Exodus is in the process of appointing Deacons who will serve Jesus by assisting the elders to accomplish the mission of the Church. In a previous post, I wrote about two primary concerns our men have: Time and Responsibility. While I have heard the same concerns from women, these are not their primary concerns. The foremost concerns from women are about perception.
Perception of the role
For many, including myself, my experience of the deacon title has never had a woman connected to it, and Exodus will be the first church I have attended to have women serve as deacons. And for some faithful, godly women at Exodus, this is a stumbling block.
If your perception of the role is a concern, please discover more about what the role of deacon is at Exodus. Rather than import your experience and perception, discover how Exodus uses the term and how men and women serve here. Don’t let a misconception keep you from serving Jesus in a biblical manner.
Perception of themselves
“I just don’t feel worthy to be a deacon.” I think I understand what you are saying, but I want to engage some of it, too. No one is worthy in ourselves to be anything in the church. Jesus makes us worthy by grace through faith.
There is a difference between being unworthy and being unqualified.
Now, to be unqualified is another thing. If a woman is not dignified, can’t exhibit self control over her tongue and emotions or is just not a faithful woman, then she is not qualified. But, carrying around this weight of unworthiness might just be a need to believe the gospel more deeply.
Perception of other’s Perception
A faithful, godly lady (who agrees with our position) said, “I’m not so brazen as to want to be a deacon.” I think this is tragic. First, that she would perceive a woman who wants to serve in this way as brazen is sad to me. Paul didn’t call Phoebe brazen (Romans 16:1). Equally tragic is that there was a time when a church culture created the idea in her mind that a woman wanting to serve as a deacon was “brazen”. This is unfortunate.
Our Elders want Exodus to be a church where women are not just permitted but pursued to serve as deacons. I want Exodus to have a culture where women flourish and grow. I want the culture of our church to encourage this.
A friend wrote,
“I believe the position the Exodus elders have taken is very Biblical. Although, I think the practical application will be awkward at first. It is going to take some courageous, yet humble women to step into these roles. And it is going to take encouraging men to keep them there.”
I think he’s right on. I’ve written about this and I’m praying that Exodus would navigate these waters well. I’m also praying for courageous, humble women to serve Jesus by assisting elders who prove themselves to be the kind of men around whom women (and men) can flourish.