by Dennis Leatherman
Pastors often like to tease and make jokes about their deacons (some jokes are down right cruel, while others are pretty accurate!) I’ll be the first to admit that there is a lot of teasing that goes around with our group of deacons here at MLIBC.
However, I am extremely thankful for the deacons God has given to myself and the Mountain Lake Independent Baptist Church. They truly are “servants of the church.” One characteristic of each of our deacons is their sincere concern for the unsaved and their faithful and effective personal soul winning.
Some of my thoughts concerning soul winning deacons…
- A Soul Winning Deacon Is A Biblical Deacon. The N.T. deacons were highly aggressive and very effective soul winners. Philip, one of the first deacons, is called an evangelist. I’m not sure how many “evangelistic revival” church services he preached, but I do know that he won nearly the entire city of Samaria to Christ. He also won the treasurer of Ethiopia to the Lord. Soul winning deacons are Bible deacons.
- A Soul Winning Deacon Sets A Powerful Example. To have a soul winning church, we must have soul winning leadership. Often, deacons are looked up to by the church congregation as examples. When the Pastor and his deacons are faithfully soul winning, it has a tremendous influence on the church congregation and sets an example for the members to follow.
- A Soul Winning Deacon Is A Wise Deacon. Proverbs 11:30, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he that winneth souls is wise.” When a deacon understands the great commission, he understands the heart and mind of God. We certainly need deacons in our churches that have spiritual wisdom. Understanding the heart, mind, and priority of our Lord certainly helps when making decisions concerning the needs and direction of the church.
- A Soul Winning Deacon Is A Great Encouragement To The Pastor. If the Pastor is Biblical and spiritually mature, his heart is in reaching the unsaved with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When the deacons share that burden and are faithfully and actively involved in personal soul winning, the Pastor understands he is not alone in his vision and burden, and that is a great encouragement.
- A Soul Winning Deacon Reinforces The Pastor’s Leadership In Establishing A Soul Winning Congregation. One of the Pastor’s responsibilities is to train the congregation “for the work of the ministry” (Ephesians 4:11-12) which would certainly involve personal soul winning. When the deacons are soul winners, the Pastor’s leadership in this area is reinforced.
- A Soul Winning Deacon Is An Obedient Christian. Our Lord’s command to all believers is to take the Gospel to every person we possibly can and seek to win them to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. Every Christian, whether a deacon or not is expected to obey this command.
- A Soul Winning Deacon Is Involved In A Glorious And Eternal Ministry. Mankind’s great need is salvation from sin and it’s judgment and new life in Christ. A soul winner (whether a deacon or not) is a part of a great work that has results that will last for all eternity – the eternal salvation of the souls of men. Personal soul winning is one service for the Lord that brings great glory to our Heavenly Father (John 15:8).
- A Soul Winning Deacon Is Generally A Happy Christian. There are certainly a few exceptions and it is possible to just go through the motions without having the joy of the Lord, but if a deacon is consistently and effectively sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with the lost in his community, there is little doubt that he is experiencing the joy of the Lord in his daily walk with God.
No doubt, there are many other characteristics of a soul winning deacon that could be listed here, but I think you get the point – soul winning deacons are a blessing to the church. Recently I had the joy and privilege to baptize two men that were lead to the Lord by one of our deacons. Over the years I have continually baptized men, women, and young people that our deacons and their wives had lead to the Lord, what a blessing!
by Dennis Leatherman