The Testimony and Example of Our Deacons
By Rev. Samuel Tam
January 14, 2024
To meet pastoral and ministry needs, the church has elected as deacons some brothers and sisters who have steadfast and stable faith. They will work shoulder to shoulder with the pastoral team, with each doing their part in serving God (Ephesians 4:16). Today in our worship services, we will hold an inauguration ceremony to witness together these 32 elected deacons assuming their responsibilities for individual worship services and ministries or departments. We pray for God to help, accept and use their service, that all of our faith will grow, and that everything will work for the good of those who love God and serve the Lord (Romans 8:28).
“Deacon” in the original language of the Bible can mean “servant.” This is exactly the Lord’s reminder for all who serve: Whoever wants to be first must be “slave of all” (Mark 10:44, Matthew 20:26-27). In the introduction to the deacon candidates, we can see their perspectives, experience and expectations towards serving. Not only do the journeys of the growth of their faith and ministry experience surround us like a great cloud of witness (Hebrews 12:1), but they have also left and set an example for different communities within our church to help them learn to follow Christ (1 Peter 2:21). What is their testimony and example? They serve this family and proclaim God’s love. They humble themselves before the Lord and let the Holy Spirit guide them. They only seek to help the congregation gain Christ and not to show themselves off. They long for the renewal of the mind and purity of the spirit. They are strong in spirit although their body may be weak. Their greatest blessing and joy is to appreciate the grace of God for the NPAC family. They acknowledge that the church is a spiritual family where brothers and sisters practice loving and being loved. They are willing to follow the pastors and learn to fulfil their commitment. They pray to be sensitive to the will of God for NPAC and to walk with brothers and sisters…
Zechariah the priest proclaimed: It is because God shows mercy to man and does not forget His holy covenant that we can serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all our days (Luke 1:72-75). Indeed, God is determined to save us, and He wants to give us the privilege and blessing to serve Him. Some deacons shared that looking back, they started joining NPAC meetings when young. They were nurtured by the church, got to know their gifts and so learned to serve those in need. Some other deacons got married in NPAC, and all three generations of the extended family are pastored in our church. Years of blessings have made our deacons continually bring to God a thank offering, to serve cheerfully and practice the teaching of it is better to give than to receive. Such testimony and example testify to Jesus Christ as the bread of life and the rivers of living water. Because of Him, our spiritual life is no longer hungry or thirsty (John 6:35, 7:38).
Each of us should use whatever gift received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms (1 Peter 4:10). Those who love travelling often visit tourism websites to gather information and plan their itinerary so that they can enjoy a pleasurable journey. Likewise, we can plan a mode suitable for our personal spiritual growth and a direction for serving based on the Bible to ensure we do not drift away (Hebrews 2:1). On our path of following the Lord, may we all be like our deacons who have gained life and who desire a noble task, and together we serve as the Lord’s servants.