Why do churches have deacons? What is our motivation and purpose in serving? To answer these questions, we must step backwards for a moment into our fallen humanity.
The Bible clearly teaches that we have a sin nature (Rom. 3:10-12; 5:12). This nature predisposes us to be in opposition to all that is good. Our goals and aspirations are to please ourselves as we imagine that we deserve a place of exaltation. Yet, when we accepted Christ by faith, our nature changed from one that rebelled against our Creator to one that is privileged to submit to the one true God. This privilege gives us a freedom and a sure foundation to take part in and receive all grace and blessing from a holy heavenly Father.
The world claims that submission to God is no privilege, but oppression. Yet we concur with Paul as he states, “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13). The second of the two great commands is to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39). Philippians 2:3-4 states, “…but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” As children of God, we are to be servants in the body, to the body, and for the body of Christ. The structure of the church appoints men and women to serve specific needs in the church; these are deacons. Yet every Christian is called to be a servant to God and to the church.
As the Deacon team, it is our great desire that the needs of people who call Grace Church at Willow Valley home be met both physically and spiritually. We want our service to bring peace and security in the very moment of need but we also want it to be a blessing throughout one’s life. Most needs which we as Deacons deal with are those that are tangible but also have a spiritual component that affects this life and points to our eternal home. It may be a hospital visit, providing a meal, financial assistance, physical services, or something else. Whatever we do, we want to see lives change and be eternally affected by our call to serve.
Jesus said, “If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him” (John 12:26). When we serve others in the name of Christ, we are serving God. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31b).