All Scripture quotations are

taken from the King James Version

of the Bible.

The Deacon As A Servant / Leader

Training and Development

Copyright © 2005 by Michael J. Freeman

PO Box 59203

Philadelphia, PA 19102-9203


a/k/a Spirit and Truth Worship Cathedral

1801 N. 32nd Street

Philadelphia, PA 19121

Printed in the United States of America.

All rights reserved under the International Copyright Law. Contents and/or cover may not be reproduced in whole or in part in any form without the express written consent of the Publisher.









 Requirement of Leadership

Leadership in Church Life

The Definition and Role of the Deacon

The Deacon as a Servant

Requirement of Leadership


What is Leadership?

Leadership is an art of influencing human behavior.

Some individuals are born leaders.

Some are made through hard work and diligence.


Leaders are not fully prepared for their job until they clearly understand the nature of the responsibilities. Lead by example. There is no substitute…there is no compromise.



Responsibilities of Leadership


  • Safety of those entrusted to your care

Dangerous situations

Unorganized activities


  • Accomplishes the mission

Understand your mission

Get the job done


Duties include briefing, instructing and training


  • Welfare of the people

Effect on morale and your ability to accomplish the mission

You must develop a sincere interest in everything affecting the people

Food, clothing, equipment, sanitation, health, recreation, entertainment, and personal problems


Active, sincere and continuous interest promotes morale and esprit within the congregation.


Our people can do little to improve their lot, if we neglect them.



  • Organizational structure

People should be used for organizational efficiency.

Simplifies your job and develops initiative and a sense of responsibility to our young leaders.


  • A successful leader develops spirit, pride and morale in the church.


  • Wholesome recreation and entertainment must be provided which encourages active participation, physical development and spirit.


  • Leadership skills are developed through hard work and use of the qualities of leadership.


Prerequisites for Leadership


Character. It is the “Keystone or Bedrock” of a leader. Your people must have absolute confidence in your good character, your word must be your bond, and they must know that you would not betray duty, honor or congregation under any circumstances.


Intelligence. You must possess a degree of intelligence and have the saving grace of common sense. You must be able to see what needs to be done and without hesitation, do it without being told to do so.


Alertness. It is the duty of every leader to prepare himself spiritually, mentally and physically to do the job at hand, at the proper time. Any person who cannot stir themselves to timely action, either spiritually, mentally and physically, is not a leader.



Qualities of Leadership


There are certain human qualities which are essential to successful leadership.


The Fourteen Leadership Traits are:


  • Integrity. Simply put…Tell the Truth. Be true to yourself.


  • Knowledge. Gain the respect and confidence from your people by having insight, foresight or even hindsight in any given situation. A leader must be alert, study, observe, listen, look things up, and be able to discuss his work, cultural and general subjects.


  • Decisiveness. The ability to make prompt and correct decisions, based on available information, without the fear of possibly making the wrong decision. Think clearly using logic, knowledge and judgment.


  • Initiative. A leader must be able to originate and carry through an action and be able to think, plan and act immediately on his own responsibility.


  • A leader must have the ability to handle human relations in an adaptable and courteous manner, and should not consciously or unconsciously create friction.


  • Bearing (Manner). Suitability of conduct and appearance, including language. A leader is never careless of their personal appearance, loud mouthed or makes a spectacle of himself.


  • Courage. A leader must accept his responsibilities, even under adverse conditions, with calmness and firmness. Keep fear under control.


  • Endurance. A leader should never tire or break down easily. One should develop spiritual, physical and mental stamina above your people.


  • Be reliable. Never fail to discharge all duties. A task considered should be a task done.


  • Justice. Never be partial in decisions or unfair. Always render just rewards and punishments, even at the risk of personal sacrifice.


  • Enthusiasm. Show interest and believe in your work. Inspire others to work for success of the mission or vision. Do not be indifferent, disinterested, or inactive.


  • Unselfishness. See that the needs of the people are met before your own. Never ask a follower to do anything that you would not do yourself.


  • Loyalty. Be true to your new converts, your members and yourself. Defend all against unfair treatment from outside sources. Never bad mouth, gossip or degrade your church or leaders to outsiders. This is a two edged sword that goes up and down the Chain of Command.


  • Judgment. Always consider the whole range of alternatives and their consequences before you act. In other words, make judgments based upon your experience. Make decisions on what is good for the people not on emotional reactions or personal feelings.


All of these qualities must be combined to make a successful leader. A lack of any one of these qualities will be apparent and cause damage to the leader and to the church.


Self-Confidence is not included as one of the essential qualities of a leader because it comes as a result of them. If a person possesses leadership qualities, they will be a self-confident individual who accepts and fulfills his duties and responsibilities.


