Deacons and deaconesses play a very important role in the church. They are not meant to be mini-pastors or super-laypeople, but the church, as we know it, wouldn’t be the same without them. Although they have a ministry of service, the fact that they have been chosen demonstrates that they are respected spiritual leaders among the church members. Without their ministry, the church would not operate properly.

As we know, some of the biblical duties of the deacons are to relieve pastors of responsibilities that would keep them from doing their best in studying the Word, spending time alone with God in prayer, and teaching the Word effectively. These are some of the reasons the first deacons were chosen (Acts 6). Deacons still need to work closely with pastors and elders to make sure they have enough time for the priorities in their ministry. Many churches are hampered in their growth and spiritual development because the pastor or elders have “laid down” the Word of God to do other things. Churches with spiritual servants like deacons and deaconesses will be blessed indeed. Pastors and elders who have such a deaconate to help them will be better church leaders because of them. The Bible states that deacons who serve well “obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith” (1 Tim. 3:13).

As a church, we are indebted to our deacons and deaconesses. For many years, they were forsaken and forgotten by the church and did not receive proper recognition and appropriate training. We should express more words of appreciation to them, give them visible support, and provide them with the right resources—including the new Deacon’s and Deaconess’s Handbook—to be more effective in their ministry.

Thank God for this army of servant leaders! What an incredible spirit of service they possess! They are providing a great ministry to our church. We are blessed by their commitment and loving ministry.

In this issue, emphasis is given to the ministry of deacons and deaconesses. Enjoy the reading!


The General Conference, during Annual Council on October 16, 2013, voted that “the Ministerial Association is responsible to empower, train, and equip the deacons and deaconesses in the Seventh-day Adventist Church globally.”

During the 2015 General Conference Session in San Antonio, Texas, USA, it was voted to include in the Church Manual this statement: “The Ministerial Association, in connection with the departments, promotes the training and equipping of deacons. However, the pastor, in conjunction with the elder(s), has the primary responsibility for training the deacons.”

We have a website with many resources and guidelines to train and equip deacons and deaconesses. Please visit