This past Sunday, November 13, was my deacon ordination at Pillar Baptist Church. As the Deaconess of Women’s Group, I am honored to have the opportunity to serve my church with faithful fellow deacons and elders. Also, I am beyond blessed to have the love and support of friends and family near and far who attended my deacon ordination and continue to journey through life’s joys and trials with me! Thankfully I did not have to speak at my deacon ordination, but on my blog, I would like to share my thoughts through the process that got me up to this point of becoming a deaconess. Five years ago when I started attending Pillar after moving home from Irvine, I would not have imagined myself here, but God has been faithful over the years!
August 2011 – After many months of my college friend Bry persuading me to check out Pillar where he was attending in his gap year, I finally decided to visit Pillar, but it was Bry’s last Sunday before leaving for grad school. In my first visit, I was drawn to the Gospel-centered preaching and the clarity of the Gospel to both believers and nonbelievers. It is the Gospel – God’s love and mercy through Jesus Christ’s perfect life, death, and resurrection – that drives me as a believer to walk faithfully, and I need to be reminded of the Gospel daily, let alone weekly at church. And if I were to bring nonbelievers to church, I wanted to be sure that the Gospel would be preached.
October 2011 through October 2012 – I still checked out other churches for about 2 months before returning to Pillar where I attended Sunday service and Thursday midweek Bible study for a year. I bonded with my small group girls, but I stuck with my friends that I already knew who were visiting Pillar during their gap year or waiting until Berean church planted in NorCal.
October 2012 – After finishing membership classes, I had my membership interview with the elders, but I had not decided whether I would commit to Pillar or join Berean’s church plant. Since I had been sitting on the fence for about 10 months without any commitment, the elders gave me 2 weeks to decide. I became a member and decided to give it a year to reevaluate later. After membership, I invested more time and effort to get plugged in at Pillar. Attending prayer meeting on Sunday before church gave me an opportunity to learn about the needs of the church and fellowship with the same group of brothers and sisters over lunch every week. To be honest, I also went because it helped me to get to church on time to our already late 1:30 PM service.
Fast forward to this year – I have been at Pillar for five years, served in nursery and a leader in small group, retreat small group, and women’s group, and grown to love my church family a lot!
January 2016 – The elders asked me to consider serving Pillar as a deacon and discuss whether I would be willing to step into this office. I was surprised to be asked to take on this role. My initial thought and main concern was the expectations that people would have on me as a deacon. Still, I was willing to go through training to learn more about deaconship.
February through June 2016 – Training consisted of 6 sessions in which we read and discussed Finding Faithful Deacons and Elders by Thabithi Anyabwile and studied our church’s doctrinal statement and constitution. The book covered the biblical qualifications for deacons from Acts 6:3-4 and 1 Timothy 3:8-10. A deacon means “table servant” and facilitates the ministry of the Word and prayer while preserving the unity and witness of the church. Through this book and honest discussion with the elders and fellow potential deacons, I was asked really good reflective questions about every facet of my Christian walk – prioritization of God’s word and prayer, being a servant, generosity with money, evidence of living out the Gospel, gifts of service, and etc. I learned that all Christians ought to strive for the qualifications of a deacon, which is simply pursuing personal holiness and faithfulness to God, regardless of title. I realized my deaconship role to oversee Women’s Group was no different than what I have been doing for the last 2 years. Despite my hesitations with the formality of the deaconship process at Pillar, I understood the reasoning for having these official roles and became excited to labor for the kingdom of God and carry the burdens of our church with the elders and potential deacons.
June 2016 – After the trainings and much prayer and self-reflection, I accepted the elders’ nomination of deaconship before I left for Hong Kong for 5.5 weeks this summer.
July 2016 – In a members’ meeting, the potential deacons were brought forth for nomination by the elders and seconded by the members, but I was still away in Hong Kong.
July through October 2016 – There was a four-month period of examination for the members to bring up any concerns to the elders while the potential deacons continued self-reflection.
October 2016 – In a members’ meeting, I was voted in for deaconship.
November 2016 – Deacon Ordination!
Video on Words about Deacons here – Pastor Eric said some of the highest praise I have received undeservingly and have much to live up to, but thank you for the kind words!
Thank you to my elders, church family, friends, and family for your love and prayers through this deaconship process. I am excited to continue to grow with you in love and good deeds!
For those wondering about my ministry, Women’s Group is a great opportunity to get to know and grow with other women of the church in a smaller setting outside of Sunday service and Thursday midweek. We meet together once a month for book discussions and hangouts as an avenue for fellowship and encouragement. Currently, we are reading Praying the Bible by Donald S. Whitney and keeping each other accountable to grow our desire and consistency to be in the Word, meditate on Scripture, and pray God’s truth into our hearts.
Please pray for me in my new role as the Deaconess of Women’s Group. My prayer requests are:
- personal holiness and faithfulness to God
- wisdom in overseeing Women’s Group
- sober-mindedness to do all things for the glory of God in the busyness of work, family, and serving at church
Thank you for reading my blog, praying for me, and supporting me through my journey!
Please let me know how I can pray for you too.