In two weeks I’ll complete my term* as deacon-at-large. In the summer of 2014 as the church recruited its first cohort of deacons, I felt a distinct call to serve in this way. I somewhat like starting new things. I get excited imaging something that doesn’t yet exist and seeing it take shape. The last 18 months have been just that.
At my final deacon meeting, the Chair wisely suggested each of us share a moment from the last year when we particularly felt blessed to be a deacon. I appreciated this opportunity to reflect because it has indeed been joyful and rewarding to serve this way. Here are a few moments we felt blessed:
- Sitting up on the stage during Game Night and watching people simply enjoy themselves, we felt that wonderful sense of family. We watched as relationships were built.
- We administer the benevolence fund confidentially. It was an honor to act on behalf of the whole church by giving out of that fund to help individuals who were experiencing financial challenges. We received words of appreciation for how the church met individuals at a low point, blessed and embraced them, sat and prayed alongside them, and rejoiced at God’s provision for both physical and spiritual needs.
- In October Jerry and Monie Fluth shared on video in the worship service about their lives, declining health, God’s faithfulness, and how the congregation can pray for them. It made us so grateful to be part of an inter-generational church; a community that values prayer; a place where people can share real life together; where people are honest about the hard parts and lean on God’s promises; where we can learn from those “down the road” from us.
Being part of a team of believers is special. There are a lot of ways to serve, but doing it on a team with a shared vision was a rich experience. As the examples above suggest, as deacons we are privy to watching this congregation serve one another. It certainly strengthened my faith in the power of the gospel to watch fellow believers show mercy to one another.
I hope in the future many others will consider serving in this way. Certainly our Lord is among us as one who serves. (Luke 22:27)
*Typically terms last 3 years but the first cohort had staggered terms to ensure we didn’t all exit at once.
Thanks to Sarah Bartley who wrote this post for her service as Deacon over the last year+.