IFBC By-Laws  - Deacons

Section 3.        Deacons

 

General

The Church will have as many Deacons as the Church may require with a minimum of twelve Deacons serving at any given time. Deacons will serve from January first of each year. References in these Bylaws to Deacons are to active Deacons and not to ordained Deacons who are not in active service.  

 

2. Nomination and Election

A Deacon will be a member of the Church for at least one year prior to election. Deacons will serve on a three year rotation basis. Each year the term of office of those Deacons who have served three years will expire and an election will be held to fill the vacancies resulting in one-third of the Deacon body rotating off each year. A Deacon will not be eligible for re-election until the lapse of at least two years. Deacons will be elected in the following manner:

On the second Sunday of September, church members are asked to nominate four persons to serve as Deacons.

Members are asked to prayerfully consider the responsibilities, qualifications and spiritual gifts associated with serving as a Deacon before nominating.  Having a diverse Deacon body which is representative of the Church congregation in terms of gender and age is also deemed important and should be noted by church members when making nominations.

Nomination forms will be provided in the church bulletin.  If a member is absent on the second Sunday of September, she/he may request a form from the church office and return it by the third Sunday of September.

Those nominated will be reviewed by the Deacon Qualification Team, which is made up of the Deacon Chairman, Vice Chairman, Deacon at large, the Senior Pastor, and three church members elected on the third Sunday in September by the congregation at large. A prospective deacon cannot serve on the Qualification Team. The names of qualified nominees will be contacted by the Board of Deacons to ensure his or her willingness to serve.  The names of qualified nominees who are willing to serve will be placed on a ballot and presented to the church for a final vote on the first Sunday of November.  The number of nominees on the ballot shall be twice the number of vacancies occurring.  Deacon vacancies shall be filled from the nominees in the order of the number of votes received.  The nominee receiving the higher number of votes first, then the nominee with the next highest, then the next highest, and so on until all vacancies are filled.  In the event of a tie for the final vacancy, a run off election maybe necessary.

No paid church staff or his or her spouse shall serve as a Deacon.

Only one member of an immediate family shall serve as a Deacon at a time.  Immediate family is defined as spouses, parents, children, and siblings living in the same household.

 

Qualifications

A Deacon should be a person whose heart’s desire and the direction of their life are to be true to the high standard set forth in the following Biblical qualifications (1 Timothy 3:2-7 and Titus 1:6-9):

  • Above reproach - Deacons must lead by example and demonstrate a lifestyle free of patterns of sin.
  • Devoted spouse - Deacons, if married, must be devoted spouses.
  • Temperate - Deacons must be self-controlled, enslaved to nothing, free from excesses.
  • Prudent - Deacons must be sober, sensible, wise, balanced in judgment, not given to quick, superficial decisions based on immature thinking.
  • Respectable - Deacons must demonstrate a well-ordered life and honorable behavior.
  • Hospitable - Deacons must be unselfish with their personal resources. They must be willing to share blessings with others.
  • Able to teach - Deacons must be able to communicate truth and sound doctrine in a non-argumentative way.
  • Not addicted to wine - Deacons must be free from addictions and willing to limit their liberty for the sake of others.
  • Not pugnacious or quick tempered - Deacons must be gentle, patient, and able to exercise self-control in difficult situations.
  • Non-Contentious - Deacons must not be given to quarreling or selfish argumentation.
  • Free from the love of money - Deacons must not be stingy, greedy, out for sordid gain, or preoccupied with amassing material things.
  • Manage own household - Deacons must have a well-ordered household and a healthy family life.
  • Not a new convert - Deacons must not be new believers. They must have been Christians for long enough to demonstrate the reality of their conversion and depth of their spirituality.
  • Good reputation with outsiders - Deacons must be well-respected by unbelievers and free from hypocrisy.
  • Not self-willed - Deacons must not be stubborn, prone to force opinions on others, or abuse authority. They must be servants.
  • Loving what is good - Deacons must desire the will of God in every decision.
  • Just - Deacons must desire to be fair and impartial. Their judgments must be based on scriptural principle.
  • Devout - Deacons must be devoted Christ followers seeking to be conformed to His image. They must be committed to prayer, worship, the study of Scripture, and the guarding of their own walk.
  • Holding fast the faithful Word - Deacons must be stable in the faith, obedient to the Word of God, continually seeking to be controlled by the Holy Spirit.
  • Attendance – Deacons must set an example in faithful attendance to the services of the Church.
  •  Stewardship – Deacons must practice biblical stewardship with the tithe being the minimum of their giving.