much to do, prayer and study can be hindered. With so much needing to be built, repaired, meals delivered, saints cared for in physical ways, fellowships, hospitality, assistance, and more help in other material things, the deacons also have much to do.
During pastor appreciation month, I am thankful, not only for the pastors and servants preaching the Word, but I am also thankful for the deacons, who support the pastor, by serving the church people and looking for ways to minister to their material and physical needs. We are blessed to have fine deacons at WBC. It is a pleasure to serve with them.
Even if you are not a deacon, you are called to serve others. Every Christian should find and fulfill his calling of God to “serve one another.” There are many “one another’s” in Scripture to apply to our relationships at church. Some people are actually “deacons in training” who may fill that role in the future!
So, pastors – thank you.
Deacons – thank you.
Fellow church members – thank you.
Working together with God, we can see the Lord accomplish amazing things in our lives, homes, and church. We are “fellow servants” in the church.