How to Become a Deacon at Grace Bible Church
Deaconship at Grace Bible Church is taken very seriously for a Deacon has
great responsibilities toward God and His Church. He cannot fulfill these unless
he meets the qualifications of both character and giftedness that God has set
forth in the Scriptures. A fully qualified Deacon is a great asset to the
church. An unqualified Deacon can be a danger to her. The Grace Bible Church
policy defining the process of becoming a Deacon is available from the church
office to any church member upon request. The basic steps of the process are
1) A man is saved and begins his walk with Jesus Christ.
2) He grows in maturity through various means (see below) and is recognized
by those in the congregation are meeting the qualifications for a Deacon
specified in 1 Timothy 3:8-10,12-13 (see attached paper). He is then nominated
by a Church Member to be considered by the Elders as a candidate.
3) The Elders evaluate the nominee as to his qualifications and then direct
him accordingly to grow in any areas of deficiency and/or prepare for Deacon
Internship and confirmation as a Deacon.
4) Deacon Intern is presented to Congregation for affirmation.
Means of spiritually maturing.
A) A consistent personal devotional life of Bible study and prayer
B) Involvement in personal discipleship both as one who is being discipled
and as someone who is discipling others.
C) Consistent and humble usage of their spiritual gifts in ministry.
D) Taking advantage of any special classes helpful toward Deacon training
including classes in theology, Biblical books and practical theology. (These
classes are usually operated on a rotating schedule – Hermeneutics; Theology
Overview; Survey of the Bible; Practical Theology; Biblical Eldership &
Deaconship. For those who desire to pursue any of these areas in self study,
please talk with a Pastor, Elder or Deacon to set up a course of self study).
E) Reading of Christian books helpful to a greater understanding of the
Bible, theology and its application to daily life. (A list of suggested books
and resources is attached)
If you are taking advantage of the various means of spiritually maturing as
noted above and are interested in becoming a Deacon, whether in the near or
distant future, then please talk with a Pastor, Elder or Deacon for specific
direction in preparing yourself for this wonderful and important ministry.
Policy on Selecting and Removing Deacons
Revised and Approved – May 16, 2004
A Deacon has great responsibilities toward God and His Church. He can not
fulfill these unless he meets the qualifications of both giftedness and
character that God has set forth in the Scriptures. A fully qualified Deacon is
a great asset to the church. An unqualified deacon is a hindrance and possible
danger to her. The process outlined here is to help determine if a man is
equipped in character and in giftedness to serve as a Deacon. If this is done
correctly, then the church will simply be recognizing a man God has set apart to
this ministry and the church will be blessed. If done incorrectly, then it will
be just people choosing men to be leader-servants and the church will suffer.
It is also recognized that a man that gives all appearance of being qualified
at one point in time may later prove himself unqualified. Therefore this policy
includes a means to remove unqualified men from being Deacons.
Also included is a brief outline of how a man can work toward developing
himself to be a Deacon. It is our belief that though not every Christian man
will have the necessary gifts to be a Deacon, nevertheless, every Christian man
should be developing themselves to meet the spiritual and character
qualifications of being a Deacon.
The process of selecting Deacons will be accomplished in five phases
5) Continuing Reaffirmation
1. NOMINATION TO PROCESS
A. Identified by an Elder or Deacon.
Each existing Elder and Deacon should, as a part of regular ministry,
identify men who desire to be a Deacon and may be qualified. Such men should
be discipled and prepared to be a Deacon. Such an identified individual should
1) In the discipleship process (discipling or being discipled)
2) Involved in church ministry.
3) Ready for simultaneous evaluation and internship
B. Identified by a member of the church.
Members of the church should suggest to the Elders men they recognize that
may meet the qualifications for a Deacon, are doing the work of ministry and
desire to do the work of a Deacon. Such an identified individual should be:
1) Active in a ministry of the church
2) Actively involved in the discipleship process (discipling or being
3) Assigned to an Elder & a Deacon for initial screening and assistance.
C. Approval to proceed in the process
1) A current Elder or Deacon will meet with the nominee and complete an
Initial Self Evaluation Questionnaire with him (see Appendix A). The process
continues only after individual has completed this Initial Evaluation
Questionnaire, given serious consideration and prayer to the matter, and still
desires to proceed.
