What is a deacon? As described by Donna Kline, director of Denominational Deacon Ministry, a deacon is a caregiver who, in conjunction with the pastor, provides care to the congregation.  Based on a 1997 Annual Conference statement, there are four broad areas of deacon ministry:  advocacy & support, discipleship & hospitality, health & healing, and unity & reconciliation.  Deacons may fulfill these ministries themselves or see that others in the congregation do.  Either way, deacons shepherd the congregation as they meet these needs.

What qualifications must be met to be a deacon? “Persons called to deacon ministry are those whose commitment and faithfulness have been evident in their relationship to the local fellowship of believers.  They are persons of a spiritual mind, open and responsive to Scripture and to the Holy Spirit, careful to exercise wisdom and sound judgment, faithful and loyal to Christ and the Church.  They demonstrate a love for and empathy with people who are in pain and in need of compassion…

Deacons are among those called to be the spiritual leaders of the congregation, modeling the life that seeks to obey the word and will of God.  Through their caring ministries, they enhance both the health and the fellowship of the congregation.” (Taken from “Deacon Ministry in the Church of the Brethren”, 1997 Annual Conference Statement)