Elders – The Elders are responsible for the spiritual and theological guidance and pastoral leadership of the Church. This includes decisions relating to the Church vision, its activities and the operation.
Deacons – The Deacons support the Elders and Pastors. Together the Deacons have a wide range of experience and skills, which they use to serve the Lord and the local church body.
Personal attributes for a Deacon
- A committed and active member of Church@Paravista
- Be supportive of the Elders & Pastors of the church by praying for them and their families.
- Meet the Biblical standard as outlined in 1 Timothy 3:8-15
- Attend a home group for their own spiritual growth
- Leadership, organisation, communication and follow up are key points of a good team member.
- Take an orderly approach to decision making
- Prepared to be involved in other training and education as deemed necessary.
- Have a sense of Humor
1. Aim and Purpose of the Diaconate
There is no better exercise for strengthening the heart than reaching down and lifting people up. (Lawrence B. Hicks)
- The purpose of all Deacons is to assist the Elders/Pastors of the Church to facilitate the practical activities of the Church
- As a whole the Church Diaconate will work with the Elders and Pastors to achieve, on a yearly basis, the actions required to meet the goals as stated in the constitution and vision statement of the church.
- Leadership is measured in great part by its ability to generate and seek growth.
- Management is the process of getting things done through and with other people.
- Know how to bring together the people and resources needed to move the organisation.
- Management is about labouring in obscurity – can be a thankless task.
- Nothing of any significance happens without prayer
- Key– Develop a spiritual perspective. “Learn to be a God pleaser.”
2. Required Number
- Enough Deacons to do the work, but not so large that it is difficult to communicate and make decisions. For our purposes 6-12 members.
3. Election of Deacons
- The Elders on the Diaconate, the Administrator & Treasurer (office bearers), are not
up for election, but their positions must have the Elders support.
- 1st Election will be at 2013 AGM.
- Elections will be every 12 months.
- Approximately 50% of Deacons will stand down each 12 months after the 1st Election.
- Fellowship will be notified at least 4 weeks prior to AGM of the names of those who will be up for re-election and the number of positions to be filled.
- All nominations must be in 2 weeks prior to AGM, and they must be presented in writing to the Chairperson of the Diaconate or the Admin office.
- No further nominations can be received on the night.
- All people nominated must meet the criteria of a Deacon as listed.
- The names of these candidates will be presented in writing at least 2 Sundays before the AGM/or special meeting. (Email & Newsletter)
- If more nominations than vacancies, the election shall be by secret ballot. The Chairperson of the meeting, and one other person nominated at the time, shall be responsible for holding the election and counting ballots.
4. Term of Service
- Deacons will be on the Diaconate for a term of 2 calendar years. Elections take place in November, but the newly elected Deacons will not start their term till the following January.
- Once their term has expired they can then nominate for a further term.
- Once 2 terms have been concluded a minimum 1 year’s break is required until a nomination can occur. (Subject to the Diaconate’s requirements at the time, and with the approval of the Elders)
- If a Deacon is unable to complete the full term to which elected, the Diaconate will etermine the need for a replacement. Consideration being given to the length of nfulfilled term, and the number of remaining Deacons.
- Replacement nominees should expect to fulfill the remaining term of the deacon etiring.
5. Decision Making
- A loose consensus which means there is general agreement on most issues, but
provisions for voting if and when a majority vote is necessary.
- Within the Diaconate framework each Deacon is accountable to the chairperson and to each other.
- The Diaconate as a whole is accountable to the Elders.
- Actions required from a particular member should be documented against a reporting timeframe.
- Progress reports should be given at meetings where appropriate.
- If a Deacon is absent from 3 consecutive Diaconate meetings and/or cannot commit the necessary time to carry out their duties on the team, they shall be subject to recommended replacement at the discretion of the Chairperson, and the other team members.
- Of paramount importance and needs to be highlighted & stressed.
- What is said stays within the confines of the Diaconate unless there is a specific need to communicate information based on some action or resolution.
- While the church body needs to be kept informed of what we are doing, this is not to be confused with confidentiality. What is confidential stays confidential.
8. Grievance Policy
- If a grievance can’t be resolved between the individuals using the Matthew 18 principal then:
- If between Diaconate members then it should be referred to the Chairman.
- If between the Chairman and a member/s then it must be referred to the Elders for resolution.
- Often enough to fulfill the responsibilities.
- Should start and finish on time.
- Some items can be dealt with outside the meetings with one or two others.
10. Office Bearers for the Diaconate
1) Chairman: Elected by the elders
- Assemble Agendas for the meetings.
- Serves as chief coordinator and follow up person
- Point of contact between meetings
- Has one vote as a member of the team
2) Secretary & Minute Taker:
- Minutes must be done in a timely manner and sent to each member and to the Elders.
- Any error, misunderstandings, questions or comments, re the minutes, to be handled immediately or at next meeting when voted on for acceptance.
- Can be the Administrator, but does not need to be.
- Should be agreed on at the beginning of each calendar year as to who will fill this office.
3) Church Finance, Budget, & Annual Audits
- To be managed by the Treasurer or Elder appointed person
11. Areas of Responsibility
- An assigned portfolio for each Deacon which becomes their primary focus while on the Diaconate
- Pray for their assigned portfolio daily
- Meet with the Ministry/s head/s every 3 months (minimum) to see how the ministry is going and what support or help they may need.
- If issues arise the Deacon has the authority to work with the Ministry Leader to ensure the vision of the church is maintained and that the ministry is working in unity with the church, and other ministries. Matthew 18 must be adhered to in all grievance processes.
- Any serious personal issue or moral failure that occurs in a Ministry Leader’s life must be reported back to the Chairman, so a course of action and support can be put in place.
- Deacons don’t necessarily do the work, but oversee and delegate where possible those who do, and support the Ministry Teams they may be overseeing, through encouragement and help where needed.
- Review the performance of the Church in the following areas:
- Facilities and care of
- Strategy for Pastoral Care and Visitation
- Legal Issues: Constitution, WH&S, Child safety: Insurances & Risk areas
- Church Services and Mission
- All Ministries run in our church
- Outreach and Promotion
- Communications and Technical needs
- Training and Education to be made available (e.g. Parenting)
- Remembering always the purpose of all Deacons is to assist the Elders and Pastors of the Church to facilitate the practical activities of the Church.
- Original: 2nd July 2012
- Edited: 22nd July 2013
- Edited: 2nd Nov 2013
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