2) The Elder or Deacon that completes the Initial Evaluation Questionnaire
with the nominee reports their findings to all the Elders. A nominee does not
proceed unless approved by all the Elders. Those turned down at this phase are
to be encouraged to work in the areas of weakness pointed out for possible
D. Assigned Discipling Deacon
Each approved candidate is assigned to an existing Deacon for discipleship,
evaluation and help through the process (i.e. contact, guidance, support,
accountability, modeling, evaluation of home life and reputation in
2. EVALUATION (1-3 months) (Relevant Scriptures: 1 Timothy
A. The Discipling Deacon works with the nominee to prepare
the following documents: (see Appendix B)
1) Testimony of salvation
2) Testimony of current ministries
4) Philosophy of ministry
B. Assigned Discipling Deacon Responsibilities (This
formally begins with nomination approval)
1) Assistance with testimonies and written documents.
2) Spending time to get an accurate picture of family life. The mentoring
Deacon should be able to identify the strengths and weakness in the
candidate’s relationship with his wife and children.
3) Investigation of reputation outside the church. The candidate is to give
a list of references which are to be contacted by an Elder or Deacon. In
addition, neighbors, known friends and co-workers should also be contacted.
(See Appendix C for possible questions for this investigation).
4) Identification of any deficiency or weakness in character, ministry or
doctrine and provide or direct to training classes as needed.
C. Approval by Elders to proceed to an internship
The written materials are to be given to the Elders for review. The
candidate is to be available to the Elders for questioning/clarification of
the written materials. The Elders will decide if the candidate is ready to
proceed to an internship or continue working in areas of weakness based on the
written materials and the report and recommendation of the discipling Deacon.
3. INTERNSHIP (Relevant Scripture: 1 Timothy 3:10)
A. Assigned Deacon continues in discipleship relationship for
accountability and assistance
B. Deacon intern attends all deacon meetings and functions. He may speak to
issues being discussed, but does not have a say in the decisions of the
C. Deacon intern is to continue reading through books (especially in any
areas of weakness) and discussing them with the discipling Deacon. If the
intern has not already worked through either Biblical Eldership or
Deacons: Ministers of Mercy by Alexander Strauch, the intern should do so.
(See Appendix D for a list of recommended books)
D. Deacon intern is to demonstrate his heart for service through
involvement with the Deacons in one or more of their areas of service.
A. Elder Approval. Upon recommendation by the discipling Deacon, the Deacon
Intern will be interviewed by the Elders & Deacons for final approval to
become a Deacon.
B. Congregational Notification. Upon unanimous approval of the Elders, the
Deacon Intern will be presented to the congregation as being ready to become a
Deacon. The congregation will be instructed to go to him if they have any
personal problem with him or information demonstrating that he is not
qualified. They may also come to the Elders with any information that might
demonstrate the candidate is not yet qualified and the Elders will then
investigate. A period of at least one month will be given to the church for
taking such actions.
C. Congregational Affirmation. After at least one month has passed since
the congregation was notified, the Deacon Intern will be presented to the
congregation for affirmation. Affirmation must be by at least 75% of the
Active Voting Members.
D. Installation. After affirmation by the congregation, the Deacon Intern
will be installed as a Deacon by the laying on of hands by the existing
Elders. This will be done as either a special service or part of a regular
Sunday worship service (Acts 6:6).
A. Reaffirmation: Deacons are to be reaffirmed as to their
qualifications each year by the members of the congregation at the Annual
1) If a Deacon receives less than a 95% vote of confidence, he is to be
re-investigated as to his qualifications.
2) A reinvestigation of qualification begins with asking those who gave a
no confidence vote to: 1. Talk with the particular Deacon about the reason(s).
2. Bring the matter before the Elders with the accused Deacon present to
either affirm the accusation of lack of qualification or affirm that the
concern has been resolved.
3) If less than two people come forward to meet with the Elders to bring
formal charges, then the matter is to be dropped.
B. Accusations: Deacons may be subject to accusations at
any time of the year.
1) The accusations must be made by at least two people.
2) Those making the accusations should meet first with the Deacon in
question to express their concerns.
3) If there is no resolution in private or the matter would disqualify the
man from continuing as a Deacon, the matter is to be brought before all the
Elders for investigation.
C. Annual Review.
Each Deacon is subject to annual review by the Elders and other Deacons.
Those found negligent or incompetent to carry out their responsibilities may
be subject to Correction and/or Removal as outlined in paragraphs D & E below.
D. Correction. If a Deacon is accused, as in A or B above,
the matter is to be investigated.
1) The Elders are to investigate all relevant facts including interviewing
additional people to determine the truth or falsity of the accusations.
