The New Testament scripture teaches that deacons were set apart by the church as servants to minister to the needs of the Body of Christ. This ministry allowed the elders (pastors) to devote themselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word (Acts 6:1-7). The office of deacon is one of a servant to the Body of Christ. Any other concept does injustice to the New Testament record found in Acts 6 and 1 Timothy 3. It is not a position or office to give a man in order to honor him, nor is it a position which holds decision making authority over the church other than 1) as a regular functioning member of the congregation as set in the constitution and by-laws and 2) as designated by the Presbytery for a predetermined purpose and time.
The council will consist of a potentially unlimited number of men and will be led by a chairman who will act as the “archdeacon.” While the term “archdeacon” is not scriptural, it was a common position in the early anti-Nicene church and is compliment to the term “Chairman of the Deacon Board” that is commonly used today, which is also not a scriptural term. The archdeacon will hold no special position over the Council of Deacons other than the “first among equals” concept. The archdeacon will be elected by the Deacon’s Council and approved by the Presbytery yearly. He will also serve as a non-voting member of the Presbytery, attend their meetings and will ensure execution of Presbytery decisions and wishes in regards to the Council of Deacons (Diaconate).
The deacons of the church will generally be assigned to a functional area of the church under the direction of an elder, as the Lord leads and directs in each situation and according to their gifts. However, it will be the policy of Agape Home Fellowship that deacons will not only minister within their functional areas, but also without, as the Spirit directs. Deacons may also be in charge of an AHF house church and function as the house church shepherd.
As AHF grows, each region will have a diaconate and each region will be represented by an archdeacon who will report to the district/regional elder.
More information on deacons and the diaconate can be found in Article IV of the AHF by-laws.