This past weekend, we choose deacons in both of our programs.  Our deacons come from our membership.  I inherited the process that is used in each of the programs which I supervise.  For our Vero program, this was the first time that we have selected deacons.  Because this program was filled with new Christian or people who had never been Christians, I’ve waited until our members had established a bit of maturity before asking them to select.  In our Melbourne program, we started with a clean slate because it has been several years since we chose our deacons.

Originally, we used a rotating system, with two deacons up for reelection or two others members voted on each year.  Somehow the weeks got away and then a couple of years went by.  Because it’s been a long time since we’ve selected deacons, we did a good deal of teaching from Timothy about deacons before we selected this year.  There is a slate of five deacons in our smaller program and seven in the larger one. 

Each election, we ask each member, individually, to select one or more (as many slots that are open) people they believe qualify to be deacons.  It was a interesting process.  After the members vote, we ask our elders (teachers and volunteers) to also approve the slate.  After tallying up the vote in both programs, the slate selected by the members was the exact slate that our elders would have voted for and therefore it was approved by them also.

When I first began with Special Gathering, I questioned the process with our executive director.  At that time, it was purely a vote by the membership.  He simply said, “I’ve learned to trust the members’ judgement.  I’ve found they have always been right.”  Over the years, approval of the elders was added.  However, the elders have ALWAYS agreed with the vote of the members. 

The final step will be next week.  The membership and the elders will vote to approve the slate of deacons.  I don’t expect anyone to question the outcome of the vote.

How are your leaders selected?  Is it simply the judgment of the leadership or do your members have a hand in the selection.  What do you call your leadership team?  Are they formally recognized?