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Q&A
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Elder/Deacon nominees?

What are effective ways to get people to stand for church leadership positions? More and more the comment is, "I know you have a hard time getting elders and deacons, but I can't/won't do that." Or, "I don't feel qualified to do that--why does the Council keep nominating me." Especially frustrating in regard to the latter is that even when we suggest that none of us truly have those gifts, but for the Holy Spirit's work, the answer is still "no." The problem is that in a small congregation, that means the same few people continue to step up to serve. I'd love to hear how other congregations...
Elders
Q&A
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What should be included in a list of best practices for deacons?

One of the things that has stumped me as a Deacon is trying to translate the broad descriptions of the office of Deacon into practical tasks that will support that vision. I realize that the "to do" list of a deacon will vary quite a bit depending on each churches culture, needs and community. I also realize that it would probably be impossible to put all of the work of a deacon on a checklist, but that's the kind of thing that helps me take action instead of just wondering what kind of action to take. If you are an active or retired deacon, what kinds of things do you do on a regular basis...
Deacons
Q&A
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How to do elder/deacon orientation and hand-off?

In June, our congregation will elect new elders and deacons. As deacons, we have recently begun talking about ways to effective transition the tasks of retiring deacons to those who remain and those who will be joining, and to orient the new deacons to the office and its responsibilities. Rather than trying to continue going it alone, we were hoping that some folks out here on the network would have some good ideas on how to do transition and orientation effectively.
Deacons
Q&A
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How do Deacons Engage Church Members in Ministries of Mercy?

Do you have deacons spending their time visiting members and handling funds? Or do you have each deacon leading or working with a ministry team of church members that is responding to the poor and hurting people in our community and world? I'm interested in information from churches who have been able to transition each of their deacons to the role of leading and working with a team of members on a ministry focus such as elderly, women, refugees, children, youth, creation care, hungry, etc. Let's talk about how you have engaged members more in mercy ministries.
Deacons
Q&A
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Is there any rule about having an equal number of elders and deacons?

We have assigned roles for out elders and deacons (E.G. Worship Elder; Youth Elder; Compassion Deacon; Finance Deacon). We currently have five elders and five deacons. We believe that one of our positions that is currently filled by a deacon would better be filled by an elder. Is it acceptable to have six elders and four deacons?
Church Order
Q&A
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Which office discusses and decides who is eligible for call to Elders and Deacons?

In the CRC Church Order, Article 4 seems to make clear that the calling of Elders and Deacons is entirely the responsibility of the Council and clearly spells the process out. Article 35a seems to give a little wiggle room where the Consistory can say it determines the qualities of who is eligible because 35a states the Council "Approves" the nominations as one of the example of its tasks. Throughout the Church order, it takes great pains to describe the tasks of each of the 3 offices and what they do. It goes to the extreme in 35b & c and states in those articles (paraphrased here,) that...
Church Order
Q&A
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What can be done about the high turnover rate for elders and deacons?

We’re becoming increasingly disillusioned about Reformed polity dictating a high turnover rate in the offices of elder and deacon. It seems like people are just “warming up” to the job when they must leave in favor of others. In the case of one of our deacons, frankly, we were glad to see him go. But most of the time we seem to be trading in our “gifted performers” for “bungling novices.” What’s to be done? This question is from a real-life situation to which Dr. Henry DeMoor has responded to based on his extensive knowledge of the Christian Reformed Church Order. The first answer given has...
Church Order
Q&A
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How does your council and congregation go about selecting eligible candidates to serve as deacons and elders?

Perhaps the powers that be could also link/add this to the elders forum. I am studying and would like to write about the process church councils engage in every spring or fall as they nominate potential elders or deacons (depending on when you rotate officebearers). Part of the writing I will do will be a discussion about the positives and negatives surrounding the election process of elders or deacons. Some churches use the more or less "traditional" election process where the congregation votes on a slate provided by the Council. Others use the lot process, provided that they follow the...
Pastors
Q&A
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Is it healthy for a council led church to have full time staff as a permanent part of council as an elder or deacon?

I have been in full time youth ministry for 8 years and have spent 7 of those as an elder in the churches that I have served. I find it extremely beneficial to my work in the church to be at the council and elders meetings. I should clarify that I am ordained within the local church as an elder and not as a ministry associate or minister of the word. Questions that have been posed: What happens if new ministry staff comes on board? Are they automatically elders? Is it healthy for a council led church to have full time staff as a permanent part of council as an elder or deacon? I know the...
Youth Ministry
Q&A
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How should a church distribute support to the denominational family and as well as to other causes?

In our congregation the deacons meet in November to set the offering schedule for the following year. Using the deacon's helper resource, sifting through the pile of offering requests received throughout the year and sensing the heart of God in the congregation, they prayerfully discern what causes to support. This year, a question was raised to our deacon team about the causes they had chosen to support. The question was this: when we as members are already contributing through denominational and classical shares to specific ministries, why are we also designating many of our weekly...
Deacons
Q&A
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Is it about the % we give away, or the $ we spend?

The interesting discussion in this other thread got me thinking... From God's perspective, I wonder if it's less about how much I give away and more about how much I decide to keep (for my wants and self-perceived 'needs'). If so, then the issue of what does/doesn't count as a tithe becomes secondary. Should we focus on the % we give away, or on the $ we spend on our lifestyles? It seems we tend to focus on the %.
Deacons

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