It will be the policy of Agape Home Fellowship to have deaconesses. It is seen in scripture (although this is open for debate) and in the early church history that deaconesses did exist (Rom 16:1, 1 Tim 3:11; First Council of Nicea, et. al.). The purpose of the deaconesses will be to minister to the women of the congregation and to advise the elders and deacons of the needs of women. Too often the needs of this ministry go undetected.
As men, the elders and deacons are often incapable of determining the needs of women within the congregation, who often have no voice or liaison to channel their concerns. The deaconesses of Agape Home Fellowship will be that voice and will keep the elders and deacons of Agape Home Fellowship informed on their ministry and needs.
Deaconesses will be chosen in the manner listed in Section 3 of Article IV of the AHF by-laws, with the following exceptions:
- Deaconesses will be commissioned, not ordained. Neither scripture nor the early church writings allude to ordination of women as leaders but we do see they were commissioned for service.
- Deaconesses will serve the needs of women within and without the congregation (Titus 2:3, 4).
- Deaconesses will serve under the direction of the Diaconate and will function in an advisory role to the Diaconate and the Presbytery Council. However, they will not serve as voting members on the Presbytery Council. The deaconesses shall vote and appoint a member of their ranks to be a representative to the Presbytery Council or the district/regional elder.
- As AHF grows, deaconesses from each region will appoint a representative to the regional elder.
- Deaconesses may be removed by a unanimous vote of the Presbytery Council or their designate.