2) If the accusations are determined to be false, those making the false
accusations are to be rebuked with church discipline carried out if there is
3) If the accusations are determined to be true, the Elders are to
determine if it is a matter of disqualification from being a Deacon or a
matter of correction.
a) Disqualification would be for no longer meeting the qualifications of
1 Timothy 3:8-13, or serious negligence of responsibilities, or no longer
holding to the Statement of Faith of Grace Bible Church
b) Correction would be for misunderstandings, errors of judgment, minor
matters that do not demonstrate a failed character, etc.
4) A Deacon that is corrected is to receive it with all humility and
demonstrate the fruit of repentance.
E. Removal. A Deacon that is found to be disqualified is be removed from
being a Deacon.
1) A Deacon that in humility recognizes his failure may resign by publicly
stating he is no longer qualified and wishes to work on the areas of failure.
He is eligible to be renominated at a later time after the area of failure is
2) A Deacon that continues in sin or refuses the correction given to him is
to be rebuked before the congregation and removed from being a Deacon.
3) A Deacon may be removed by unanimous consensus of the Elders and/or by
failure to receive a minimum 75% vote of affirmation of the active members
present at a Regular or Special Church Business Meeting
4) If his sin continues, the former Deacon is to have the final step of
church discipline, disfellowship, carried out against him.
Appendix A – Initial Evaluation
Directions for the Discipling Deacon: Arrange to meet with the Deacon nominee
and work through this Evaluation Questionnaire with him. Be sure to congratulate
him on the nomination to the process of becoming a Deacon, for that in itself is
an honor and says that his spiritual maturity is beginning to be noticed.
Whether he believes himself to be qualified or is able to complete this process
or not, it should be an encouragement to be recognized for maturity that is
above other Christian men in the church. You may also want to give him a copy of
the handout sheets on the Church Officer
Qualifications – DEACONS (see below) so that he will have a chance to
review them and consider them carefully before he meets with you.
This Questionnaire is simply a way to initially screen the individual as to
how well he currently meets the Scriptural qualifications for a Deacon. If in
your evaluation you find that there are areas of serous weakness that need to be
worked on before he can continue in this process, point those out along with a
plan as how he can strengthen or overcome them so that he might be fully
qualified in the future. Be encouraging! If there are minor weaknesses, you may
work with him in those areas until he is qualified. If there are no serious
deficiencies, you may recommend him to the Elders and he can move forward to the
next step of the process.
1. Would you like to serve the Lord by doing the work of a Deacon?
2. How long have you been a Christian? (1 Tim. 3:10)
How would you rate your Christian maturity? (1 Tim. 3:10)
Babe Adolescent Young Man Middle Age Mature Senior Saint
3. Is there anything in your life that would cast doubt on your character if
it were known? Those that live godly lives will be slandered (Matt 5:11); is
there anything you could be accused of that could be backed up by evidence? (1
4. If the people you work with, or if your neighbors were contacted, what
would they say about you? (1 Tim. 3:10)
5. What is your behavior like in social settings? (1 Tim. 3:8,10)
6. What are your three main goals in life?
What are your financial goals? (1 Tim. 3:8)
Are you content with your present situation of life? If
not, what would need to be changed to help you be content? (Phil. 4:11,12)
7. Do you ever lose your temper? If so, what causes it? (1 Tim. 3:8,10)
Is there anyone you resent or hold a grudge against?
8. How do you get along with others? (1 Tim. 3:8)
9. What is your view on the use of alcoholic beverages?
Do you partake of alcoholic beverages? Other drugs? (1
10. Do you gossip? i.e. talking about others behind their backs, saying
things that are unnecessary, talking to others about someone else’s problem
without talking with them first, etc. (Eph. 4:29)
11. Describe your personal walk with the Lord? (1 Tim. 3:9)
Do you have a plan to regularly read/study the Bible?
Do you have a plan to spend consistent time in prayer &
12. Describe what you like to do in your free time? (1 Tim. 3:10).
13. Describe your relationship with your wife? (1 Tim. 3:12)
How would your wife describe your relationship with her?
Are you attracted to any woman other than your wife?
If you are single, describe your dating life?
14. Describe your home life? (1 Tim. 3:12)
Are you in debt? If so, to what degree?
Excluding your home loan, you can get out of debt in: >1yr
1-2yr 3-5yr 5-10yr 10+ never!
Have you ever declared bankruptcy? If so how long ago?
Have you tried to make restitution?
Do you have a good credit rating? (1 Tim. 3:8)
15. Describe your relationship with your children? (1 Tim. 3:12)
Describe the spiritual condition of your children?
