Developing a Biblical Deacon Ministry at Grace Baptist Church, Arlington, Texas
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This project examines the development of a biblical deacon ministry. Chapter 1 identities four goals that deal with creating understanding among the congregation, qualifying model servants, selecting biblical deacons, and training a deacon group. Included in the context of designing a biblical deacon ministry at Grace Baptist Church. Chapter 2 explores three biblical texts relating to developing a biblical deacon ministry. Acts 6: 1-7 is utilized to create a purpose statement fur biblical deacon ministry, based on the activities of what this writer considers the prototype deacon group. First John 2: 12-14 is examined to qualify the desired spiritual maturity level of deacons (spiritual fathers). First Timothy 3:1-8 examines the specific qualifications of deacons. Special attention was given to drawing conclusions from basic observations of each text. Chapter 3 addresses one aspect of deacon ministry identified in Acts 6: 1-7; preserving unity in the church. One aspect of preserving unity is resolving healthy and unhealthy conflict. Four steps are suggested based on the admonition of Matthew 18:15-17. Chapter 4 chronicles how Grace Baptist Church developed a biblical deacon ministry based on the biblical texts covered in chapter 2 and resolving conflict in chapter 3. The project chapter 4 chronicles took 16 weeks and included 6 weeks of topical preaching (chapter 2 texts and Matt 18 conflict resolution), 7 weeks of general service training fur all men, 9 weeks of deacon and apprentice training, and 2 physical needs ministry projects. Chapter 5 evaluates the project. The project purpose and all 4 goals are examined. Five strengths and 4 weakness are mentioned. Three reflections cover both elder and deacon identification and functions plus the bottom line on the identity of biblical deacons. A personal reflection is offered and 3 implications fur further study are mentioned (deacon-controlled churches, deacons who should be elders, and women deacons).