Deaconess Ministry

As Jesus gives insight into the nature of His Church using the symbol of the body in 1 Corinthians 12, so it is that when we join the Church we become “members” of the body of Christ and are equipped for specific functions by the Holy Spirit. God wills that the various “body parts” (members) function effectively toward the common goal of the Church; making disciples of Jesus Christ.

It is an erroneous concept that the clergy have a “sacred calling” and the general membership only a “secular calling.” This concept impedes the progress of the church by leading some to believe their contributions are less important. In fact, the New Testament teaches that all members of the body of Christ are ministers of Jesus Christ. There are necessary differences in function, but the status of all leaders is the same.

You have been asked to serve as a deaconess in the church. The God who calls is able to sustain you as you cooperate with Him.

Duties of the Deaconess 
The ministry to which a person is called when she becomes a deaconess includes the following duties:

  1. Report to Head Deaconess. Deaconess will assist in maintaining the smooth operation of church meetings. Any needs and/or concerns should be reported to the Head Deaconess as soon as possible so that they could be addressed in an adequate manner. A quarterly meeting is to be scheduled by the Head Deaconess to address various issues and provide training.
  2. Head Deaconess will coordinate fellowship meals. The assigned deaconesses will be responsible for the following items:
    1. Warm-up and serve food for fellowship dinners.
    2. They will make sure that the tables are covered with tablecloths.
    3. They will ensure that the dishes are washed and the kitchen is clean after everyone is finished.
  3. Visitation. Head Deaconess will coordinate deaconesses (and other interested church members) to provide card and visitation ministry to church members who are shut-in, sick, etc.
  4. Workbees. Deaconesses will help when cleaning workbees are called for the church or school.
  5. Assisting with the Baptismal Ceremony. The traditional roles for this service are described below:
    1. The deacons will:
      • Prepare and fill the pool.
      • Assist male candidates as they prepare for the baptism.
    2. The deaconesses will:
      • Prepare the robes for all who are participating.
      • Assist female candidates.
      • Launder and store robes, towels, etc., after the ceremony.
  6. Assisting with the Communion Service. The traditional roles for this service are described below.
    1. The deacons will:
      • Provide the physical arrangements, such as placing the communion table.
      • Place the towels, basins and water in the appropriate rooms for use in the Ordinance of Humility.
      • Dispense water and basins for the men during the Ordinance of Humility, giving particular attention to visitors and new members.
    2. The deaconesses will:
      • Prepare the bread and grape juice.
      • Arrange the emblems and covering on the table.
      • Dispense water and basins for the women during the Ordinance of Humility, giving attention and assistance to visitors, new members, and the aged.
      • Clean and store the linens and serving pieces used in Communion.
    3. It is appropriate for either deacons or deaconesses, who have been ordained, to assist in distributing the emblems and removing/placing back the communion tray covers during the service.
  • Caring for the Congregation. In many churches an unwritten tradition gives the women who serve as deaconesses the responsibility of preparing hot meals for any church family that experiences a death or other tragedy. This may mean simply taking food to the home or, in some cases, the serving of an entire meal to family and guests after a funeral. The funeral meal will be coordinated by the Head Deaconess.

Appropriate Spiritual Gifts:
Helps or Service. The ability to unselfishly meet the needs of others through practical help.

  • Adminstration. The ability to organize and manage, working with and through others to achieve goals.
  • Mercy. The capacity to feel sympathy with those in need and to manifest this sympathy in some practical way with a cheerful spirit.
  • Head Deacon/Deaconess will also manifest the gift of leadership. The ability to help others set goals and communicate these goals to others. Deacons/Deaconesses will work harmoniously together.

Time Commitment:
Including Sabbath duty, most deacons and deaconesses will need to plan on two hours per week to carry out their duties. Another 1-2 hours a month are needed for visitation and special projects.

Head deaconess is a member of the Church Board and will participate regularly in the monthly meetings in order to give input and counsel regarding church matters.