Principles of Leadership


Now that you have had a look at the character traits required in a leader, let’s see how these fit into the principles of leadership.


  1. Take responsibility for your actions and the actions of your students.

The leader is responsible for all that his people does or fails to do. Responsibility is a big word, however as the teacher you will have the authority to take care of your responsibilities. Use your authority wisely. Be responsible for success not failure.


  1. Know yourself and seek self improvement.

Evaluate yourself from time to time. Do you measure up? If you don’t, admit it, then correct the problem. Don’t sell yourself short. If you think that you are the best educator in your grade, and then set out to be the best in the school.


  1. Set the example.

People will look to you for a pattern or a standard to follow. No amount of instruction will ever have the effect of your personal example to your people. Always set a good example.

  1. Develop your disciples.

An educator with confidence in themselves will have confidence in their students. Assign jobs to those you feel can handle them. If someone in your cell group or someone under your authority demonstrates leadership, give them responsibility.


  1. Ensure that a job is understood, then supervise it and carry it through to completion.

Tell your people what you want in clear plain English. Be consistent when giving instruction. Don’t change directions in midstream. Determine how closely you need to supervise. You should always supervise and check the results, but remember to leave the details to the one assigned the responsibility.


  1. Know your students and look after their welfare.

Being attentive to the needs of your people is very important. Take care of them, and they will take care of you.


  1. Every member should be kept informed.

Be active in your church. Make sure that you attend all services, meetings and classes. Participate in extra activities like youth conferences, sports, and special events. Check in regularly with your Pastor, department head, and cell group leader. If you do these things, you will be able to give your people up to the minute, timely and correct information. Stop rumors. If there is something being said, find out the facts, inform your people, stop the rumor.


  1. Set goals you can reach.

Don’t put two members on a project that requires five. Know your limitations. Give your members reasonable goals. When they have accomplished their goals they will have a sense of satisfaction and pride in their accomplishment.


  1. Make sound and timely decisions.

Knowledge and good judgment are required to make sound decisions. Use your initiative to come to a decision and your courage to correct a bad decision.


  1. Know your job.

You can not tell someone else what to do if you do not know what to do.


  1. Teamwork.

Learn to harness the collective abilities of your church members, leaders and others. Join together and coordinate your efforts. Collectively you will be more efficient. Learn to think as one, move as one, and perform as one. Being an individual is find in boxing, track or tennis, but you have to work as a team to win in basketball and football.


When you and your church or staff have done something well, talk it up. This builds Esprit de Corps. Esprit is one of those emotions that you can feel and see. A school with a high level of Esprit de Corps holds itself in high regard. You can see the pride. You can feel the sense of accomplishment.



Leadership in Church Life


General Principles

  1. Cultivate Your Walk With The Lord Continuously
  2. Basic Disciplines
  3. Worship / Praise
  4. Confession
  5. Thanksgiving
  6. Obedience
  7. Prayer

Note: 1. Priority in Schedule

  1. Discipline to keep Schedule
  2. Ability to say “NO”


  1. Maintain and Protect Your Character
  2. It takes a long time to develop a reputation; a short moment to destroy it.
  3. Do not even begin to fudge or hedge on character issues.
  4. Evaluate periodically your “character” against I Timothy 3 and Titus 1.
  5. Do not get into situations or relationships which potentially will

compromise your character.


  1. Reasons
  2. The person and role really cannot be separated in ministry.
  3. The minister has nothing to give if dried up spiritually.
  4. We cannot effectively tell people “how” or “lead” them if we have not gone there.



  1. Model In Your Personal Life, Family, Relationships and Circumstances What You Are Teaching and Preaching.
  2. Does Scripture really work….is it practical? Show them.
  3. Is transformation possible in every arena of life? Show them.
  4. How can I do this? Tell them how you did.


  • Know And Practice The Principle That Christ Is The Head Of Your Life And The Church
  1. Stewards not Owners
  2. Servants not lords
  3. Involvement and Objectivity in Balance
  4. Please Him, not yourself or the congregation (Priority)


  1. Cultivate Faithfulness In Your Life And Ministry
  2. In the Word and Prayer
  3. As a Shepherd
  4. In Responsibilities
  5. In your spiritual gifts and strengths
  6. In not allowing weaknesses become rationalizations


  1. Spend Time In Working In The Word
  2. Reading
  3. Study
  4. Application
  5. Communication


  1. Cultivate Leadership And Communication Skills For Ministry
  2. Books and Journals
  3. Seminars and Conferences
  4. Courses
  5. Other Pastors
  6. Evaluate yourself in your experiences, problem handling, and successes


