Deacons serve a critical role in the church of Jesus Christ. In 1 Timothy 3, we see the two primary offices of the church: pastors (also called elders, overseers, and bishops) and deacons. Tonight we look at how deacons are a partnership of courage and care.
I was a Music Minister/Worship Leader for 10 years in the 1990s going into the 2000s before God called me into the preaching/pastoring ministry. And wow–do folks have opinions on these things. Well, here are some things to consider.
Good morning! Not only does God call us and rescue us but now we have the joy of being a part of His Kingdom work! Amazing! As God has given to us, we give back to provide resources to His people to get the gospel out and to work discipleship in.
John Bunyan (1628-1688) once wrote, “A man there was, though some did count him mad, the more he cast away the more he had.” More importantly, Jesus said:
Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you (Matthew 6:2-4).
We give joyfully and generously to Kingdom work for the sake of the King, not to please or impress others. This is a part of discipleship. This is part of worship.
And this we do with joy in Jesus!
Matthew R. Perry, Ph.D. is Lead Pastor of Arapahoe Road Baptist Church in Centennial, CO.
I just finished Matt Perman‘s book What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done. This stands as one of the best, if not the best, book I’ve read on productivity. It’s building on David Allen’s Getting Things Done, but putting a gospel-centered productivity aspect to this. I love how he showed that being productive is not just about doing things for you in a self-centered way, but is an act of loving your neighbor. That chimed with me, and may well be the final catalyst for being productive. Below is a choice quote from the book (p. 303) about why being effective and productive is not for selfish ambition, but actually is about ‘loving your neighbor.’
How does individual effectiveness lead to the greater effectiveness of the organization? It’s not simply that by doing your work better everyone around you gets more done and thus the organization gets more done (though that is true).
It is also because personal effectiveness has an impact on the spirit and culture of an organization, creating an environment that calls forth the best from everyone. This raises the sights of everybody and creates an environment that calls forth their best. This is good for everyone individually and for the organization. As Drucker puts it, “As executives work toward becoming effective, they raise the performance level of the whole organization. They raise the sights of people —their own as well as others. As a result, the organization not only becomes capable of doing better. It becomes capable of doing different things and of aspiring to different goals” (Drucker, The Effective Executive, p. 170-71).
Thus, “executive effectiveness is our one best hope to make modern society productive economically and viable socially” (Drucker, 170).
This book will stay close by on my desk for the foreseeable future. It provides concrete measures to help you sort through various actions and projects that will come your way.
I couldn’t recommend this book highly enough. Blending the purpose of preaching, pastoring, and productivity is what this blog is all about–and will help all leaders lead their organization more joyfully and less stressfully. Who knows? We may spend some time going through this book chapter by chapter.