To render assistance at services and meetings, as stated in the Church Manual, deacons and deaconesses must be present at all services of the church, such as Sabbath School, AYS, and mid-week prayer meetings. Therefore, the deacon(s) assigned to open the doors should arrive at least an hour before Sabbath School begins. He is to also adjust the temperature so that the church is properly heated or cooled for the service. Other deacons and deaconesses, who will serve as greeters and ushers, should arrive at least 30 minutes before Sabbath School begins.
It is important that all deacons and deaconesses attend
Sabbath School. They should study the lesson carefully and
be prepared to teach a class if needed. Since their calling is
a spiritual calling and they are equipped to teach the Word of
God, it would be appropriate for those who are interested in
teaching to inform the Sabbath School Council of their interest
in serving as teachers or assistant teachers.
The presence of deacons and deaconesses at AYS
speaks volumes to the youth of the church. It indicates that
church leaders have an interest in their development. By attending
these meetings, deacons and deaconesses have an
opportunity to establish a rapport with the youth. AYS can
also serve as a practicum for junior deacons and deaconesses.
These junior officers can take the lead in carrying out
the responsibilities in which the adult deacons and deaconesses
have mentored them.
Although it is not necessary for junior deacons to dress in
uniform at AYS, they should, however, dress appropriately—
that is, they should not dress faddishly, their clothing should fit
properly, and their hair should be appropriately cut and styled.
They are to recognize that they are the spiritual leaders among
the youth and should seek to set a godly example for them.
Some of the duties that junior deacons and deaconesses
can assist with at AYS include collecting the offering and
helping to maintain reverence. At the close of the meeting,
they can put hymnals and Bibles back in the pew racks, pick up trash, and take forgotten items to the lost-and-found area.
It is important that at least one adult deacon and deaconess
be present at AYS to give support to junior deacons and deaconesses
and to address any emergencies that may arise.
Deacons and deaconesses should also make every effort
to attend mid-week prayer meetings. Their presence is just
as important as that of the pastor and elders. They, too, are
spiritual leaders of the church; and they are to set an example
for the membership. The pastor and first elder may choose to
schedule them to participate in the program. They may lead
the song service, take prayer requests and testimonies, or
present a message from time to time. But even when they are
not carrying out these responsibilities, the deacons should
arrive early to open the church, make sure it is properly heated
or cooled, maintain reverence, collect the offering, and be
supportive of the pastor and elders who are leading out in
When attending mid-week prayer meetings, deacons and
deaconesses do not have to dress in uniform, but they should
follow the principle of modesty and dress appropriately. For
example, deacons could wear coats and ties; deaconesses
could wear dresses, suits, or skirts and blouses. The misconception
that deacons are janitors is only strengthened
when they come to church inappropriately dressed. Deacons
may consider keeping a set of work clothes in their cars or at
the church for emergency situations.
The head deacon and head deaconess should assign
deacons and deaconesses to each of the church services.
Their presence will encourage many other members to participate.
Vincent E. White, Sr., D.Min., is a retired pastor and author of The
Twenty-First Century Deacon and Deaconess: Reflecting the Biblical
Model; The Twenty-First Century Deacon and Deaconess: Reflecting
the Biblical Model Workbook; and Problem Solvers and
Soul Winners: A Handbook for Deacons and Deaconesses. These
resources are available at www.avasbookpublishers.com.