I recently reviewed a job description template for CRC Deacons, which was created by ServiceLink and is found here. The document is meant to serve as a guideline for congregations so that information specific to each church can be inserted where needed.
I decided to take it upon myself to make some small changes to the document, most of which reflect emphases from recent task force reports, such as equipping members for the work of diakonia/service; collaboration with churches and community organizations; and engagement with community members/neighbors.
Let me know if this document has been helpful to you by leaving a comment or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, I would also be interested in hearing about, and perhaps seeing, what kind of description of responsibilities your church provides deacons . . . if any.
Note: If you prefer to view and/or have a pdf version of the updated job description/template, simply go here. – Jack Kooyman
Ministry Job Description: Office of Deacon
Goal of Position
In the office-bearers of the church we see the love of Christ for his people. As the Lord of the church he appoints leaders and by his Spirit equips them so that believers may grow in faith, develop disciplined
Christian living, serve others in selfless love and share with all the good news of salvation. Christ taught us about being servant leaders by his life and words. He once said to those who would follow him, “Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:26‐28 (NLT).
Deacons are chosen to give leadership to diaconal ministry. In this ministry, deacons empower/equip members of their congregation for service (Ephesians 4:12). Additionally, deacons should not be “lone rangers” or the only ones doing diaconal ministry. Instead, they should partner with neighboring churches, neighbors/community residents, Christian ministries and local social/community organizations. Diaconal ministry, to touch people’s lives as Christ’s hands and feet, focuses mainly on the following areas:
- Compassion: Deacons model and demonstrate compassion to those who are hurting with words of hope and actions for encouragement.
- Community Ministry: Deacons model and encourage the congregation to be engaged in community ministry in and with others in their local communities.
- Stewardship: Deacons encourage members of their congregation to be stewards of God’s creation and to practice authentic stewardship with their time, talents, and money.
- Justice: Deacons model and encourage the congregation to be advocates for and with the marginalized and vulnerable people in their own local community.
Your church Executive Council
In both word and deed, deacons demonstrate the care of the Lord himself and serve by showing mercy to the church and all people. Specifically they: (Edit the information below to suit your church)
- Manage church finances (benevolence)
- Prepare weekly collection schedule, strive for a balance of local, international and denominational support
- Inform the congregation about needs within the community and ministries that the local church supports.
- Collect weekly offerings of God’s people (schedules will be made available)
- Count offerings monthly and deposit in bank
- Respond to written requests for support decide on allocation of benevolence funds
- Connect with the Stewardship and Finance Teams to promote stewardship
- Address the physical well-being of church members
- Become aware of people struggling financially within the church community; visit them; assess their needs; and decide how to respond
- Become aware of justice issues within the church
- Advocate for those with disability concern
- Reach out to the local community
- Participate in and support as well as provide for community events
- Support and connect with missionaries (home and abroad)
- Meet with people requesting benevolence funds, assess their needs and determine how to respond
- Become aware of and advocate for justice issues impacting the community
- Work with community agencies/ministries to determine needs and how best to collaborate in addressing those needs
- Special projects
Does your church have special projects done at special times of the year i.e., Christmas? Here is the place to document that information.
The deacons meet on a monthly basis for a two hour meeting, as well as make visits to those in need which is based on availability and giftedness. Additionally, deacons inform the congregation about offerings, collect those offerings on Sundays and do some additional administrative work at home.
- Provide dates and times that the diaconate from your church will meet
- Indicate on average how much time a person would have to commit on a monthly basis
Length of commitment:
Typically two to three years (this may vary from church to church). Some diaconates have positions that are longer or indefinite in nature when continuity is needed.
In order to develop people in their ministry roles, it is vitally important that deacons are provided with training, especially for those new to the position. Provide relevant resources (e.g., Deacon’s Handbook, on-line resources such as The Network’s Deacon page, specific church information, etc), as well as the communication and transferring of attitudes, competencies and knowledge needed for effective ministry.
- In this space provide the training your church will provide and/or make available.
When you accept a call from your congregation to serve as a deacon, you are also accepting this call from God. And so, the form for the ordination of deacons (1982) indicates that those serving in this capacity should be believers who are Christ-like, are mature in faith and exercise their office with prayer, patience and humility. Additionally, serving as a deacon puts you in a leadership role within your congregation, one that should be modeled as that of a servant. The heart of your calling is then to “lead by serving others” in your church and community, as well as to “lead by equipping church members” to serve in the area of mercy ministry.
The church is not just a place of worship and where ministry happens, but also a place of safety and trust. As such, those serving as deacons will be required to provide a current police background check.
Benefits for Deacons:
In your role as deacon you will likely be challenged in many ways, but you’ll also be blessed in abundance. Those who have served in this capacity before testify that you will experience
- Deeper relationships, not only those with whom you serve but also within your congregation
- Growth in your faith, as you journey with people, hear their stories and learn to trust and rely on God to guide your ministry
- God’s kingdom expanding in small and big ways, as you experience how the work of the deacons has touched the lives of others and how God transforms his people
- Comfort in knowing your church is part of God’s solution for building his kingdom. Although you’ll experience challenges along the way, you’ll definitely see God at work
- Affirmation of your gifts as you step out in faith and trust God to guide your path, plus development of skills you never knew you had
- Joy in seeing God at work through the deacon’s ministry
Information in this document was taken and adapted from several sources including: the “Deacon’s handbook” by Lori Wiersma and Connie Kuiper VanDyke; Diaconal Ministries Canada website; Form for the Ordination of Elders and Deacons (1982;) and information from a few Christian Reformed Churches.