Describe how you are trying to raise them in the nature
and admonition of the Lord?
16. Is there anything that has not been covered that might disqualify you
from being a Deacon?
17. How would you explain the gospel to someone in order to lead them to
18. What is your own testimony of salvation?
19. Can you explain/define the following doctrines in the church’s Statement
of Faith & tell why they are important? (1 Tim. 3:9)
The Holy Scriptures
Verbal, plenary inspiration; Inerrancy; Infallibility
The True God – His attributes & Triune Nature
God The Father
God the Son
Virgin Birth; Substitutionary Atonement; Physical
God the Holy Spirit
His ministry; Baptism in the Holy Spirit; The Trinity
The Creation & Fall of Man
The Grace of God
Salvation by Grace through Faith; Justification;
The Security of the Believer
The Rapture (The second coming of Christ)
Israel (God’s plan for)
The Righteous & The Wicked
The Resurrection (Heaven & Hell)
20. Are you in full agreement without reservation with the Statement of Faith
of Grace Bible Church?
21. Do you have any questions or reservations about the By-Laws of Grace
Can you explain how Grace Bible Church functions/operates
to someone else?
Church Officer Qualifications – Deacons
Deacon means "table waiter." They are servants of the church.
Deacons were charged by the Apostles to help with the temporal affairs of the
church (Acts 6:1-6). In practical terms they assist the Elders as directed. They
must meet certain spiritual qualifications.
Acts 6:3 "But select from among you, brethren, seven men of good
reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this
1 Timothy 3:8-10,12-13 8"Deacons likewise must be men of
dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain,
9but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.
10And let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons
if they are beyond reproach. 12Let deacons be husbands of one wife,
and good managers of their children and their own households. 13For
those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and
great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus."
Deacons are to be:
1. MEN OF DIGNITY – v.8
A deacon is to be a grave, serious minded, steady, solid individual. He
behaves in an honorable manner.
2. NOT DOUBLE-TONGUED – v.8
A deacon does not say one thing to one person and something else to
another. He is not malicious gossips. They are consistent and righteous in
what they say.
3. NOT ADDICTED TO MUCH WINE – v.8
A deacon does not abuse alcohol (or any drug). He is noted for his
4. NOT FOND OF SORDID GAIN – v.8
A deacon does not in love with material wealth. His goals in life are not
5. HOLDING TO THE MYSTERY OF THE FAITH WITH A CLEAR CONSCIENCE – v.9
A deacon has solid convictions based on an understanding of Biblical
doctrine. His conscience is clear because he lives according to those
6. LET THESE ALSO FIRST BE TESTED; THEN LET THEM SERVE AS DEACONS – v.10
A deacon is not a new believer, but one who has been tested and has proven
himself to be faithful in serving. In a real sense a man must do the work of a
deacon before being recognized as a deacon.
7. IF THEY ARE BEYOND REPROACH – v.10
A deacon’s life is beyond reproach. He lives in such away that he will not
be accused of wrong-doing, and if accused there will be no evidence to support
8. LET DEACONS BE HUSBANDS OF ONE WIFE – v.12
A deacon is a one woman man. He is completely devoted to only one woman –
his wife. If he is single, he does not "play the field," but explores one
relationship at a time.
9. GOOD MANAGERS OF THEIR CHILDREN AND THEIR OWN HOUSEHOLDS – v.12
A deacon must demonstrate his ability to manage his children and household.
He makes provision for those over whom he has responsibility and leads them
righteously. He keeps the family in order though application of Biblically
Appendix B – Written Evaluation
1. Please write out your testimony of salvation.
2. Please describe the ministries you have been involved in past and present
and what results you have seen from those ministries. Please also explain what
spiritual gifts you believe you may have and how God has used them.
3. Please write out a brief statement of what you believe concerning each of
the following areas:
God the Father
God the Son, Jesus Christ
The Holy Spirit
Satan & Demons
The Nature of Man
The Nature of the Church
God’s plan for the future of mankind and the earth.
4. Please describe your general philosophy of ministry in the following
A. What is the mission of the church and how is it to be
B. What are the ministries of the church and how should
each area be carried out?
C. How should the church be structured? How should the
church be directed/managed in order to carry out its mission and ministries?
Appendix C – Possible Questions for References
For use when contacting a reference, neighbor, co-worker, etc. Explain who
you are and the reason for your call. Inform that the candidate is being
considered for a position of leadership in their church and ask if they would
mind answering a few questions about the candidate.
