One of the privileges of our Presbyterian form of church governing is that you, the members of Redeemer, nominate and elect your own officers. Don Matthews was nominated a few years ago for the office of deacon and underwent training and testing at that time. However, Don’s health prohibited him from going further and with the counsel of the church leadership, he decided to delay his pursuit of ordination. With thanksgiving, Don’s health has improved! Not wanting to wait any longer, church leadership puts Don before you as recommended to the office of deacon. As you prepare for the vote on May 17, please read through 1 Timothy 3:8-13 for the biblical qualifications for deacons as you consider Don for this office.
What is a deacon?
The Book of Church Order (the book our denomination that lays out the rules of church government our denomination uses) says the following things about deacons:
“The office of deacon is set forth in the Scriptures as ordinary and perpetual in the Church. The office is one of sympathy and service, after the example of the Lord Jesus; it expresses also the communion of saints, especially in their helping one another in time of need.
It is the duty of the deacons to minister to those who are in need, to the sick, to the friendless, and to any who may be in distress. It is their duty also to develop the grace of liberality in the members of the church, to devise effective methods of collecting the gifts of the people, and to distribute these gifts among the objects to which they are contributed.
To the office of deacon, which is spiritual in nature, shall be chosen men of spiritual character, honest repute, exemplary lives, brotherly spirit, warm sympathies, and sound judgment.”
I feel that God has given me the personality to be a helper to others. I like to work directly with people and help them with their specific problems. I specifically enjoy doing financial counseling. My wife, Kathy and I have both been Deacon Assistants for the past seven years. In the years of serving as a deacon assistant, God has changed my thinking and heart regarding how I consider the poor. After reading the book When Helping Hurts, I gained a better understanding of the difficulties that the poor face (e.g. transportation) and also realized that God loves the poor even as He does me. -Don Matthews