Summary: Ordination message for a Deacon at Bethlehem Baptist Church.
Deacon Ordination - Chad Dopson
January 13, 2008
(Have Lisa come up to the pulpit with me.)
This morning is a very special morning in the life of Chad and Michelle, and for our church. Today Chad takes a tremendous step in the ministry to His Lord by becoming a Deacon here at Bethlehem Baptist Church; and today we honor that commitment with a service which sets him apart.
I would like to ask our clerk to read the nomination of the church. (Lisa reads)
Based on the unanimous nomination of the church, I would like to present a short message FOR Chad, and ask that the rest of the church listen so that they may help hold him accountable to the tasks of a Deacon.
Being a Deacon means that Chad enters the leadership of our church, and I would like to pass onto him four responsibilities that are expected of Deacons.
First, deacons are to be care-takers (1 Peter 5:1-4).
1 Peter 5:1-4 says "To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed. Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers; not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away."
Deacons are caretakers in the church, as God has ordained it. Although they are not the pastor, they are responsible for the membership and the care of those who attend our church. As a deacon, you will be expected to care for the members here, not only on Sunday and Wednesday but on all days.
When you care for someone, you are demonstrating the life of Jesus Christ. You are being available for them and they need to see that in you. Each human being is simply looking for someone to show us compassion and love, and most importantly commitment; and as a faithful man you have taken that step this morning to say even without words, "I am here, and I am available to you."
By setting the example of care others will follow -- always remember that.
Second, deacons are to prayer warriors (James 5:14-16).
James 5:14 says "Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord."
Since the beginning of the Church, elders have had to meet specific qualifications in order to serve. They have lived their lives upright and godly and therefore the sin in their lives is confessed regularly; therefore, they are clean before the Lord and able to pray for the sick.
Let’s continue on in James 5 (15-16) and ponder on your heart what it says that you are responsible for: (KJV) "And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
NIV v16 says: "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."
In order to have your prayers be effective, you need to be clean before the Lord; and that amplifies having a right relationship with Him. No one should ever say that they are sinless (for that is impossible), but if your sins are confessed to the Lord, it means your relationship with Him will be upright, and thus you can pray for others effectively.
The key to a strong ministry is prayer -- NEVER allow your prayer life to suffer for anything that may come your way. Live your life with God first, always.
Third, deacons are to be peacemakers in the church (Acts 15:1-2).
Acts 15:1-2 demonstrates this example perfectly. It says, "Some men came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the brothers: "Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved." This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question."
I read this as saying two things to the deacon of the church:
1) When your Spirit disagrees with what is being taught, it should be questioned in a way that will lead you to stand firm on your faith -- and know what you believe. Paul and Barnabas (aka "the encourager") were sent to discuss this matter because they knew it to be false doctrine.