Who does what? Elders and Deacons

Here is an example of the distinction one church made between elders and deacons.


Every member of the church has his or her own part to play. Home Group Leaders, those working with children and young people, leaders of our adult organizations, and all who worship, witness, pray and give, make important contributions to the life of the church. The church is not a hierarchy but a community. We are not a business but a family. Our life should not consist of meetings but of friendships. We need to engender a sense of solidarity and inclusiveness within the church so that everyone feels they belong and are loved.

At times confusion has arisen over who is actually “in charge” of things in our church life. In principle, God is! Our church and all its events and activities are controlled by the Church Meeting, which seeks by prayer and discussion to discover and follow God’s will. For the day to day running of the church, this authority of the Church Meeting is delegated to Minister, Elders and Deacons, following patterns found in the New Testament especially in 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus. The Minister and Elders together are called to give a lead to the church in areas of teaching, vision-building and pastoral oversight. The Deacons are called to take responsibility for finance, fabric and administration especially overseeing the organisations of the church. To remove confusion and help everybody to know who does what, this is how the principal responsibilities are distributed.

The Elders:

DIRECTION of the church, vision building, prayer life;
SERVICES, timings, worship styles, teaching, special services;
HOMEGROUPS oversight, selecting leaders, study materials;
PASTORAL CARE of members, congregation and contacts;

CHURCH DISCIPLINE, recommending additions and deletions;

RELATIONSHIPS with other churches;

STAFF: workload and use of ministry time, pastoral care of staff (Minister FT, Youth Worker FT, Outreach Worker PT, Administrator PT, Children’s Worker (intern), Cleaner .

The Deacons:

FINANCE, fundraising, special projects, mission support, administration of finance;
PREMISES, maintenance, finance, permission for use, Health and Safety, cleaners;
EQUIPMENT, maintenance, development, finance;

ADULT ORGANISATIONS, leadership, patterns of activities, seasonal events etc;
YOUTH ORGANISATIONS, leadership, patterns of activities: Family Church, Youth Events and activities, GB and BB, Preschool;


The Elders and Deacons together:

MAJOR developments in any areas of the life of the church;

MAJOR long term strategy;

SELECTING STAFF: Minister, Youth Worker and others PT as above

EVANGELISM strategy, events and activities

The Minister chairs both Deacons and Elders meetings. Secretary Treasurer also have specific responsibilities in some of the areas above.

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