John is a young man who responds to the call of God. The excitement of finally surrendering to the Lord’s will for his life is beyond containment. He spends years preparing and submitting to training for the work ahead and he can hardly wait for his release to reach people for Jesus and bring life to a local church.
He finally becomes the pastor of a church and he is ready to bring changes and life into a stale or nominal American church. He sees opportunities in the community and limitless potential to impact people with the truth of the gospel. He pitches his vision to the deacon board with all the surety given to him by the Holy Spirit. They listen with suspicious looks and granite flexibility. After much discussion and warnings of moving too fast and too extreme, the pastor’s vision is lost in an endless parade of excuses and small minded thinking.
Time and time again, the scenario above is played out until John finally becomes ‘deaconized.’ Church after church, he experiences the same thing. He may last 5 years or 10 years but eventually John realizes the situation is hopeless. He makes the second hardest decision of his life…he resigns from ministry and leaves for the secular world.
This story happens frequently. Men called by God are forced out of the ministry at an alarming rate by a class of men who usurp the biblical authority within a church. They ‘deaconize’ the pastor. That captures it perfectly. It should never exist because it is foreign to the NT model of church polity.
Pastors, you are needed! Come back into ministry and fulfill your divine purpose. Accept nothing less than the biblical pattern concerning spiritual leadership in NT church and you’ll never be deaconized again. If the churches you minister in will not adopt the NT model of church government, become a church planter and do it right. That pattern involves:
- Elders/Bishops have the oversight of the local church – (1Tim. 3:4; Acts 20:28; 1Pet. 5:1-2) Ruling authority is in the presbytery. (Body of Elders)
- Plurality of Elders is the pattern which prevents a dictator – (Acts 11:30, 14:23, 20:17; Phil. 1:1; 1Tim. 5:17; Titus 1:5; Jas. 5:14) No one man show.
- Deacons are recognized servants to the body and the local leadership – (Phil. 1:1; 1Tim. 3:13) Called to serve, not to rule.
- Deacons are not called by God to ‘run the church’ – (Acts 6:1-4; 20:28) The business or duty is that which is appointed by the Elders or leaders.
- Democratic church polity is unscriptural – (Acts 15:2,4,6; 1Thes. 5:12; Heb. 13:17) Church vision and direction is determined by the body of Elders.
Much can be said and developed from these and many other verses, and I have done so in one of my books. However, if you are a Pastor who has been deaconized, allow God’s grace to heal your heart and restore you to ministry in a local church which operates according to the Lord’s due order. The body of Christ needs you!
Questions? Comments? Jump in and start the discussion.