Having established ourselves as an eldership team (for the first time in Chapel’s history as we understand it, there being no official plurality of elders before) we have for some time believed the next best leadership step we could make to further our vision of seeing hundreds of lives transformed would be to appoint deacons.
We began to mention appointing deacons in key messages, such as the Vision Sunday preach on Acts 6:1-7, on 19th April 2020. We prayed over a number of people and have been in conversation with them through the latter part of last year, and into the early part of this year. Gaining their consent, we then sought the approval of our Trustees, another important ‘office’ in our church, which they gladly gave. We then brought the new deacons’ names to our church members, who subsequently voted them in with a resounding 100% affirmation.
We are so blessed that these eight amazing people said yes, and that our church has got behind them in such an overwhelming way. We believe their appointment will make a massive difference to many people’s lives, as we push back the frontiers of darkness in London together. Please continue to pray for them, as we hope to publicly commission them at a service in June/July when we hope restrictions are eased.
Below are some reasons why we made this move, and here is a more detailed paper we shared with our church family.
- Why are deacons needed?
- They’re Biblical, especially as churches grow; it honours God to appoint them.
- Appointing deacons also honours faithful, servant-hearted, gifted individuals in our church; it expresses the elders’ and congregation’s appreciation for their service.
- Appointment empowers these individuals to serve even more effectively; they are given a title, recognition, and affirmation by the elders and the congregation (our often-unspoken support becomes much more visible); and the laying on of hands, the supernatural commissioning and empowerment by the Spirit is not to be underestimated.
- It strengthens diversity.
- It reduces confusion: it shows we adopt all not just some aspects of New Testament church structures.
- It further expands our committed core to have another tier of formally recognised people in leadership; and should therefore extend the impact of the elders’ ministries, reducing the chances of them burning out or being prevented from focusing on their primary callings.