HOW TO SET UP DEACON MINISTRY TEAMS
1. Terminology is important. Do not refer to ministry teams as “committees.” Most people think of a committee as a group that meets and discusses issues. A ministry team is an action group that gets out and provides hands-on service to people in need. It is headed by a “leader,” not a “chairman.” This leader motivates his team, assigns tasks equally to all members, coordinates the work, and oversees the tasks to make sure they get done. (Similarly, a group of deacons is a “council,” not a “board.” A board meets and issues edicts. Under the Deacon Council concept, the deacons are: 1) role models, 2) ministers, 3) leaders, 4) counselors, 5) administrators, and 6) representatives - in that order of priority.)
2. At the October Deacon Council meeting, a list of ministries is provided from which deacons select their first and second choices. Each deacon marks his sheet with a “1” and a “2” beside his choices and signs his name at the bottom.
3. All deacons are requested to sign up for the team to which they feel gifted. If a team’s work is only occasional/seasonal (emergency moving, disaster relief, resort ministry, counseling) or worship-related (ushers, greeters), deacons should pick another team as well.
3. If a deacon does not feel gifted for any team, he should take his Sunday School department and minister to them under the Family Ministry plan.
4. All deacons absent from the October meeting should be contacted the following month by the Deacon Chairman and Vice-Chairman to fit them on teams.
5. Assignments should be made on the deacon’s first choice, but it may be necessary to use the second choice if the membership of some teams is unbalanced.
6. Drop teams that are not chosen. However, be sure that basic visitation teams are retained (widows, nursing homes, shut-ins, hospitals), so that needs can be determined for other teams to address.
7. Volunteers for Team Leader position should be requested, but if no person comes forward, the position should be appointed. Also, a team leader of all deacons functioning under the Family Ministry plan should be designated. The deacon chairman (or vice-chairman) is the overseer of all team leaders.
8. A complete list of all teams with their leaders should be distributed at the November Deacon Council meeting.
9. Monthly reporting is vital. Most of the time of the Deacon Council meeting should be given over to this activity. Every team leader should report on what has been accomplished and relay discovered needs outside the purview of his team to the appropriate team (or the Deacon Council as a whole) for action. Encourage brevity in reporting, but allow extra time if needed.