Situation at the Deacon Board

I feel a burden, I am not sure if it is a conviction to confront.

Less than 99% of the people

The excuse for the quick exit is that the news was leaking out. Who would be the one leaking? Only the deacon boards know so it must be the deacons. And which of the deacons would be leaking the news? How did it spread?

In the deacon boards, there are basically three camps.

The first camp would be the old established deacons who are in their 50s-60s. Let’s call them the Oldies.  Most of them are quite ineffective at leaders but they like the position of being a deacon, it’s kind of a prestige. Most of them have been deacons for many years since there is no rules to stop a members from being a deacon continuously. Some of them been deacons for the last decade or more continuously.

Why are they ineffective? There are several reasons. One is that they care about their influence and power at church more than what is best for the church and its development. They don’t like anyone who would threaten their power.

They try to retain this power but keeping things the same as always. They are dominant and hard to be removed from leadership although their leadership status come more from than position as deacons and their seniority.

They are fearless and dominate with many connections in the church because of their seniority. They have some relatives at church. Their parents and their children also go to the church. So they are influential because of their connection in the church.

The other reason why they are ineffective is their age, and I am not trying to be discriminating. Many of them are 60s and over.Many of them retired already, so for some, this is like something they do. They are in this retirement mood. Also their age limits their ability. These are people who are rather stubborn with the old ways and hard to change.

They are not servers, they want to be served. They want to lead without serving. One example is with one of the old lady who was the deacon incharge of the church finance and for years, she was unable to report a complete financial report/account to the church. Nobody complained or was any blame put on her because of her status, seniority and connections.

Often in meetings, even very important church meetings, these few Oldies would make the decisions with little consultation of others in the committeee or even the pastors. For years they have been like this, having this supreme power and dominating every committees they are in and getting the decisions they want.

The good thing about them is that they know the tradition, procedure and rules of the church. They know how things should be done (even though they would break these rules sometimes to attain their own goals), but at least they know.

The second group is much younger, in their early 30s to early 40s with one exception. This group is led by a senior who is in his 60s and a founder of the church’s biggest fellowship, let’s call him Jon. Let’s call this group, the Newbies. They are the emerging power because their fellowship provides a lot of the manpower for many of the church’s ministries. For years they have been dominated by the Oldies and for some years a few of them think that by having many of them join th deacon board would change things around. They have been labeled as less mature and developed by some of the Oldies because they were basically on their own for many years with little mentorship and training by clergy staff. All of the pastors who pastored them have left including their favourite, who was the previous head pastor of the church.

It is true that they have a weak Biblical foundation but they have good reputation because they are very active in serving and are founders of the largest and probably most dynamic fellowship at church. They used to be the most open fellowship.

Their biggest problem would be their inexperience, spiritual immaturity, weak Biblical foundation.

Their problem is the lack of leadership and instead they found a very dominant person as their leader who is like their father.

The third group is a mixed bag. They are middle-aged, in their forties and is probably the more balanced with good understanding. The group is made out of professionals. They have with them more experience and spiritual maturity than the Newbies yet are more flexible and compromising than the Oldies.

They are, probably what the leadership of church should probably look more like.

Their problem is that they are not as unified and strong as the other two groups. The other two groups have dominant leadership and relationship that go back decades. So they try not to argue with the others, even when something is a bit wrong or not sound. That is the bad part. They try to avoid conflict and there’s a reason behind it because they do need to work together and if you don’t have to vote or the power to convince the other otherwise, might as well not fight it. I think that’s their logic which I understand.

I talked with one of them about what’s happening at fellowship, and one of them told me that even if I confront them about it, it wouldn’t do a thing.

They are more independent, but their strong Biblical principles give them better guidance than the other groups.


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