This post was written for the BBC website.
The purpose of the following paragraphs is to explain the mechanics of how men come to serve as deacons at Berean Baptist Church. (Many churches do it differently.) Once or twice a year a request is made to the congregation to nominate men to serve as deacons. Candidates must be men who have already shown they have a servant’s heart and meet the biblical qualifications of a deacon (1 Tim 3:8-13). These names are submitted on a note during the offering or turned in to one of the current deacons. The names are collected by the deacons and the pastors review the list. In those cases where a candidate has previously communicated a disqualifier to a pastor, he is not sent an invitation. All other candidates are mailed an invitation to download a deacon questionnaire from this webpage and return it by a specific date.
Once the candidate returns his questionnaire to a pastor or deacon, it is first reviewed by the pastors and then the deacon board. If the deacons and pastors are supportive of the recommendations from the congregation, the candidate’s names are presented for a vote on a secret ballot. (If there is an issue with a candidate the pastors and deacons will collectively discuss the issue and come to an agreement on the best course of action on a case by case basis.) Normally, the church will be notified who is being presented for a vote about two weeks before the member’s meeting when the vote will take place. Members may vote up or down on as many or few candidates as they choose. After the church votes, the deacons collect the ballots and tally the results. Candidates must receive an affirmative vote from the majority of the ballots that are turned in from the members at the member’s meeting (i.e. if 100 ballots are collected by the deacons a candidate must receive 51 yes votes to be approved). The chairman of the deacons will oversee the tallying of the results. The church clerk is responsible for ensuring the results of the vote are recorded in the minutes for the member’s meeting. The chairman of deacons or church clerk will notify the church of the results of the vote by percentage at the member’s meeting.
A deacon’s term of service is three years. After a year of Sabbath former deacons may be nominated again for a subsequent 3 year term of service. The BBC Constitution does not limit the number of men who can serve as deacons. Every effort is made to allow an opportunity to all who have a desire to serve and meet the qualifications to serve the body of Christ. Candidates who have not been ordained as a deacon by the church will be ordained on a subsequent Sunday night service. The board of deacons nominates and approves its own leaders annually.