  • Determine To Equip Members For Ministry
  1. Preach and Teach this
  2. Educate your leadership and ministry chairpersons to equipping mindset
  3. Provide for Training
  4. Release persons to minister
  5. Freedom and Responsibility
  6. Freedom to Risk and Fail
  7. Commend and Encourage persons in ministry
  8. Provide “Enrichment” Opportunities
  9. Set the tone in your Membership Classes


  • Keep Your Balance Between “Persons” and “Tasks”
  1. Two Dangers:
  2. You are not what you do. Separate your work “for” the Lord from your relationship “with” the Lord. Don’t hide behind your work!
  3. Prayer is never a substitute for obedience. Know when to pray and when to obey!
  4. How?
  5. Prayer for persons and tasks
  6. Questions:
  7. Are needs of people being met by someone?
  8. Do persons feel they have access in the system? To Pastor?
  9. Do our people know how they are involved in the tasks of Christ or do

They feel it is the tasks of the church?

  1. Are we seeing ourselves involved in the purposes of Christ?



  1. Develop From God A Vision For Ministry And Communicate It To The Church
  2. Ingredients:
  3. Biblical Blueprint: Your philosophy of ministry
  4. Strengths and Weaknesses of your church
  5. Type of Church
  6. Facility and Resources
  7. Participation of Leadership in process (ownership)



  1. Plant Vision
  2. Biblical Blueprint: Your philosophy of ministry
  3. Strengths and Weaknesses of your church
  4. Type of Church


  1. Be receptive and flexible in “how” the vision may be accomplished
  2. Welcome ideas and encourage them
  3. Give credit to others for ideas and successes
  4. be flexible
  5. Be patient in letting vision and method grow


  1. Be willing to risk and make mistakes and learn (always learn)


  1. Schedule Time To Pray And Dream And Think For The Future
  2. Where are we going?
  3. How will get there?
  4. Who will help?
  5. What resources are needed?
  6. What needs to be budgeted?









Acts 6: 1-6

1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. 2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. 3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. 4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. 5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: 6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. 7




The role of the Deacons is to serve the Lord by conducting the caring ministry for the congregation. As Deacon, this position helps to promote unity within the church, thereby freeing the pastor(s) to focus on prayer and the ministry of the Word of God to facilitate the spreading of the Gospel of Christ.




Receives general administrative direction from the Chairman of Deacon Board.

Exercises direct oversight of the service level appointees and their responsibilities.


  • ESSENTIAL FUNCTION STATEMENTSEssential responsibilities and duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Essential Functions:


  1. Provides service of the work of benevolence
  2. Provides service of the visiting of the sick and shut-in; ensures regular contacts are maintained with compromised members.
  3. Report spiritual needs of the congregation to the Chairman of Deacon Board of the church.

4          Assist in the development and implementation of the goals, objectives, policies, and priorities for each assigned service area.

  1. Establishes appropriate service levels; monitors and evaluates the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery methods and procedures.
  2. Plan, direct and coordinate the service area’s work plan; assign projects and areas of responsibility; review and evaluate methods and procedures; meet with appointees to identify and resolve problems.
  3. Assess and monitor work load, administrative and support systems, and internal reporting relationships; identify opportunities for improvement; direct and implement changes.
  4. Train, motivate and evaluate department personnel; provide or coordinate staff training; monitor accomplishments, establish performance requirements and personal development targets and provide coaching for performance improvement and development.




    1. Must possess the gift of serving the Lord by administering to the Body of Christ.
    2. Must possess the gift of exhortation and the ability to show mercy.
    3. Candidate must be dependable, compassionate, discreet and demonstrate good moral character.
    4. Management skills to analyze programs, policies and operational needs.
    5. Principles and practices of program development and administration.
    6. Principles of supervision, training and performance evaluation.
    7. Public administration, municipal government and financial activities.


Ability to:

      • Plan, organize, direct and coordinate the work of lower level appointees.
      • Supervise, train and evaluate lower level appointees.
      • Delegate authority and responsibility to other Deacons.
      • Lead and direct the services and activities of the Deacons.
      • Identify and respond to congregational issues, concerns and needs.
      • Develop and administer goals, objectives and procedures for lower level appointees.
      • Analyze problems, identify alternative solutions, project consequences of proposed actions, recommend best options and implement approved solution in support of goals.
      • Research, analyze and evaluate new service delivery methods and techniques.
      • Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.
      • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.


Experience and Training Requirements


Training:         Meeting of Qualifications and Requirements

1 year of instructional training

1 year probationary period, while serving in the Office

Special Requirements