The office of Deacon is described in the New Testament (see I Timothy 3:8-13) where the Greek word diakonos is used from which the English “Deacon” is derived. The Greek word is variously interpreted as “servant, minister, writer, or attendant” and in Christian circles acquired the specialized meaning now attached to “Deacon.” Scripture clearly endorsed the office of a deacon in the New Testament church: “For they have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.” (I Timothy 3:13). On this authority, the church elects some of its members to serve in eminently practical ways, caring for several aspects of church services, as well as for church property.
The ministry to which a person is called when becoming a Deacon requires that they: have behavior beyond reproach; cooperate with church programs and help the pastor and other event leaders maintain the smooth operation of church meetings; be faithful in stewardship; be responsible for the care and upkeep of church property; care for the security of church facilities and those in attendance at church activities; provide adequate deacon participation for Divine worship services; be available as pallbearers during funerals; aid the handicapped in entering and exiting services; assist the pastor and elders with sick and shut-in visitation; serve during Communion (it is appropriate for Deacons who have been ordained to assist in distributing the emblems); serve in the ordinance of humility and assist in providing towels/basins/water, as needed; and assist with baptismal ceremonies (including preparing and filling the pool, doing the physical labor related to the service, and assisting the male candidates).
The Head Deacon conducts regular department meetings, plans and arranges Deacon assignments, maintains/issues church keys, and facilitates the training for Deacons-in-Training for the continued growth of the ministry.
The ministry of the usher, whether an adult or youth usher, is to help maintain the smooth operation of church worship/evangelistic services and other meetings. In demonstrating the art of making members and visitors feel welcome, comfortable and at ease, church ushering adds a spiritual dignity to the whole church service experience, through courtesy, hospitality, tactfulness, attentiveness and efficiency.
The usher is responsible to distribute materials related to the service/meeting, maintain alertness and quick response to any emergency that may arise, direct individuals in/out of service in an orderly fashion leaving the sanctuary/auditorium/room ready for the next activity, and may receive certain offerings – taking care to deliver them promptly to the treasury department of the church. Within the church organizational structure, the Ushers function under the auspices of the Deacon Department.
The Greeting Ministry does more than any other ministry to make the atmosphere of the church warm, inviting, and personal, through the initial interactions of the greeters, hosts and hostess with newcomers and members.
This initial interaction sets the climate for congregational meetings acknowledging others making them feel comfortable, welcomed and loved. Care should be taken to make sure that visitors are recognized during the welcome portion of the Divine worship service and invited to lunch on Sabbath. Within the church organizational structure, the Greeting Ministry functions under the auspices of the Deacon Department.
The host/hostess does more than any other person to make the atmosphere of the church warm and inviting. They stand at the beginning of each individual experience with church fellowship and worship. The Hostess’ task is to set the climate for the congregation meeting, to make others feel comfortable, welcomed and loved.
On Sabbath’s, the hostess’ are to be fully dressed in uniform and present at church by 9:00 a.m. in that they may greet members and newcomers as they enter the foyer of the church building. The Hostess is responsible for registering guest, distributing pertinent materials outside of the sanctuary, escorting individuals to the appropriate place with the assistance of a deacon or usher, and giving the official welcome during the Divine worship service.