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It’s very important that you read this entire article before coming to a conclusion about my heartfelt understanding concerning leaders. First, I will start by sharing my observations of what the Word of God declares concerning various leaders in the church. An ultimate goal for this fellowship is to operate within the best biblical model by having both elders and deacons. Elders, throughout the scripture, were involved with the spiritual oversight of a local body of believers, which also included decisions regarding the spiritual health and direction of the church. Deacons are those who were actually chosen from within the congregation to serve the fellowship in their daily needs. Those daily needs could be anything from taking care of orphans and widows to maintaining the worship facility. Obviously, our local fellowship currently has a leadership board comprised of deacons only. It has worked effectively, but as we grow, a day will come when we will need to have both an elder board and a deacon board. Our annual business meeting is just a few weeks from today. Briefly, I will share my personal belief (which most pastors and biblical scholars have confirmed aligns with the Word of God) that deacons should primarily be men. Notice with me I said, “primarily should be men.” The biblical mandate is for men to be in leadership, and when godly men do not step up to fill the role of leaders, we will do just as God did throughout the Old and New Testament and appoint women. We will do just as we have in the past. Thanks to Shirley, Linnea, Jo Ann, and Sue who still serves as a deaconess. Part of our ongoing dynamics within this fellowship is the limited number of men who qualify and/or have a desire to serve as a deacon. These thoughts are so important that I want to be very clear to the congregation; my desire would be to have a board that is primarily men but also include qualified godly women who will serve this local group of believers. We need to fill one deacon position at our April 11th Annual Business Meeting. For those who are not aware, we simplified our bylaws a few years ago so they are in alignment with the scriptures yet don’t add to what the scriptures require for individuals to serve as deacons and/or elders in the church. Certainly, there are individuals within the congregation who have personal convictions about certain circumstances which would disqualify an individual from serving. It is vitally important to look at the individuals who are part of our congregation and to choose out from amongst those who have faithfully attended, faithfully supported, faithfully served, and live their lives in accordance with the Word of God. Let it never be said of our local fellowship that someone who qualifies to serve as a deacon cannot serve because of their age, gender, or past behavior that has been forgiven. We all have been forgiven for past sinful behavior that we would not want anyone to consider as part of our current Christian faith. Here is a real-life example; one of the requirements for serving our congregation, according to our bylaws, relates to divorce and remarriage. Ironically, a person like the apostle Paul, who was partly responsible for the murdering of many Christians, ended up serving the same people he had persecuted. There are godly individuals within our congregation who have experienced divorce, and because of the recent change to our bylaws, they are now able to serve. They serve within a limited one-year time frame. Which can be reaffirmed for three years in total by the voting membership. Hopefully, we all believe the brothers and sisters within our local fellowship who want to serve as deacons should have the opportunity to serve, no different from the apostle Paul. Ultimately the members of this congregation must fully support whoever is elected to these positions. Please be praying for clarity for the voting membership regarding this and any other issues we will address next month. Never forget, “Together is Better.”


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