The information below was presented to the congregation of First Central Bible Church in Chicopee, MA, on February 5. It was designed to better communicate the roles and responsibilities of the elders, deacons, and deaconesses and how we work together to accomplish the task.
Elders—Doug Dolbow, Stan Kulig, Joe Martin, Doug McVeigh, Pastor Mark Wheeler
The Elders serve as the servant leaders of the church. They share the responsibility of shepherding the flock of God at First Central. The task of the elder includes:
- Feeding the Flock—Teach biblical truth (Acts 6:1-7); Equip people for service (Ephesians 4:11-16)
- Leading the Flock—Overseers supervise and manage the church (1 Peter 5:1-2); Manage the finances of the church (Acts 11:29-30; 1 Timothy 5:17-18)
- Protecting the Flock—Guard against false teachers (Acts 20:28-31)
- Caring for the Flock—Practical care of the flock’s many diverse needs (Acts 6:1-7); Prayer for the ill (James 5:14)
- Example for the Flock—Model Christlikeness (1 Timothy 4:12-13; 1 Peter 5:3)
- Shared leadership—Plurality of elders—collective, shared, or team leadership
Deacons—Dan Darcy, Sid Floyd, Jack Gilbert, Dave Johnson, Cliff Moran, J Noyes, Joe Trevathan
Deaconesses—Lynn Anderson, Lois Darcy, Rose Eldridge, Janet Laroche, Karen Martin, Marion Moran, Connie Noyes, Carol Sumler
While the Elders have a fixed job description, the Deacons and Deaconesses have a flexible job description. They assist the elders in the ministry of the church, serving wherever is needed. Acts 6 shows them caring for practical matters such as ministering to widows.
Shepherding the flock at First Central Bible Church. As a church, our purpose statement is Building a Community to Change the World. We want to take people from where they are to greater maturity in Christ (Colossians 1:28). We want to equip them to use their gifts in service (Ephesians 4:11-16) and to share their faith in a clear, confident manner (Acts 1:8). We want to make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20) who make disciples (2 Timothy 2:2).
God does not ask one person (pastor, elder, deacon, deaconess) to shoulder this responsibility by themselves. He has asked the body to share the load along with the leaders. Scripture calls us to a “one another” ministry.
At FCBC, we employ a team approach in shepherding the congregation. Our Sunday School classes and small groups play a vital role in our shepherding strategy. In addition to good teaching, you can build relationships where sharing, prayer, and accountability take place. When prayer requests are submitted, a variety of people pray for those needs.
Since not everyone is involved in one of our SS classes or small groups, our deacons and deaconesses then serve as a safety net to ensure no one slips through the cracks.
As you seek to grow in 2017, don’t just attend one of our worship services. Join one of our Sunday School classes and/or small groups. Let people know how to encourage and pray for you. Do the same for them.
Make yourself accountable to those in authority. Allow the leaders and teachers to speak truth into your life. Allow them to help you grow in your knowledge, character, and skills so you can serve and share your faith effectively.
Pray for the staff, elders, deacons, deaconesses, and servants of our church.
Let’s work together to build a community to change the world.