Name of Candidate
Name of person being interviewed
"Your relationship to the candidate?"
"How long have you known the candidate?"
"Did you know the candidate is a professing Christian?"
"Did you know he is a member of Grace Bible Church?"
"Has the candidate ever talked with you about Jesus Christ?"
"Which of the following words would fit the candidate in your opinion?"
Withdrawn Outgoing Reserved
Respectable Inappropriate Honorable
Would you consider the candidate a good / fair / mediocre / poor / bad
neighbor/co-worker/etc. (according to relationship)?
Describe the candidate’s relationship with his wife?
Does he respect her? Does she respect him?
Is he committed to her alone or does he have an eye for
Describe the candidate’s relationship with his children?
Is he involved with them? Do they respect him? Do they
Do you like / tolerate / dislike having his children
Appendix D – Recommended Reading & Resources
Bible Survey / General Commentaries
Talk Thru the Bible, Bruce Wilkinson & Kenneth Boa.
Thomas Nelson, 1993
The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Old Testament, John f.
Walvoord & Roy B. Zuck, ed. Victor Books, 1985.
The Bible Knowledge Commentary, New Testament, John
f. Walvoord & Roy B. Zuck, ed. Victor Books, 1983.
Bible Backgrounds / Customs
Manners & Customs in the Bible, Victor H. Matthews.
Hendrickson Publishers, 1988.
Sketches of Jewish Social Life, Alfred Edersheim.
Eerdmans Publishing, 1979.
How to Study the Bible
First Hand Joy, Rick Yohn. NavPress, 1982.
Studying, Interpreting, and Applying the Bible,
Walter Henrichsen & Gayle Jackson. Zondervan Publishing, 1990.
Practical Christian Theology, Floyd H. Barackman. Kregel Publications,
God the Father
The Knowledge of the Holy, A. W. Tozer. Harper &
Row Publishers, 1961
Knowing God, J.I. Packer. InterVarsity Press, 1973
God the Son, Jesus Christ – see Salvation
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit & His Gifts, J. Oswald Sanders.
Lamplighter Books, 1970.
Angels / Demons / Satan
Angels: Elect & Evil, C. Fred Dickason. Moody
Unmasking Satan, Richard Mayhue. Victor Books, 1988
Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, Thomas
Brooks. Banner of Truth Trust, 1652/1984.
The Gospel According to Jesus, John F, MacArthur.
Faith Works: The Gospel According to the Apostles,
John F. MacArthur. Word Publishing, 1993.
Evangelism & the Sovereignty of God, J.I. Packer.
The Nature of the Church
The Church; The Body of Christ, John F. MacArthur,
Jr. Zondervan, 1973
Biblical Eldership, Alexander Strauch. Lewis & Roth
God’s Plan for the Future
The Meaning of the Millennium, Robert G. Clouse,
ed. IVP, 1977
The Rapture: Pre, Mid, or Post-Tribulational, Richard
Reiter, ed. Zondervan, 1984
Evidence That Demands a Verdict, Josh McDowell.
Campus Crusade for Christ, 1972
God Doesn’t Believe in Atheists, Ray Comfort.
Bridge Publishing, 1993
Scientific Creationism, Henry Morris. Creation-Life
Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis, Barbour & Co., (The
Christian Library), 1952
The Kingdom of the Cults, Walter Martin. Bethany
House Publishers, 1965/1997
Ministry & Church Issues
Jesus Christ Disciple Maker, Bill Hull. Fleming H.
Competent to Counsel, Jay Adams. Zondervan
Charismatic Chaos, John F. MacArthur Jr., Zondervan
Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage in the Bible, Jay
Adams. Zondervan, 1980
Abortion: Whatever Happened to the Human Race,
Francis A. Shaeffer & C. Everett Koop. Flemming H. Revell Company, 1979
Pornography: The Mind Polluters, Jerry R. Kirk.
Thomas Nelson, 1985
Welfare: The Tragedy of American Compassion, Marvin
Olasky. Regnery Publishing, 1992
Homosexuality: The Crises of Homosexuality, J.
Isamu Yamamoto, ed., Victor Books, 1990
Devotional / Inspirational / Discipleship Tools
One-to-One Discipleship, Al & Lorraine Broom.
Multiplication Ministries, 1983
The Pursuit of Holiness, Jerry Bridges. NavPress
Tender Warrior, Stu Webber. Multnomah Books, 1993
Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life,
Donald S. Whitney. NavPress, 1991